Wednesday 21 April 2021

Sierra Huétor, Granada Province, Spain.

Orchid hunting for the Lady with the Ladies.
Lady Orchids (Orchis purpurea).
I drove out to a spot North of Granada near the Sierra de Huétor where I was going to meet up with Anita, Kiersten, Laura and Ann a little later but I arrived early to check things out before they arrived and I was pleased with what I found.
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).

Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
In an area of Oak scrub land I returned to the spot where I had seen several spikes of the stunning Lady Orchids (Orchis purpurea) and today they were in even better state than the week before but the weather was not much better and the light did not make for great shots.
Ophrys dyris.
Ophrys dyris.
Anita arrived and was followed shortly afterwards by the other three ladies and soon after that we were all enjoying these stunning plants and taking loads of photographs before we spent another hour or so checking some more of the area. By the time we finished we had found between 35 and 40 flowering spikes of the Lady and at least another 50 or so leaf rosettes for future years.
Linaria aeruginea.
Narrow-leaved rock-rose (Cistus monspeliensis).
As we searched the area we added Linaria aeruginea, Narrow-leaved rock-rose (Cistus monspeliensis), Shrubby Gromwell (Lithodora fruticosa), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), Hippocrepis bourgaei, Paeonia broteri as well as a few more orchids including Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea), Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Southern Early Purple (Orchis olbienis) and some not yet in flower Lizard Orchid (Himanthoglosum hircinum). 
Paeonia broteri.
We also saw and heard several bird species which included Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).
Plantain-leaved Leopard's-bane (Doronicum plantagineum).
Yellow Pheasants eye (Adonis vernalis).
We moved on to our next spot in another part of the Sierra Huétor where we walked through an area of mixed woodland found lots of Yellow Pheasants eye (Adonis vernalis), a new plant for me Plantain-leaved Leopard's-bane (Doronicum plantagineum), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Lesser Celendine (Ranunculus ficaria), Polygala boissieri, Narcissus triandrus subsp. pallidulus and lots of signs of Wild Boar (Jabalí / Felis silvestris).
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).
Flatpod (Adenocarpus decorticans).
Snowy Mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis).
All the time we were there we could hear Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea) making several of its many calls, as well as a singing Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla).
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
We again moved on towards our last spot of the day but made a couple of roadside stops where we found Saxifraga carpetana, Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), Laurel-leaved Cistus (Cistus laurifolius), Flatpod (Adenocarpus decorticans), Snowy Mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis) and the leaves of the Paeonia coriacea.
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis).
Dense-flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata).
We stopped again down the road for our lunch and the continued on to our last stop near the A92 where we searched the Pine Woodlands for more Orchids and Flowers, we found Ornithogalum algeriense, more Yellow Pheasants eye, Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Spring Cress (Arabis verna),  Aristolochia paucinervis, Geum sylvaticum, Valeriana tuberosa, as well as Dense-flowered (Neotinea maculata), Barton's (Dactylorhias insularis), Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera) and the rosettes of a few Orchis cazorlensis. We also found a hatch of moth caterpillars which Anita said are a species of Malacosoma.
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhias insularis).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhias insularis).
We were also very lucky when a very nice Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) sat for us and we all managed to get some very nice photographs before we walked back to the cars and the headed off home.
Malacosoma species ????

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