Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province, Spain.

Up the Hill a bit higher than usual looking for butterflies.
 
Looking down from the Butterfly Site.
I met Anita just outside the city and we headed up to the Ski center, not a place I like as generally it is untidy and the slopes are not much better as the damage done by the resort on the mountain and it wildlife is massive. There are also proposals to make the area larger, less snow for a shorter period every year and they want to destroy more of the National Park, Crazy.
Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus) Female.

Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus) Female.

Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus) Female.


Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus) male.

Anita parked in the underground car park and we walked up to the shops above, we got out tickets for the Cable car and then had a coffee and tostarda before we caught the first gondola up to the first stop at the upper ski station.
Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) immature.

Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) immature.

Once we were out on the slopes we walked out towards the Observatorio del Pico Veleta / Estación, along the way we saw several Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) including adult and immature birds and had a single passing Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
On our way up the first slope we saw the first of many Nevada Blues (Pleicula golgus), several Spanish Brassy Ringlets (Erebia hispania), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) which seemed to be quite common and fresh.
Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis).
Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis).
Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis).
Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis).
Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus).

We turned off the road and walked into an area of open rocky slopes where we soon found the first of around 50 or so Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis) and a good number of their food plant Erodium cheilanthifolium
Erodium cheilanthifolium,
We walked up the slopes seeing more Spanish Argus as well as Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae).
Anita photographing the Spanish Argus butterflies.
Up around the Observatoriowe continued our search for the main target but we didn't find any sign of the Zullich's Blue (Agriades zullichi) so it will be one for next year. 
Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron).
Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia).
Spanish Brassy Ringlet (Erebia hispania).
Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis).
We started to drop back down to the cable car, on the way we had a couple of Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica), a family party of Alpine Accentors (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris), plenty of Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a couple of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) a male and an immature which sat up for a few seconds.
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).

We dropped down on the Cable Car and then went down the hill to the area of grassland next to the Botanical gardens, we spent a while checking the thistles and vegetation finding
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Bright Wave (Idaea ochrata) and Idaea sericeata.
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
We continued on down the hill and had a drink on the way back down to the meeting point.

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