Saturday 3 April 2021

Granada Province, Spain.

Out looking for a glamorous Lady.
Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
I left the house after spending the morning paint and headed to a spot I was shown a few years ago for the very smart Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea), a truly stunning plant when it is in flower.
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
I drove across the fields where I picked up Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys).
I arrived at the spot and almost straight away I found a single spike of the Lady Orchid which was partly in flower and looked very nice, so I took a few photographs as I was not sure if I would find any more.
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea)
I continued walking around the edge of the area and after a while found several more spikes, two of which were absolutely perfect, so again the camera was in action quickly.
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
In the same area I also saw had another new plant for me called Small-fruit Pheasant's-eye (Adonis microcarpa) which was locally quite common, along with Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus) and Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys).
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).
I headed back home the same way as I had come except for a visit to the supermarket in Huétor, as I arrived back home I had quite a large flock of around 30 European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) fly over as I unloaded the shopping. 
Small-fruit Pheasant's-eye (Adonis microcarpa).

Friday 2 April 2021

West Of Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

A couple of hours in the Campo looking for Orchids.
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) male.
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) male.
I drove through Loja and went to a spot where I had the privilege to watch 19 or so Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) displaying and heading out to hunt. Unfortunately the area has changed since my last visit and the area which is suitable for the birds to breed has been much reduces and is now about a third of what there was in previous years.
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) male.
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) female.
I am not sure what the concentration the birds con breed in but suspect that some of these beautiful birds will have to move on unfortunately. During the couple of hours watching these stunning birds I also recorded
Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Iberian  (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
I moved on and parked in the woods further along the valley and then had a walk finding a few species of Orchid in the grassland amongst the Oak trees, the commonest were Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica) as well as Southern Early Purple (Orchis olbienis), Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia), Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina) and smaller numbers of mostly over with Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum Robertiana).
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
In the same area I watched a newly arrived
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) calling and singing from a dead branch in one of the Oaks.
Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica).
As I walked through a large area of grassland I could hear a couple of singing
Woodlarks (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and back up in the Oaks there were several Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) shrieking and squawking loudly, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and a singing male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea).

Butterflies were few due to the strongish cool wind but I did see a few Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Small White (Pieris rapae), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).

Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).

Again I continued on down the valley, just before Zafarraya I turned out onto the fields where I checked several of the more naturalized Irrigation pools finding Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Zitting Cisticola, White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia).
I eventually reached Zafarraya and then took the road back North stopping at an area of abandoned Almond groves on the way finding lots more over with Giant and Fan-lipped Orchids as well as some very smart
Pink Butterfly (Orchis papilionacea) and a few spikes of Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta) which were not quite in flower.
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana).
Wild flowers included
Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Neapolitan Garlic (Allium neapolitanum), Shepherds Needles (Scandix pecten-veneris), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata) and White Mignonette (Reseda Alba).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Birds included Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), a female Cirl Bunting and Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Also seen were Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) and a Iberian Brown Hare (Liebre ibérica / Lepus granatensis) which broke cover from right under my feet scaring the hell out of me.
Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) female.

From here I drove home, on the way I saw several roadside spikes of
Italian Man Orchid (Orchis Italica) and could not resist having another hour watching the Montagu's Harriers.

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Count.
4598 Aphelia peramplana.
4598 Aphelia peramplana.
+14 over night, I checked the trap which was again on the lower terrace and the counts were up again. 77 Moths of 21 species.
7926 Semiaspilates ochrearia (Yellow Belle).
7926 Semiaspilates ochrearia (Yellow Belle).

4298 Aethes moribundana x1, 4598 Aphelia peramplana x1, 6496 Evergestis isatidalis x1, 6719 Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer) x1, 6860 Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth) x5, 7581 Neognopharia stevenaria x1, 7725 Menophora japygiaria (Brassy Waved Umber) x2, 7926 Semiaspilates ochrearia (Yellow Belle) x3, 8059 Scopula marginepunctata (Mullein Wave) x1, 8328 Nebula ibericata x2, 9056 Autographa gamma (Silver Y) x3, 9100 Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder) x1, 9367 Heliothis peltigera (Bordered Straw) x10, 9433 Caradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow) x5, 9435 Caradrina noctivaga x2, 10022 Mythimna l-album (L-Album Wainscot) x1, 10029 Mythimna sicula x2, 10096 Noctua pronuba (Large Yellow Underwing) x1, 10343 Shuttle Shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) x31 and 10351 Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth) x2 and a Cnephasia species but not identifiable.
4298 Aethes moribundana.

6860 Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth).

9100 Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder).

10022 Mythimna l-album (L-Album Wainscot).
10096 Noctua pronuba (Large Yellow Underwing).
10351 Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth).
Cnephasia species.
6496 Evergestis isatidalis.

Monopis nigricantella.


Wednesday 31 March 2021

Cerro Hacho, Granada Province, Spain

A walk around Hacho with Anita from Granada.
Ophrys dyris.
I drove up to the parking area at the bottom of Hacho where I met Anita and her husband Walter who was getting his bike ready for a long peddle back to Granada whilst Anita and I checked out some Orchids which we both wanted to see.
Star Hawkbit (Rhagadiolus stellatus).
We started to take one of the tracks up to the top that I had not taken before, we started the list with Ranunculs spicatus ssp blepharicarpos, Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea), Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Southern Early Purple (Orchis olbienis) and Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana), Star Hawkbit (Rhagadiolus stellatus) and just in to the Pine woods Anita showed me the spike of Ophrys dyris which she and her husband had found a few days earlier and was a new species for me at this site.
Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia).
Astragalus Species.
After we took some shots we dropped back down to the main track, on the way we saw Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Astragalus species and Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium).
Hare's-foot Plantain (Plantago lagopus).
We crossed the track and spent quite a while checking out the far South facing slope where we picked up Hare's-foot Plantain (Plantago lagopus), Linaria amethystea, Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Brown Bluebell (Dipcadi serotinum), Linaria tristris, Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum) and the remains of Bellis microcephala.
Paronychia capitata.
We also had a few
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) butterflies as well as Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), an unidentified Grasshopper species and as we dropped back down to the track Red Vetchling (Lathyrus cicera), Eruca sativa, Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Grey-leaved Cistis (Cistis albidus), Cloven Petalled Campion (Silene colorata), Southern Daisy (Bellis sylvestris) and Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis). 
Linaria tristris.

Serrate Spurge (Euphorbia serrata).

We walked along the main track up as far as the Zig-zag trail up to the summit area adding Serrate Spurge (Euphorbia serrata), Shepherds Needles (Scandix pecten-veneris), White Mignonette (Reseda Alba), Cynoglossum cheirifolium, Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri), Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina) and Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).

Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).

Birds included several
Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).

Along the Zig-zag we recorded
Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Spring Cress (Arabis verna), Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri) and the two target species we were after along here Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria  lusitanica) and Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora).
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).

4298 Aethes moribundana.

Other species included Andalucian Gorse (Ulex baeticus), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Daisy-leaved Toadflax (Anarrhinum bellidifolium), Yellow Anemone (Anemone palmata), Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum), 4298 Aethes moribundana, Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus) and Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes).
Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria  lusitanica).
Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria  lusitanica).
As we walked back down to the car we had a pair of
Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora).

Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora).

Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora).