Friday 9 April 2021

Charca Suarez, Granada Province, Spain.

Mothing down on the coast at Charca Suarez.
7533 Stegania trimaculata (Dorset Cream Wave).

After spending a couple of hours birding I met up with Miguel Olvera at the back gate of the nature reserve where Pepe let us in and we went down to the visitor center.
8907 Grammodes bifasciata.
We set up 5 traps and then checked them several times during the evening and over night until we packed them up between 06.00 and 08.30 checking and photographing the species before releasing them all.
10035 Mythimna unipuncta (White Speck).
There were a great many species, most of which I didn't know and need to sort but there were a few I did thankfully.
10087 Ochropleura leucogaster (Radford's Flame Shoulder).
Over night the noise from the Perez's (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) was incredible and did not allow much chance of any sleep.
During the visit we also saw several Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) and a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) which also came into the one trap.
10550 Phragmatobia fuliginosa (Ruby Tiger).
The few moths I could identify included 6860 Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth), 7533 Stegania trimaculata (Dorset Cream Wave), 8907 Grammodes bifasciata, 9461 Spodoptera cilium (Dark Mottled Willow), 10035 Mythimna unipuncta (White Speck), 10087 Ochropleura leucogaster (Radford's Flame Shoulder) and 10550 Phragmatobia fuliginosa (Ruby Tiger).

Charca Suarez area, Granada Province, Spain.

Year Ticks on the coast
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
I drove down to the area the area around the back of the Charca reserve where I drove along the road known as Turtle Dove Alley where I parked and walked at several different points finding House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) along with two year ticks.
Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) male.
The first was a very nice but high flying Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola) which was followed by a nice male Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus).
I also had a nice fresh Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) which flew around making  it difficult to get a photo.
Later I met up with Miguel Olvera and we went onto the main reserve to set up several Moth traps, during this time I added a nice male Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia). 
The account of the nights mothing will be on a separate post.

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Count.
10003 Mythimna vitellina (The Delicate).
Not really a count today as I had to be on the move early so just a small selection in the Photo's which included 
9435 Caradrina noctivaga.
6619 Uresiphita gilvata.
6700 Dolicharthria punctalis.
7926 Semiaspilates ochrearia (Yellow Belle).
4855 Epinotia thapsiana.

9206 Cucullia calendulae.

6719 Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer).

Isophrictis species.

Thursday 8 April 2021

Cacín Valley, El Temple and The Coast, Granada Province, Spain.

Back on the fields and then bad news and some good on the Coast.

Prickly Poppy (Papaver argenone).
I was going down to the Motril area to meet up with Juan Perez to check how the only breeding population in Granada of Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) are doing.
I started out from the house and made my way down the Cacín Valley making my first stop at some cliffs near Moraleda where I started the list with Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).

Further down the Valley I stopped in the Pine woods seeing and hearing
Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and a noisy Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) which few off down the river making a right racket.
Just a further down the valley I stopped by the bridge over the Cacín and had a short walk picking up Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and a smart male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
I moved just up the road and parked in the usual place and walked out to the normal view point looking out over the lake seeing
Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) out on the water.
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).

Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).

Around the margins and in the air I added Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Iberian Green (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and a pair of Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
I took the road heading back towards Granada, during this drive I added
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
My next stop was out on the El Temple area where I drove the tracks finding Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), several noisy Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which was calling from a track side Pine Tree, Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and my first Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) of the year, a calling Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), a hunting Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) which was sat in a dead Almond and best of all a stunning Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).
The first of the lost nests.

