Friday 17 May 2019

El Torcal, Nacimiento del Río de la Villa, Arroyo Marin, Malaga Province.

A mixed day weather wise, blown inside out at El Torcal but a little warmer along the Marin Valley.
Karen and Rob, Day Two.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
I again picked Karen and Rob up again and we headed out to the West and up on to El Torcal but soon found out that conditions were less than perfect and once out of the car finding butterflies was soon forgotten as we concentrated more on trying to stay on our feet in the breeze.
Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena).
We left the visitors centre carpark after Karen got some view shot and dropped down to the lower areas where we parked on the roadside and had a scan picking up Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) which were both heard singing by the view point, Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and on the grassy areas spikes of Lizard (Himantoglosum hircinum) and Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia).
Rosy garlic (Allium roseum).
We dropped over the ridge to the Antequera side and made a stop at the Nacimiento del Río de la Villa where we had a walk along the road from the car park back towards the lake seeing a distant Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica),  Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and a family of Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra). 
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Eventually it warmed up and we found several Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Spanish Marbled White (Medioluto Inés / Melanargia ines), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) as well as a fine looking Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum) and an unnamed Dianthus species.
We also heard and saw Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
Dianthus Species.
We walked back to the car again and then made our way to Archidona where we had a coffee whilst the bar knocked up some sandwiches for us before dropping down in to the valley of the Arroyo Marin.
Broomrape Species.
We parked at the start of the valley and had a walk through the river side meadow and then down on to the lower track but it was a struggle butterfly wise with only Small White (Pieris rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). 
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We did however have a few bird species including a heard only Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Nightingale, Cetti's Warbler, Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Serin, Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula),  Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Sardinian and Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and at the point where I popped back to collect the car several Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Rosy Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus onopordi).
I got back to Karen and Rob who had seen a Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) on the track and we had our lunch before walking on a short way along the valley but apart from an elusive calling Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and a Broomrape species it was quiet so we turned around and as it had warmed up a bit we went back to the meadow.
Rosy Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus onopordi).
The three of us wandered around this area for quite a while and it paid off when Karen found both Rosy Grizzled (Pyrgus onopordi) and Oberthür's Grizzled Akipper (Pyrgus armoricanus) near a big patch of horse poooooooooo.
Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon).
In the same area we had rather tatty Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) and Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia) and a smarter Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon), after getting shots of the we walked back to the car and then headed back in to the hotel to end the second day.
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia).

Thursday 16 May 2019

Sierra de Loja and Western Slopes, Granada Province.

First full day with Karen and Rob out on Sierra de Loja and surroundings.
Karen and Rob, Day One.

Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
I met Karen and Rob up at the Cortijo and we headed back up on to the Sierra de Loja where we made our way straight up to the lower quarry, this time I had the scope and the adult Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) was still showing well from the top hole on the cliff. In the same area we had Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). 
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
As we walked down the track and back up again we had several Panoptes Blues (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Small White (Pieris rapae). 
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Wild Flowers included Centaurea boissieri, Centaurea prolongoi, Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Torcal Toadflax (Linaria anticaria), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata) and Common Asphodel (Asphodelus albus).
Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
We walked back up towards the car and then into the quarry where we had Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and over the main crag a Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) which Karen picked up as it passed over high.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
We drove up along the crags and up on to the tops, we drove stright over to the far side of the area where we searched an area of rocky grassland in a strong wind for the uncommon Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) ad eventually we found one but it was swaying around so much a photo was impossible. Later we found another and Karen managed to get a couple of shots off before it get up and was blown out of sight. 
Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera).
In the same area we had Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and even in the strong winds we managed to find a few more species in the more sheltered areas including Western Dappled Whites (Euchloe crameri), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and a new species for my Granada list Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera) which I must have over looked in the past as we found several during the day.
Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera).
Just along the track we stopped again and looked around the slightly more sheltered area of Charca del Negra, we soon had views of Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and on a distant ridge of rock two male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) which were standing off at each other. 
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
In the same area we had Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Spanish Marbled White (Medioluto Inés / Melanargia ines), Wall Brown and more Large Wall Browns.
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
We again dropped down a little further and stopped at a small dell on the road side where we had several very smart Spanish Festoons (Zerynthia rumina), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and the main target species for the trip for Karen and Rob 2x Cardinal Fritillaiers (Pandora / Argynnis pandora) both of which where in stunning condition.
Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / Argynnis pandora).
We also saw a big clump Upland Peony (Paeonia coriacea), Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi).
Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / Argynnis pandora).
From here we dropped down off the hill and made for a site on the western slopes in amongst the Oak woods, we parked and very quickly found a single spike of Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta), several spikes of Late Sawfly (Ophrys ficalhoana), lots of spikes of Lizard (Himantoglosum hircinum) and Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea).
Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / Argynnis pandora).
As we walked through the woods we also recorded Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) which was sat on a wire with a mouthful of grubs, Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Clouded Yellow, Small White, Iberian Marbled White, Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Cardinal Fritillary, Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Langes Orchid (Orchis langei) and several not yet flowering Epipactis tremolsii.
Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius).
Our final stop was back towards Venta del Raya where we stopped and had great views of Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and lots of  Western Dappled Whites.
Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl).
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Late Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys ficalhoana).
Late Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys ficalhoana).
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus).
Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii).
Langes Orchid (Orchis langei).
Lizard Orchid (Himantoglosum hircinum).
Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Guadalhorce, Malaga Province and Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

A morning around the pools with Mehdi and Tatiana before meeting Karen and Rob at the airport.

Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola).
I drove down to the cost and walked in to the reserve along the beach again, on the river there was a pair of Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) out to sea and a male Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) in the beach scrub.
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Once in the hide I immediately picked up a flying Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola) in amongst the flock of feeding Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and Whiskered Terns (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Out on the pool there was also a good selection of waders including Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) x3, Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) and a couple of flighty Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos). After a while Mehdi and Tatiana arrived after getting nice views of a couple of Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) which showed well for their camera.
Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula).
We boosted the list when a group of Slender-billed Gulls (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) dropped in along with Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), a couple of Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
We moved on and walked around to the next hide finding a female Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) in the Tamarisk trees.
Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
We arrived at the hide and soon found Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) and a stunning male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) which was sat in the top of a nearby Tamarisk.
Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
We walked around to the next two hides were we had better views of the Black-tailed Godwit and a Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres).
There were lots of waders on the old river but the only new ones were Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) along with a few adult and immature Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
We headed back to the cars along the beach and as we reached the river I said goodbye the Mehdi and Tatiana as they went to try and get better views of the Hoopoes they had seen on the way in and I headed to the Airport to meet Karen and Rob.
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
I arrived with just a few minutes to spair as Karen and Robs flight had arrived early and they were through the airport very quickly. We got to the car and headed back towards the local patch and decided to call in at te lower quarry track on the way to the hotel and quickly started the trip on a high with the adult Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) which was sat on it's usual perch.
Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
We spent the next warm hour or so searching the areas along the track and found Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Centaurea boissieri, Centaurea prolongoi, Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Yellow Rockrose (Helianthemum nummularium), Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica),  Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and a fleeting Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata).
Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
We headed in to the Cortijo de Tajar where Karen and Rob checked in and we sorted out the pickup for morning before I headed Home.
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus).
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus).
Centaurea boissieri