Sunday, 19 July 2020

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province, Spain.

Back up the mountain yet again but over in the East today.

Rosy Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus onopordi).
Andy and I headed out past Granada, to another area in the mountains where we parked up and started to head up high. Just as we left the car we had a single Citril Finch (Verderón Serrano / Serinus citrinella) mixed in with a group of 5 or 6 Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). 
Tawny Pipit (Bisbita Camprstre / Anthus campestris).
As we walked up through an area of Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Berberis hispanica bushes we had Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) which were in many bushes and trees in good numbers, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and a Rosy Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus onopordi). 
Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone).
Along the stream we had the first of a good number of Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone), Iberian Marbled Whites (Melanargia lachesis) and as we moved out on to the moorland area we had a rather tatty female Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus).
Apollo (Parnassius apollo).
Moving up hill there were good numers of Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), a few Tawny Pipits (Bisbita Camprstre / Anthus campestris) and then the first of the Black Satyr (Satyrus actaea) butterflies flew across and led Andy a merry dance trying to get one sat down, a very well behaved Apollo (Parnassius apollo) which bobbed about on a scabious flower for a while and then landed down on the ground and finally the main target of the day the ultra rare Nevada Grayling (Pseudochazara hippolyte) which flew towards us and sat right on the edge of the track and we both got some very nice shots. 
Apollo (Parnassius apollo).
We continued on the track for a short way and saw another Grayling, we had got the traget so we turned round and dropped back down the hill towards the stream adding Oriental Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lupinus), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus) and Alpine Gentian (Gentiana alpina).
Nevada Grayling (Pseudochazara hippolyte).
Down along the stream we watched a stunning female Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) egg laying in the small pools and had a male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) patrolling amongst the Hawthorns.
Nevada Grayling (Pseudochazara hippolyte).
On the Horse Mint (Mentha longifolia) and puddling in the mud there were good numbers of Niobe (Argynnis niobe) and Dark-green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Small White (Pieris rapae), Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma) and Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron). 
Nevada Grayling (Pseudochazara hippolyte).
We made it back to the car and the dropped back down the hill and into Sierra Huétor where we parked and walked out on to an area of Grassland and Thistle beds. Straight away we started to find Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) flashing around the grass and bramles, Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and down by the stream the first of many Beautiful Demoiselle's (Calopteryx virgo).
Alpine Gentian (Gentiana alpina).
During our first stop at the big Thistle patch we found  Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Great Banded (Kanetisa circe) and lots of Rock Graylings, Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Oriental Meadow Brown, a couple of flighty High Brown Fritillaries (Fabriciana adippe) and in the water ditch around the thistles a couple of male Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum).
Dark-green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja).
We followed the valley further along adding Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma).
On the side of the stream where the man made channels run in we checked a damp area and found several species puddling including our first of a few Spanish Chalk-hill Blues (Lysandra albicans), Silver-spotted Skipper, Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), Common / Southern Blue and a cracking Iberian Scarce Swallowtail which was settled for ages.
Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
We turned around and returned to the thistle patch where we managed to get shots of the High Brown Fritillary and a few others before returning to the car and carrying on to the spot.
Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli).
We parked and walked along the track and checked an area of rocky grassland, we recorded Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus), Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon), Mountain Argus (Aricia artaxerxes montensis) and Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).
Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus).
We returned to the car and drove back towards the hotel but made one last stop a Balsa de Rigidor, a small made made lake near the motorway where we looked for a few dragonfly species. 
Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum).
We arrived and started to check the place and stright away my heart sank when I saw all the rubbish and mess the so called fishermen discarded, very very sad that a nice spot like this is being distroyed.
Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Lysandra albicans).
Along the dam wall track we saw Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) as well as Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli).
We walked back passing the car and then went down the side of the pool where we picked up Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), a Mantis Species and an adult Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax).
Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus).
Just as we got back to the car it started to rain quite heavily so we returned to the hotel where we had a drink whilst we looked through some of the photographs and totted up the list for the two days which totalled up to 56 at least.
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).
Dark-green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja).
Dark-green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja).
Mountain Argus (Aricia artaxerxes montensis).
Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon).
Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) male.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).
White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes).
Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
Mantis Species.

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