The second of the destroyed Nest.
I drove down the Motorway to the coast, on the way I had views of
Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and a pale morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) mating.
I parked was joined by Juan a short while later, over the next few hours we walked the beach checking on the Kentish Plover population on the way. There was some good news as we found two new Nest site and watched another two males preparing scrapes for two more nests. However we were dismayed to find a second nest had been destroyed by being trampled on, this followed a nest being stood on a week earlier. 
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) from the car.
The adult bird count was higher than we had expected with 29 birds being counted along with
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus) x1, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) x1, Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) x14, Black-winged Stilt x1, Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) x14, Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) x20 and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) x50, Mallard x2 and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Another flyby.
Out to sea which was quite rough we had Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis) x1 and Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) x2 and Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
Cyperus capitatus.
We stopped and had a drink and Tapas at a bar on the front which still allowed us good views of the sea and typically when Juan popped inside I had two
Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo) fly passed heading East.
During the walk we saw quite a few wild flowers including Silene littorea, Sea Medick (Medicago marina), Linaria pedinculata, Ononis ramosissima, Sand Reichardia (Reichardia gaditana), Seaside Daisy (Asteriscus maritimus), European Searocket (Cakile maritima) and Cyperus capitatus.
Part of the Information board.
We reached the cars and we returned to the other end of the beach checking the birds again but not before he showed me a sign put up just full of bad information about the Gull species that are possible to see  from the beach, I wish it was Correct as there is a Spanish Lifer and two more that would be new for my Granada List.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Count.
6860 Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth).
6860 Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth).
The temperature stayed up at +12 so there were a few species in the trap including a few new for the year including 3890 Platyedra subcinerea x1, 5742 Etiella zinckenella x1, 5864 Acrobasis obliqua x1, 7504 Watsonalla uncinula (Spiny Hook-tip), 9242 Calophasia almoravida and 9370 Helicoverpa armigera (Scarce Bordered Straw). Thanks to friend Anita for help with some Identifications
7564 Itame vincularia.
5742 Etiella zinckenella.
7504 Watsonalla uncinula (Spiny Hook-tip).
9370 Helicoverpa armigera (Scarce Borded Straw).
4298 Aethes moribundana x2, 6531 Udea ferrugalis (Rusty Dot Pearl) x2, 6719 Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer) x5, 6860 Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth) x1, 7564 Itame vincularia x1, 7725 Menophora japygiaria (Brassy Waved Umber) x1, 7926 Semiaspilates ochrearia (Yellow Belle) x1, 8328 Nebula ibericata x1, 9056 Autographa gamma (Silver Y) x3, 9367 Heliothis peltigera (Bordered Straw) x2, 9433 Caradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow) x5, 9435 Caradrina noctivaga x1, 10029 Mythimna sicula x5, 10343 Shuttle Shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) x9 and 10493 Hoary Footman (Eilema Caniola) x1. 
Coleophora species.

4298 Aethes moribundana.

0857 or 0858 Dissoctena species (D. granigerella or D. albidella).

3890 Platyedra subcinerea.
5864 Acrobasis obliqua.

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Bermejalis, and the West of Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

A day with three ladies from the hills.
Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo).
I was meeting Kierston, Laura and Ann down at the Emalse de Bermejalis where we were looking for some of the Orchids there but I set off early and drove down the Cacín Valley on the way there starting at the cliffs near Moraleda.
Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax).
I parked and scanned the crags and very quickly found a very nice Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo) sat in one of the many holes as were quite a few Rock Doves (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina).
In the surrounding area I also had Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
I dropped down the valley making a stop in amongst the roadside Pine woods where I could hear a good number of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) high up in the pines.
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
I checked out the other side of the roads where I could hear several
Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) down by the river and in the fields around me Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and back down by the river 2x Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and lots of passing European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina) var. flavescens.
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina) var. flavescens.
I continued on to the ridge over the Rio and checked the woods there seeing a very nice Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), hearing a singing Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and calling Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and more surprising a hooting Tawny (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco).
Italian Man Orchid (Orchis Italica).

Italian Man Orchid (Orchis Italica).
Italian Man Orchid (Orchis Italica).
Italian Man Orchid (Orchis Italica).
The next stop was up at the Embalse where I was pleased to see a tree full of 14x Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) and out on the water there were good numbers of birds including Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), 20+  Common (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and a pair of Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
Ophrys x chobautii.
Ophrys x chobautii.
There were also a few Waders including 8x Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), 6x Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and 2x Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).

In the same area I also recorded Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) x2.
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) over the pine woods.
I continued on towards the meeting point adding Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) before I arrived.
Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica).

Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica).
I had a short walk out on to the Dam finding Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) just before the Ladies arrived.
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
After parking and having a chat we all walked through the Pine woodland nearby and quickly started to find some very nice Orchids including lots of Italian Man (Orchis Italica) which was seen in good numbers at a couple of points, Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri) most of which were over with but we did find a couple in desent condition, Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) which were very common, a single spike of Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina) var. flavescens which I was surprised to find as all the normal Var plants were well over as were all the Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum Robertiana) and in pretty much the same area we had a single spike of the stunning hybrid between Yellow and Somber Bee Orchids called Ophrys x chobautii
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
Also seen during this walk were Common Asphodel (Asphodelus aestivus), Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and a nice female looking Marsh Harrier.
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
We returned to the car and then drove over to another spot for some different Orchids, on the way adding Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and quite a few Corn Poppies (Papaver rhoeas).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
We parked and then wandered around an area of abandoned Almond Terraces and we soon found a good number of Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica) spikes which were new for the ladies and near by there were spikes of Ophrys picta, Yellow Bee, Mirror, Giant and lots of Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea). 
Bumble-bee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
As we were going to leave the site we heard Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and over on the far side area we were checking out a nice group of Yellow Bee spikes when I was amazed to find around 25 spike of the very rare in Granada Bumble-bee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora) which as far as I know is possibly only the 4 spot in the Province.
European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
We went back to the cars and moved back up the valley towards Loja and made a roadside stop to watch some very nice Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) which were displaying over a cereal field. At the same spot and just up the road we had more European Bee.eaters,
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and both Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) before we said our goodbyes and head off after a brilliant day amongst the Orchids.
European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Thanks to Kierston, Laura and Ann for a great day and a good chat.