Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

Back up on my favourite Mountain with some good friends makes for a good day.
Pam and John, Day Two.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) male.
We headed out and made our way up and over to the far side of the hill where we were looking for the very cooperative pair of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) but they were a little more wary today, however we did get some nice views from a distance as it was obvious that they were feeding young birds.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) male.

Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).

Whilst standing on the track we also recorded Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) female.
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We drove down to the next area where we checked the Hawthorn trees finding a singing
Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Jackdaw
Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).
(Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
We turned around and drove back passed the Thrush again which was sat on a rock as we came up over the rise before dropping further along the track to look for butterflies, we walked around the rocks on the slope where we had brief views of a female Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) but it flew off before I managed to get any shots but at least John got on to it as it was a new species for him, not the best views but OK.
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
In the same area we also had Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a couple of passing Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) male.
Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) male.
On the way down we stopped at the dell to see what butterflies were around and we found Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and we also picked up one of the birds we had missed earlier when a nice male Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) sat up in one of the Hawthorn trees and sang for a while.
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).
We dropped down off the hill and went for something to eat in Venta del Raya before going just up the road to a spot where we had just a single male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), several hundred more Southern Marbled Skippers at a damp patch in the track along with a single Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus).
On the way back to the house we popped back onto the Sierra and went to check the track up to the middle quarry where we added Large White (Pieris brassicae), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) as well Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus).
Chimney Sweeper (Odezia atrata).
Later we went and had a nice meal in Loja at bar El Cerro and as we were tsat there we had a flyover Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax).

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