Saturday 28 May 2022

Moraleda Fields, El Temple and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province, Spain.

Out on the Steppe and down into the Valley.
Pam and John, Day Five.
Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
We headed out earlier today as we knew the heat would get a bit oppressive, on the way out on to the fields near Moraleda we heard and saw Greater Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and futher out into the main area of cereal fields a Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris),a pale morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and a youngster from on of the families of Rock Pile Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
We dropped down off the site and headed towards Chimeneas, on the way we stopped on the roadside where we saw another Little Owl, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
We continued on and took to the El Temple fields but even this early it was getting warm, we did see and hear Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and best of all a Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) which flew up from the edge of one of the cereal fields.
Our next stop was at the bar in Ventas de Huelma before we crossed the ridge over to Cacín and then drove norh to the Contra-embalse, on the way there we added Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and another Roller.
The water level at the Embalse was very low so there were a small number of waders including Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) as well as Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
We made our last stop of the day as it was quite hot now just down the road by the river, as we walked we checked the Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) nest which was right on the roadside and the male was sitting nicely, we also saw Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) before we returned to the house and saw a nice male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) on the garden pool.

Friday 27 May 2022

Mollina area and Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province, Spain.

Out looking for a year tick and a rare Dragon.
Pam and John, Day Four after a day around town yesterday.

Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus).

After a morning around Montefrio yesterday we were back to birding, we set off early to try and find the locally rare Rufous-tailed Sceub Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), we checked the usual area but didn't see any sign there but did see Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) before we moved to another area.
In this second spot we saw Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and eventually a flight view of the Robin.
We stood on the track and waited to see if the bird reappeared and after a few minutes it popped up on a fence but it was distant, it dropped down and popped up a couple more times before it flew towards us and passed us and into some scrub.
Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus).
We went back to the first spot where we had left Pam working on one of her paintings, picked her up and headed off to Fuente de Piedra, as we drove in we saw the Barn Owl (Lechuza Común / Tyto alba) in its usual spot along the Common Kestrels and Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) before we checked the roadside pool finding good numbers of Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Gull-billed (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) and Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
We walked through the car park and up to the Mirador where we scanned the lake picking up more Greater Flamingo's, Gull-billed Terns, Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Around on the back pool we scanned the freshwater lake finding Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Common (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis).
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).

We walked back around to Pam and then whilst she finished of the picture she was working on John and I dropped down onto the lower track and followed it around to the Boardwalk on the way we saw Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x3, Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) x1, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x1, Small (Pieris rapae) x2 and Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) x4.
From the Boardwalk we found a few Dark Spreadwings (Lestes macrostigma) x12 a local and rare species, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x9 and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x3.
It was starting to get hot so we drove to a nearby bar and had a drink and something to eat before heading back to the house, later we saw Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) and Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) from up on the terrace.

Thursday 26 May 2022

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Recording.

9368 Heliothis nubigera (Eastern Bordered Straw).
Actinic trap run again from the terrace, species included 5626 Pyralis lienigialis x1, 8145 Brachyglossina manicaria x2, 9056 Autographa gamma (Silver Y) x1, 9368 Heliothis nubigera (Eastern Bordered Straw) x1, 9454 Hoplodrina ambigua (Vine's Rustic) x2, 9460 Spodoptera exigua (Small Mottled Willow) x5,
9056 Autographa gamma (Silver Y).


9460 Spodoptera exigua (Small Mottled Willow).


8145 Brachyglossina manicaria.??????????????

9454 Hoplodrina ambigua (Vine's Rustic).

8246 Orthonama obstipata (The Gem).

Symmoca species.

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) x1.
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) x4, Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) x2, Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) x1, Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) x2, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x4, 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) x3, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) x8+, Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri) x2, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) x3 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 (Carcharodus baeticus) at a damp patch in the track along with a single Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) x1, Small White (Pieris rapae) x2 and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) x2.
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) x1, Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) x2, Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) x35+, Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x2, Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x4 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).

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Mirador del Alto de Hondonero and Arroyo Marin, Malaga Province, Spain.

Getting John a couple of Butterfly lifers.
Pam and John, Day One.

Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
I was really pleased to pick up good friend Pam and John from Malaga yesterday and to be taking them out looking for Butterflies today, we headed out to Mirador del Alto de Hondonero near Villaneuva del Rosario and once we reached the highest point we could drive to we got out and had a walk.
Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).

Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).

Pam stayed in the area around the car to do some drawing whilst John and I dropped down on to some nearby meadows where we were soon watching the first of the new species for John, there was a rather worn looking Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii) x9, however we soon found several more better looking insects.
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua).
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
As we searched the area we added Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) x5, Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) x8, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) x5, Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri) x4, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x17+, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x25+, Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii) x3, Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops) x2, Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) x15+ and Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x6.
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
As we walked around we also saw Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola).
We walked up to the car again and met up with Pam again before dropping lower down to the area near to the Bird Observatory, in the area around where we parked we found Small (Thymelicus sylvestris) x4 and Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola) x2, Bath White (Pontia daplidice) x6, Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus) x4 and along a track to a pool below the Observatory we added several Panoptes (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x11 and a single False Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes abencerragus), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) x2 and Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) x5.
Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops).
False Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes abencerragus).
Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
In the same area we also saw and heard Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), the Owlfly Libelloides baeticus, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major),  Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus).
Libelloides baeticus.
Longhorn Moth Species.
We again returned to the car and headed down into Rosario where we stopped and had a Coffee before heading to Arroyo Marin where we parked and had a walk, by the car we added
Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Small White (Pieris rapae) x3, Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius) x2 and Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia) x9.
Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius).

None flowering Epipactis helleborine subsp tremolsii.
Further along the lower track several Meadow Browns (Maniola jurtina) x3, Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and a none flowering spike of Epipactis helleborine subsp tremolsii.

Sunday 22 May 2022

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Recording.
68 moth of 27 species.

9128 Odice pergrata.
As usual I ran the Actinic trap up on the trace, species seen were 1655 Ethmia bipunctella x1, 4592 Cacoecimorpha pronubana (Carnation Tortrix) x1, 4855 Epinotia thapsiana x2, 5578 Lamoria anella x3, 5615 Synaphe loquinalis x1, 5624 Bostra obsoletalis x12, 6521 Hellula undalis (Old World Webworm) x1, 6597a Pyrausta neglectalis x1, 5742 Etiella zinckenella x1, 6702a Dolicharthria aetnaealis x1, 6719 Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer) x9, 6860 Hyles livornica (Striped Hawk-moth) x4, 7725 Menophora japygiaria (Brassy Waved Umber) x1, 7765 Peribatodes ilicaria (Lydd Beauty) x2, 7984 Chlorissa  etruscaria x1, 8088 Idaea litigiosaria x1, 8104 Idaea muricata (Purple-bordered Gold) x1, 8186 Idaea degeneraria (Portland Ribbon Wave) x1, 8599 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata (Double-striped Pug) x2, 9100 Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder) x1, 9128 Odice pergrata x1, 9367 Heliothis peltigera (Bordered Straw) x6, 9425 Caradrina proxima x3, 9433 Caradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow) x4, 10029 Mythimna sicula / scirpi x3, 10096 Noctua pronuba (Large Yellow Underwing) and 10493 Eilema caniola (Hoary Footman) x2.
5742 Etiella zinckenella.

8088 Idaea litigiosaria.

6702a Dolicharthria aetnaealis.

7765 Peribatodes ilicaria (Lydd Beauty).