Monday 3 April 2023

Grazalema Area, Cadiz Province, Spain.

Day 2 with Sue and Sam.

Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
We had a nice chilled start to the day with breakfast up on the terrace and then some birding from there seeing Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), the Cinereous / European Black (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and right up on the crags above the town a single Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) form Minor.
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) form Minor.
Sue then took us back to a couple of yesterdays spots as the light had been dropping and I wanted some better shots, the first was for the Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) form Minor and whilst there we also saw at least 3 Wood Whites (Leptidea sinapis), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanathera longifolia), Centaurium grandiflorum, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) on Aphyllanthes monspliensis.
Centaurium grandiflorum.
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Just up the road we checked the big rock we had visited yesterday seeing the Narcissus cuatrecasasii, Spanish Bluebell (Scilla hispanica), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus), Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Red-winged Grasshopper (Oedipoda germanica), Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius).
Narcissus cuatrecasasii.
Narcissus cuatrecasasii.
Sam getting some shots of the Narcissus.
Our next stop was at a spot the other side of Grazalema called La Rana where we had hoped to find several Orchid species but the area was incredibly dry so numbers were very low, however we did find a few spikes of Champagne Orchids (Orchis champagneuxii) one of which was just about in flower, a small patch of Bumble-bee Orchids (Ophrys bombyliflora) along with a good number of dry Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria  lusitanica) and Crocus-leaved Romulea (Romulea bulbocodium). 
Crocus-leaved Romulea (Romulea bulbocodium).
Bumble-bee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) caterpillar.
As we walked around the site we also picked up a good number of noisy European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), a singing Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) which was my first of the year, a single Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) caterpillars which were feeding on the new Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) leaves, the nest of the Wasp Spider (Arana Tigre / Argiope bruennichi), Western Three-toed Skinks (Chalcides striatus) and a single Wingless Iberian Mantis (apteramantis aptera).
Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii).
Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus).
Wasp Spider (Arana Tigre / Argiope bruennichi) nest.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Next it was time for some lunch, so we called
in at Mesón los Alamillos and had a nice meal and whilst we were there we saw Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia) Caterpillars, Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus), a possible Nettle-tree Butterfly (Libythea celtis), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Once we were fed and watered we went to the nearby Arroyo de Campobuches and walked the banks checking the water for new species, almost as soon as we got out of the car we had a nice male
Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) another year tick.
Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).
Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).
Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).
Other species seen during the walk included
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis), Western Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Iberian Green (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), more European Bee-eaters and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). 
Sam and I looking for the Tree Frog.

Sue and Sam at Campobuches.
Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi).
We headed back to the house and then up on to the Terrace again for a light meal and a drink.

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