Wednesday 24 February 2021

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A Butterfly walk through the Olives.
Second Municipal Lock down Day 40.
Before I cross the Barranco.
After another morning in the garden I went for a walk out into the Olives at the back of the house and then followed several of the tracks. 
After I crossed the Barranco.
As before the first part of the walk had been sprayed out by the land owner but as soon as I crossed the second barranco it was very different as the more environmentally minded farmer allows the wild flowers to grow, what a difference it makes.
Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
There were lots of Clouded Yellows (Colias corcea) throughout the walk but as with almost all of the species the bank just over the barranco was the best area and just after crossing the stream I had the first of a few Common / Southern Blues (Polyommatus icarus / celina), a single Mallow / False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / tripolinus) and found a single spike of Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina) which was my first of the year.
Mallow / False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / tripolinus).
At the top of the slope I turned left and found the first my Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) of the year which was in perfect condition and several Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice).
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina).
In the Olives it was pleasing to see a good number of Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) as they had been quite scarce all winter, there were also lots of singing Blackbirds (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).

Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).

After a while I turned around and walked back to the slope and then took another left and followed this almost as far as the farm, on the way I had a fast flying Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum) come past me but then it surprised me by landing for a few seconds giving me the chance to get a shot.
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) male.
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) male.
At the furthest point I again had a couple of
Small Coppers (Lycaena phlaeas) which were landing on the track and a single Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) which played hard to get but eventually landed on one of the thousands of Field marigold (Calendula arvensis) flowers just long enough for me to get a single shot.
Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum).
I turned around and then walked back but followed a small track amongst the olives where there were more butterflies including my first local
Green-Striped Whites (Euchloe belemia), one was obviously a female which was egg laying.
Large White (Pieris brassicae).

Small White (Pieris rapae).

I also had several
Large Whites (Pieris brassicae) and when I got back to the slope just before the Barranco I found a single Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) and then the second new species for my patch, a Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus) and as I tried to get shots of it I found that there were at least three of the in the area.
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia) female.

Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus).

In the same area I had
Andaluz storksbill (Erodium primulaceum), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum) and White Mignonette (Reseda Alba).
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).

Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).

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