Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Mirador del Alto de Hondonero, Malaga Province, Spain.

After a long break I am out butterfly hunting with Friends Karen and Robert for a few days.

Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
It was great to catch up with Karen and Robert again after a long break due to Covid and other bits, I drove down to meet them at Almuñécar before we drove up to Mirador del Alto de Hondonero, near Rosario where we were going to be looking for a butterfly that I know Robert had been wanting to see for a very long time.
Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
We arrived and made our way down onto the meadows where we quickly found the first of several Knapweed Fritillaries (Melitaea phoebe) x6, an unmarked Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops) x2, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x9, Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x1, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) x9, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) x25+ and around the pool our first of at least 4 Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We alked along the track below the meadow where we saw another Spanish Fritillary and a second Fritillary which I can only put down as a female Aetherie Fritillary (Melitaea aetherie) which would be a new species for me if confirmed.
Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops).
Birds seen here included Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Western Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) and Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).
Aetherie Fritillary (Melitaea aetherie).????????

Wild flowers and Orchids included
Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Starry Clover (Trifolium stellatum), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Shepherds Needles (Scandix pecten-veneris), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), Lizard (Himanthoglosum hircinum), Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Small Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora) and Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
We dropped down to the Bird Observatory area and checked the tracks and pool around there finding Panoptes (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x8 and Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri) x4, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) x1, Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) x3, Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous) x2, Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) x2, Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) x1, Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) x3, Black-veined (Aporia crataegi) x11, Small (Pieris rapae) x3, Bath (Pontia daplidice) and Large Whites (Pieris brassicae) x1. 
Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
We also saw Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri),
Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca), Spanish Iris (Iris xiphium), Peruvian Squill (Scilla peruviana) and Lange's Orchid (Androrchis langei).  
We finished off and headed back down to the coast where I dropped Robery and Karen off at their hotel before checking in at mine, later I joined them at their hotel where we had very nice meal.

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