Monday 17 May 2021

Fuente de Piedra, Mollina and the western end of El Torcal, Malaga Province, Spain.

Triple dip Day.
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
I drove over to Fuente de Piedra trying to see Lesser Flamingo (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor) but knowing that it was dry I was not hopeful but I must admit I was surprised to see how dry it was in mid May.
Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena).
Ronda Cranesbill (Geranium malviflorum).
Convolvulus meonanthus.
I have since seen information since that as in many areas the main problem is again Olive farmers using the water to irrigate the huge numbers of trees.
Cleonia lusitanica.

Anyway on the drive in there was a small puddle left on the left where I saw Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula).
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
I parked and walked up to the Mirador where I checked the tiny area of water in the main lake finding 30 or so Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), a single White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) also in the scrub around the mirador I saw and heard Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
I moved on around to the first hide looking over the fresh water pool, here I found good numbers of Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), a fly through Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
I walked to the second hide but I only managed to add Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and a singing Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus).
Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii).
I walked back to the Mirador hearing a singing Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) before I dropped down on to the lower path and walked back around to the car finding Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
I reached the car and went to my second dip of the day not far from the town of Mollina, I was looking for the
Rufous Bush Robins (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) which regularly summer in the area but for the first time I did not hear or see any of the pairs in the area. I did see Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Collared (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major).
Weevil Species.
I again moved on, this time to an area at the Western end of the El Torcal ridge where I spent a very nice couple of hours chasing butterflies but again missed the main target
False Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes abencerragus) as I think I was a week or so late. However I did find Black-veined (Aporia crataegi), Bath (Pontia daplidice), Spanish Marbled (Melanargia ines) and Small White (Pieris rapae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Lorquin's (Cupido lorquinii), Adonis (Lysandra bellargus) and Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) and Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua).
Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum).

Wild flowers included Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), False Saw-wort (Crupina vulgaris), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), Ronda Cranesbill (Geranium malviflorum), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Ornithogalum narbonense, Red (Phlomis purpurea) and Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca).
8045 Scopula ornata (Lace border).

Other species seen included 6843 Macroglossum stellatarum (Humming-bird Hawk-moth), 8045 Scopula ornata (Lace border), Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and on the drive back home Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).

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