Saturday 6 March 2021

Cerro Hacho, Granada Province, Spain.

An afternoon root around on the hill.
Second Lock down Day 50, released to Provincial area.
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana).

During the afternoon I went for a walk up on Cerro Hacho and parked near the bins at the bottom of the hill and spent about 3 hours wandering around the slopes between there and the top car parking area.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
On the Southern side I had the first of several Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), lots of Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus) which were just starting to flower in the hundreds, Andalucian Gorse (Ulex baeticus), Common Daisy (Bellis perennis), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis) and Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca).
Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus).
I crossed the track and walked around in the Pine woods, there were lots of flowering Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum Robertiana), good numbers of Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri), a few Southern Early Purple (Orchis olbienis) and Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / foresteri).
I reached the Pylon on the left of the track and continued to find lots more Orchids and a few birds including Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis).
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis).
In the upper pine woods there were many 100s more Giant Orchids as well as plants of
Ranunculs spicatus ssp blepharicarpos which were just starting to come into flower, Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) and Southern Daisy (Bellis sylvestris).
Ranunculs spicatus ssp blepharicarpos.

Ranunculs spicatus ssp blepharicarpos.
I continued on up to the top car park and found
Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), a single Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
I dropped back down the main track finding just a single spike of
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina) before I had a look along the lower track out to the quarry. 
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana).
Along here I found a few surviving spikes of
Broad-leaved Iris (Iris planifolia), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
Southern Daisy (Bellis sylvestris).

Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / foresteri).


Friday 5 March 2021

Huètor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A walk down on the fields along the Arroyo.
Second Lock down Day 49, released to Provincial area.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
I parked up in the usual place by the Arroyo and followed it's Northern bank all the way down to the Railway bridge, the Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) numbers were well down but there were still at least 8 birds in the deep Lucerne and there were probably a few more sat down low.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
I continued on seeing a pair of
Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) in a couple of Walnut trees, the female sat for a short while which allowed me to get a few shots before the pair flew off towards the Poplar plantation.
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
On the far side of the Arroyo I found the regular roosting Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which looked quite nice amongst the Almond blossom and I also had a female Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) which was sat in a fig tree.
Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).

Further on there were good numbers of Hirundines and in reverse to the last 90% of them were
Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) with the odd Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) mixed in and a scattering of House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Between the road and railway bridges I found the usual suspects including Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Spanish (Yellow) Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) and Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis).
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
I turned around and walked back to the car and added both
Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), the latter being quite uncommon on the local patch.

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain,

Moth Count.
As it was quite a bit cooler last night, don to just +4 the count was much reduced and I only found 12 Moths of 5 species.
6184 Eudonia angustea x1, 6496 Evergestis isatidalis x1, 9056 Autographa gamma (Silver Y) x1, 10226 Cerastis faceta x1 and 10343 Shuttle Shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) x8.

Thursday 4 March 2021

Alhendin, El Purche, Cubillas and another spot, Grnada Province, Spain.

All points around Granada. 
Second Lock down Day 48, released to Provincial area.
Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) with nest material.
I started out from the house just after 07:00 and headed towards Alhendin area where I had been with friends, on the way I had Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) on a small irrigation pool, Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) with nest material.
I reached the spot near Alhendin where  checked all the pylon's but I could not find any sign of the
Long-legged Buzzard (Busardo Moro / Buteo rufinus) which had been around a week or so earlier but as with the visit a few days ago it was not there.

Common Daisy (Bellis perennis).

I did however see Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
I dropped back around to a nearby Cortijo where I had nice views of a couple of Iberian Green Woodpeckers (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and there were loads of Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) on their way to the nearby rubbish dump.
Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus).
I went into the center and did some shopping a DIY shop before starting to head up to El Purche where I was gong to meet up with Friend Juan Perez, on the way I cut off and had a look at the Rio Genil where I soon found a very nice Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) which was nest building.
Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) male.
In the same area I also had Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
I continued up the hill but as I was still early I stopped and had a coffee before checking the pine woods on the way to the meeting point finding
Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and just a short way down the road I made another stop amongst the Hawthorn where I found Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), a calling Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and a calling Iberian Green Woodpecker.
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / foresteri).
I then went up to the meeting point and met Juan, we then drove up to a spot nearby and checked the fields, crags and Hawthorn trees, during our walk we found
Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), 50+ Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Corn Bunting, Red-legged Partridge, House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), a male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), several Ring Ouzels and as we started to walk along the lower fence line back towards the car we had the first of 5 Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana).
We took a walk out on to the fields looking for flocks of finches and buntings, we did not find any but we did have
Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Linnet, Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and a Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) which would not let me get a shot.
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
We got back to the car and after hearing that Juan had seen a
Garganey (Cerceta Carretona / Anas querquedula) at Cubillas a couple of days earlier so I decided to go and have a look.
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana).
I parked by the hide and scanned the Embalse, I didn't see Garganey but did find lots of
Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), 3x male Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and a Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) which flew in and tried to land but failed so pushed on down the res.
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
I went to another site on my way back home where I was looking for Orchids and as I walked around searching I found lots of
Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri), good numbers of Giant (Himantoglossum Robertiana), Ophrys dyris, a few Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera) and a very smart Hybrid between Somber Bee and Sayfly Orchids called Ophrys x Santi-leonardii.
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / foresteri).
As I wandered I also had
Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and a couple of butterflies, Large (Pieris brassicae) and Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
Ophrys dyris.

Ophrys dyris.

Large White (Pieris brassicae).

Ophrys x Santi-leonardii.
Ophrys x Santi-leonardii.


Wednesday 3 March 2021

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A Butterfly walk through the Olives.
Second Lock down Day 47, released to Provincial area.
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).

Once it warmed up I went for a walk out into the Olives, once I crossed the Barranco I again started to find nice species but I was even happier to meet the farther and son who farm these Olive groves, I had a talk with them and found out that they do deliberately farm ecologically and let the wildflowers grow with out spraying everything. 
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
He said they do things as eco as possible but they do have to spray the trees but at least quite a lot of wildlife still thrives on their land and when I showed them the Fan-lipped Orchids (Anacamptis collina) they seemed genuinely pleased to have them.
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
In the area just over the Barranco I found Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus) x3, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) and plenty of Clouded Yellows (Colias corcea).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).

Plants included Cynoglossum cheirifolium, Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis), White Mignonette (Reseda Alba), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule) and Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum).
Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca).
Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis).
I continued on along the track to the farm, on the way I had the first of several
Western Dappled Whites (Euchloe crameri), a single Green-Striped (Euchloe belemia), several Small (Pieris rapae) and some Large Whites (Pieris brassicae) which seemed to be happy nectaring on the Field Marigolds.
Large White (Pieris brassicae).
Large White (Pieris brassicae).
As I walked through the far side of the Olives I had flight views of a
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) and overhead House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) were feeding.
Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus).
Small White (Pieris rapae).
As I walked back to house I had my first male Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) of the year but it didn't hang around for me to get a photograph.
Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
Hoverfly a Parageron sp.
Wasp Species.
I did however get a couple of Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) as well as a Hoverfly and Wasp species which still need a name.
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
In a damp part of the Barranco I had a White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and in the surrounding brambles Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).