Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Hacho and Huétor Fields, Granada Province, Spain.

 An afternoon up the hill and later down along the Arroyo.
 
Linaria amethystea.
I drove up to the hill and I parked amongst the Almonds near the road and walked up the south facing bank behind where I was find a Spanish guy how was picking wild asparagus, I was knelt down photographing some nice spikes of Linaria amethystea and I did not see him so It amused him how high I could jump from a kneeling position.
He asked what the plant was and was quite interested so we spent a while chatting about the wild Asparagus plants and the Orchids.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
I continued on with my search and found lots of
Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus), Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Andalucian Gorse (Ulex baeticus), Cloven Petalled Campion (Silene colorata), Broad-leaved Iris (Iris planifolia), some very small flowered Common Daisy's (Bellis perennis), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) as well as loads of Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) and a couple of Clouded Yellows (Colias corcea).
Cloven Petalled Campion (Silene colorata).
I reached the top of the bank and followed the ridge along the top of the quarry and then dropped back down to the Almond fields, as I walked I had a nice Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera) and Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / foresteri), Ranunculs spicatus ssp blepharicarpos, Clypeola jonthlaspi, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Moth species needing a name.
As I walked through the scru and trees I had a few day flying moths which need a name still.
Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
I dropped back to the car where I dropped off my fleece as it was warming up nicely and start out along the Northerly facing hill side where I soon found Giant (Himantoglossum Robertiana) and Southern Early Purple Orchids (Orchis olbienis).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
As I walked I also heard and saw Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
I reached the view point over the Quarry and took the lower track out into the Oaks and Almonds again, I was very pleased to find another new site for me of the very smart, scarce and local Provence Hairstreaks (Tomares ballus) as I walked around the area I found at least 4 individuals which spent most of their time chasing each other and the Small Heaths that strayed to close.
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana).
I also found more Fan-lipped, Sawfly, Giant and Somber Bee Orchids,
Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), Andaluz storksbill (Erodium primulaceum), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and a singing male Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata).
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / foresteri).
I reached the point where I turned around and I took a different route back cutting through the trees and rocky areas, I was very pleased to find around 50 spikes of the very smart
Conical Orchids (Neotinea conica) which was a new species for my Orchid list at this site.
Broad-leaved Iris (Iris planifolia).
Again I continued on through the srub and up into the pine trees, on the way I saw something that I have never seen before, a male
Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) flew in and landed on one of the overhead wires which run through the area and started to sing which was not unusal but after a minute or two it took off and did a song flight just like a Serin or Greenfinch would do singing all the way round and then retruned to the perch and did it twice more before flying off.
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis).
Up in the pines I found lot of signs that the Red Squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) were eating well and that the Wild Boar (Jabalí / Felis silvestris) were extreamly active digging up the whole area.
Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus).
I walked back out of the pines into the scrub finding several spikes of the uncommon
Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria hispanica) a really stunning looking plant before making my way back down the hill to the car, just before I got there I had nice views of a male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) which was singing from the Almonds and below them I found Erophila verna and Stellaria media.
Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).

Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).

Once I reached the car I drove home and had a coffee before going down onto the fields where I spent a while checking the southern side of the stretch just before the railway line, I sat in the car and waited to see what approached.
Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).
Whilst I was there I had views of at least 4 Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), 2 pairs by the look of thinks with one of the males singing a few times from the reeds. 
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
In the same area I also had several
Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), a single female Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and quite a few Spanish (Yellow) Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) male.
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) male.
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) male.
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) male.
As I drove along the track back to the road I added
Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
I drove along the edge of the Lucerne fields finding just 2 male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and last of all Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) on my way home.

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