Friday 28 June 2019

Puerto de Somiedo Poooo Piles, above Brañas de Arriba, Puerto de Leitariegos, Caboalles de Arriba Capper centre, Piedrafita de Babia and Valle de Lago, Asturias.

Back to the Poo piles, then into the hills again before finding an interesting pool near Somiedo.
Somiedo Day Seven.

Brañas de Arriba just above the fog, for the moment.
Bob and I had a short walk before breakfast finding Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
We had breakfast and headed out south again past La Peral and up to the Poooooo piles just through Puerto de Somiedo, on the way we started the days list with Rock Dove (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
At the Poo Piles we again walked some of the tracks adding Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), several Water (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and Tree Pipit (Bisbita Arbóreo / Anthus trivialis), Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), a couple of Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), a few Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella) and a nice but brief male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) again.
Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis).
We continued our journey passing through banks of fog until we were in a parking area above the village of Brañas de Arriba, the fog came and went but persisted down in the valley so the village was visible one minute and gone the next.
Owlfly species.
During some of the prolonged periods of sun we did se several more Dunnocks in the shrubs on the bank above us as well as Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and down below us Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Heath Fritillary (Melitaea athalia).
Once it warmed up a it more several species of butterfly started to fly along with the cracking Owlfly species which eventually sat for the camera, which was more than the butterflies did. 
Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia).
The butterflies included Meadow Fritillary (Mellicta parthenoides), Marbled White (Melanargia galathea), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), an extreamly tatty Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), our only Purple-edged Coppers (Lycaena hippothoe) of the trip and Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla).
Heath Spotted (Dactylorhiza maculata).
The cloud then came in back in so we dropped South east to the ski resort at Puerto de Leitariegos where we parked and checked out the roadside scrub and woodlands where we looked for Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) but except for a couple of snippets of song from deep cover we failed on this species but we did see more Common Whitethroats, Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio), several Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) which perched nice and high, a female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Black Redstart, Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Water Pipit, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Hybrid Orchid.
On the roadside bank we found several species of Orchid, most were the very common Heath Spotted (Dactylorhiza maculata), a few Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) and what I am thinking is a Hybrid of some sort amongst the Dactylorhiza's but it still is unnamed at this point.
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus).
In the same area we also found a single flowering spike of Large-flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora) amoungst the massed of leaf rossettes, Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra) and both Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small White (Pieris rapae). 
Large-flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora).
I walked back to the van and dropped down the bank where I picked the group up and when just down the road and the took a track up to the far side of the valley where we checked out an area of mixed woodland, we parked and walked on the lower side of the wood on a track seeing Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus),  some really nice views of a pair of Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Common Frog (Rana temporaria), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca) and Green Alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens).
Common Frog (Rana temporaria).
Our next stop was at a visitor center dedicated to the Western Cappercalle but unfortunately we did not learn a great deal there so we continued on to Village of Piedrafita de Babia where we had some lunch and checked out some breeding White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) in the large pines above the road.
Burnet Moth.
We retraced our way down to Somiedo and too a road from the town out towards some lakes in the Valle de Lago, we drove up the valley making a few stops on the way along the stream and eventually we reached a pool on the roadside. 
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
This was as far as we could get at this point as the road ahead of us was being resurfaced, we parked and had a walk around this lake and soon found Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
On the water there were a few Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) but nothing much else and along the track running along the far side of the pool towards the dam we had a few High Brown Fritillaries (Fabriciana adippe), Adonis (Lysandra bellargus) and Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Chestnut Heath (Coenonympha glycerion), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), a very nice Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) and down closer to the Dam a couple of Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus).
Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii).
Birds seen included a small group of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) above a nearby ridge, a couple of Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), and in the trees near the dam a calling Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and both singing Iberian (Mosquitero Ibérico / Phylloscopus brehmii) and Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
Once the workmen had finished the road works we pushed on to the end of the road and parked, here we scanned the cliffs above us and soon had both Red-billed (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus), another distant male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush and a calling Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) in a small orchard on the edge of the village.
Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops).
On the bank we saw Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), a quite a few more Clouded Yellows and a Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia).
Iris species.
We got back in to the valley and dropped back to Somiedo where we dropped of some of the group at the hotel but Jo, Brian and I decided to go and have a look at some Iris plants we had seen on the road side up at Gúi. 
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia).
We parked and photographed the plants before finding a track down through the woodlands and as we walked we came across a site of a mass grave from the Civil war and further along the track lots of Ivy Broomrape (Orobanche hederae), Common Cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense), Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium), Martagon Lily (Lilium Martagon), Wall Pennywort (Umbilicus rupestris), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum), Heath Spotted Orchid, Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and lots more Blackcaps.
Common Cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense).
We dropped back down to the Hotel and then went out again for a very nice meal in bar El Meirel, a real treat again after the very poor meal last evening.
Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium).
Brian Photographing Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium).

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