Saturday, 19 June 2021

Fuente de lower station and high up again, Puerto de San Gloria, Cantabria, Spain.

A more successful day up high and some butterflies later lower.
 
Middle-spotted Woodpecker (Pico Mediano / Dendrocopos medius).
I left the Hostal earlier as the Cable car runs at 09.00 at the weekend and I wanted to make sure I was on the first one up, this turned out to be a good plan as one of the species I had really wanted to see was the Middle-spotted Woodpecker (Pico Mediano / Dendrocopos medius) and as I waited in the car park one flew in and sat on one of the pines but gave me a bit of a run around before letting me get a couple of shots. 
Middle-spotted Woodpecker (Pico Mediano / Dendrocopos medius).
In the same area I also had
Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
Not far from the top station.
I got my ticket and was on the first car up and straight out onto the track in what was a tad better bit of weather, almost immediately I had singing
Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and then a low flying adult Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) which was mixed in with a group of Griffons (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta).
Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus).
I notice many of the wild flowers I had seen yesterday but just kept on walking as I wanted to get to the
Wallcreeper (Treparriscos / Tichodroma muraria) and just after arriving I had a 15 second view of the back end of one in flight.
The scree areas near the Wallcreeper site.
and in the opposite direction.
Whilst I was sat on the rocks waiting I added an Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris) and several Alpine Choughs (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus) which were being fed by a group of Spanish photographers who had turned up.
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).

Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).

Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).

Unfortunately this group were making one hell of a lot of noise so not a great deal else was seen until they moved on after a couple of hours and I managed a couple more flight views of the Wallcreeper. Whilst I was sat there I also picked up a couple of flyover
Snowfinches (Gorrión Alpino / Montifringilla nivalis), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), several Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and a couple of Chamois (Rebeco / Rupicapra rupicapra) right up to on one of the distant ridges.
Erysimum duriaei.

Alpine Toadflax (Linaria alpina ssp. filicaulis).

Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria).

Iberian Greenweed (Genista legionensis).

After a while I started to make my way back to the upper station, on the way I looked more closely at some of the wild flowers seeing Pyrenean Trumpet Gentian (Gentiana occidentalis), Purple Gromwell (Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum), Fairy Foxglove (Erinus alpinus), Rock Jasmine (Androsace villosa), Iberian Greenweed (Genista legionensis), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Matted Globularia (Globularia repens), Erysimum duriaei, Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima ssp. alpina) and Pink Sandwort (Arenaria purpurascens).
Pyrenean Trumpet Gentian (Gentiana occidentalis).

Saxifraga granulata.
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Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula).
I reached the Station and went down again and drove back towards Potes but made a stop on the roadside where I checked the plants on an old bridge where I found some very nice spike of
Ivy Broomrape (Orobanche hederae) and along the track on the far bank I found Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Gentianella tenella.
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
Once I reached Potes I took the road out to Puerto de San Gloria but stopped a couple of Kms short of the pass and checked out a grassy meadow amongst Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) scrub and almost straight away I flushed a pair of Bullfinches (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula) and spent quite a long while watching a cracking male Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio) and in the grassland several spikes of Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) and a single spike of the tiny Gentianella tenella.
Chapman's Ringlet (Erebia palarica).  
Chapman's Ringlet (Erebia palarica).
Chapman's Ringlet (Erebia palarica).
Chapman's Ringlet (Erebia palarica).
I was photographong the plants and I noticed a large brown butterfly whizzing round but then it landed several times giving me the chance to get some shots and from these I Identified it as a Chapman's Ringlet (Erebia palarica). 
Phyteuma orbiculare.
Broomrape Species.
7804 Ematurga atomaria.
All over the hill side there was masses of Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) as well as Musk Mallow (Malva moschata), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and  Comma (Polygonum c-album).
Horned Pansy (Viola cornuta).

Cottongrass Species (Eriophorum).

Burnt Orchid (Neotinea Ustulata).
I continued on up to the pass and parked before going for a walk along a road opposite through the scrub where I heard and saw several Dunnocks (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and another Chapman's Ringlet (Erebia palarica).
Early Marsh Orchid ( Dactylorhiza incarnata).
Early Marsh Orchid ( Dactylorhiza incarnata).
I dropped back down the hill slightly to a damp area I had seen on my way up which turned out to be a cracking spot where I found lots of spikes of the Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) which José Alberto Fernández Ugarte from BIRDINGLEON confirmed for me, Thanks. 
Purple-edged Coppers (Lycaena hippothoe) Male.
Purple-edged Coppers (Lycaena hippothoe) Female.
Purple-edged Coppers (Lycaena hippothoe) Female.
In the same area I found several species of butterfly including good numbers of Purple-edged Coppers (Lycaena hippothoe), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia) and Common (Polyommatus icarus) but not sure how far north the Southern Blue is found.
Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia).

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus).
In the same area I also found Burnt Orchid (Neotinea Ustulata), Horned Pansy (Viola cornuta), Hare's-tail Cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum) and Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) before the rain arrived and I dropped back to the Hostal.

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