Friday 20 May 2022

El Tocal, Antequera Butterfly Site and Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province, Spain.

A walk around the rocks at the Torcal and some birding at Fuente.

Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
We left Almuñécar and headed along the coast and then inland to the visitors Center at El Torcal, on the way in we had several large male Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica) lazing on the rocks, we parked and after Loo visits we went on a walk around the shorter of the walks.
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
On the first section we picked up Small (Pieris rapae) x4 and Large White (Pieris brassicae) x2, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x3, False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus) x1 and Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii) x3.
Ophrys ficalhoana.
Karen found the first of several spikes of
Ophrys ficalhoana and as we continued on we added Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Lizard (Himanthoglosum hircinum) and Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta), Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), Linaria verticillata subsp. anticaria, Spanish Bluebell (Scilla hispanica), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
Birds were
Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
We reached the halfway point and came across a large group of 30+ Spanish Ibex which were moving slowly across the area and then up the rocky slopes but contiued to feed and just move slowly passed us.
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
We took the track back towards the visitors center, on the way we saw Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x8 and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) x11+.
Linaria verticillata subsp. anticaria.
We reached the car again and drove to another spot in the same range of hills but a bit more to the West where we parked and walked along a track looking for butterflies but again as with most spots it was quiet, however we did add Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) x3, Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) x4, Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) x2, Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) x15, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x8 and most surprising was a single Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
We also saw Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) as well as Black Horehound (Ballota nigra), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Cleonia lusitanica, Sedum mucizonia, Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca) and Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum).
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Our last stop of the day was at Fuente de Piedra, on the way in we checked to see if the Barn Owl (Lechuza Común / Tyto alba) was in the usual roost spot and it was, along with several Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Cleonia lusitanica.
On the lake on the way in we added Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Small Skipper x3, Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) x6 and out on the board walk Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x5, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x3 and
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) x9.
It was getting hot so we returned to the car and then went for something to eat before heading back down to the coast where later we had another good meal in the hotel, as I walked the I saw Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).

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