Tuesday 31 May 2022

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

Pam and Johns Last day, so we returned to my favourite Mountain.
Pam and John, Day Seven.

Along the far crags.
We headed back up the mountain and as last time we ran straight over to the far side of the area where we were going to check in on the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) and we had great views.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) the male and female together.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) the male.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) the female.
We parked on the track side and almost straight away we had both the male and female sat on a large bolder not far from the road, the male dropped down and started to feed but the female stayed and allowed me to get some decent shot.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) the female.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) the male.
Once I had got the female I crossed the road and found the male was sat on a rock below me and I again managed a few shots before he dropped down infront of the rock and continued feeding.
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
In this area we also recorded Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
Pam and John at Argus spot.

Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) female.

Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) female.

After quite a long time watching the Thrushes and other species we headed back along the track to a spot where we were again going to try and get better views of the uncommon Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) butterfly x1, we parked and walked to the very small area that I have recorded this species and we luckily had a female that behaved better than the other day even though it was much windier.
Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) immatures.
Another view from the crags track.
We again spent quite a while here and added
Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x3, Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) x1, Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) x4, Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines) x2 and Erodium cheilanthifolium, Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum villosum) and Ramping Fumitory (Fumaria capreolata).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Our next stop on the way down was at Charca del Negro where we had
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora) x1, Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) x8, Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) x2, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) x11, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x2, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) male.
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) female.
In the dell a little further down we spent a while looking for butterflies and we found a good number for the first time on this trip and added
Bath White (Pontia daplidice) x2, Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) x5, Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius) x2, Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x2 and Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) x4.
Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus).
Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus).
Our last stop was down at the mddle Quarry, on the way down we had a very smart Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus) sat right in the middle of the track but unlike most of them which shoot off at high speed it sat there and allowed me to get some close up shots.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
We parked and walked down the hill adding Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Small Copper x3, Small White (Pieris rapae) x4, False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus) x2, Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) x17 and lots of Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x12.
John and his Gambas.
Later in the Evening we went down to 3 Calles and had some food and John was over the moon with his Gambas Pil-Pil which he said was the best he had ever had.

Monday 30 May 2022

Sierra de Huetor, Granada Province, Spain.

A cracking day in the Sierra's.
Pam and John, Day Seven.
Pam with her Lemon and Ginger Tea and an Avacardo and tomato Toast.
We started the day with breakfast in Huétor at bar Florida, Pam and John were getting to quite like the Coffee / Tea and Tostada's.
John with his tostada con tomate and a coffee.

After a very nice breakfast we headed up the A92 to Sierra Huétor, on the way we had a couple of Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) whizz across the motorway.
Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We arrived at our first spot of the morning at Ventas de Molino and we walked up along side the Rio seeing and hearing Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
As we walked up we didn't see many insects but towards the far end it had warmed up and a few bits were flying including just a single Banded Damoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) x5, Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) x2, Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) x3, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) x8, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) x12, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x8, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x4 and Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) x11.
Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
Small White (Pieris rapae).
We reached a nice patch of thistles at the furthest point where we had our first
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora) x2, Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines) x4, Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) x3, a mating pair of Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) x5 and the Owlfly Libelloides baeticus.
Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathinerum).

 Libelloides baeticus.
As we walked back towards the car we had another Cardinal x1, Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) x12, Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) x8, Large (Pieris brassicae) x1 and Small White (Pieris rapae) x2 and a Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) x5 before we returned to Pam and moved a short distance back along the motorway to another area of the Sierra.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
We parked in some shade and left Pam to do some painting, we followed one of the many tracks through the Pine woodlands where we had great views of a Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), as well as Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), a Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) and several past their best spikes of Orchis cazorlensis.
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
St Bernard's lily (Anthericum liliago).
We walked back to Pam but carried on passed here along the main track to a more open rocky area where we found Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x9, Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) x5, Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) x3, Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) x7, Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia), lots of over with Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhias insularis) and Dense-flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata), St Bernard's lily (Anthericum liliago), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena) and Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys).
Violet Limodore (Limodorum abortivum).
Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi).
Our next stop was a late lunch before heading up into the Sierra Alfacar where we parked at the Botanical Gardens and walked up a couple of track fron the Car Park where we added Provence (Anthocharis euphenodes) x1 and Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) x2, Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone) x2, Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) x1 along with a few nice Orchid species starting with half a dozen spikes of Violet Limodore (Limodorum abortivum), a few Lange's Orchids (Androrchis langei) and three spikes of the locally rare Red Heleborine (Cephalanthera rubra) which for me was find of the day.
Red Heleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).
Red Heleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).

Red Heleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).

Red Heleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).

Sunday 29 May 2022

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Recording.
9368 Heliothis nubigera (Eastern Bordered Straw).
The actinic trap was out on the terrace again, most as expected but highlights were 4156 Parahypopta caestrum which was a new species for the garden and 9368 Heliothis nubigera (Eastern Bordered Straw) x1.
4156 Parahypopta caestrum.
4156 Parahypopta caestrum.