Wednesday 31 May 2023

Formigal and Frontera del Portalet, Aragon, Spain.

Butterflies, Plants, Orchids and a Bunting.
Ebird List for Portalet.
Ebird List for Sallent de Gallego.

Ricky, Me, Jerry, Bob, Barbara L, Derek and Barbara E all happy after seeing the Ortolan.
We were again up and out early heading off to the East and then up  the Rio Gallego Valley to Frontera del Portalet, on the steps down to and on the car park we started the days list with Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis), Greater Celendine (Chelidonium majus), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota).
Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota).
As we drove (or Jerry did) we picked up Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), 5x Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and several Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Pyrenean Buttercup (Ranunculus pyrenaeus).
Alpine forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris).
Cerastium cerastoides.
Horned Violet (Viola cornuta).
Trifolium alpinum.
We headed for the top of the pass where we parked hoping there would be somewhere to get a coffee but everything was closed, we had seen signs saying that the pass was shut on the French side due to a rock fall and had been for several weeks.
De Prunner's Ringlet (Erebia triaria).

Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages).

Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages).

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae).

De Prunner's Ringlet (Erebia triaria).

De Prunner's Ringlet (Erebia triaria).
Later we found out from the one guy who did open that they shops up there rely heavily on French people coming over to spend their money, we walked up through the buildings and then out onto the track behind them.
Ortolan Bunting (Escribano Hortolano / Emberiza hortulana).

Ortolan Bunting (Escribano Hortolano / Emberiza hortulana).

Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).

Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).

Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra).

Straight away we saw a couple of Alpine Marmots (Marmota marmota) on the rocks in front of us and then as we walked along the track above the Pass finding Pyrenean Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium ssp. pyrenaica), Elder-flowered (Dactylorhiza sambucina), Trifolium alpinum, Horned Violet (Viola cornuta), Centaurea montana, Alpine Forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris), Alpine Bartsia (Bartsia alpina), Cerastium cerastoides, Pyrenean Squill (Scilla liliohyacinthus), the yellow form of Antirrhinum majus, Pyrenean Fritillary (Fritillaria pyrenaica), Pyrenean Willow (Salix pyrenaica), Rock Jasmine (Androsace villosa), Snow Gentian (Gentiana nivalis), De Prunner's Ringlet (Erebia triaria), Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages), the caterpillars of 6743 Malacosoma neustria and a small day flying Moth which was very common called 7902 Psodos quadrifaria.
7902 Psodos quadrifaria.

The two Barbara's.

The two Barbara's joined by Sonya and Jerry.
Up in the Hills.
Pyrenean Fritillary (Fritillaria pyrenaica).
Centaurea montana.
Pyrenean Willow (Salix pyrenaica)?????
6743 Malacosoma neustria.??????
Elder-flowered Orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina).
Elder-flowered Orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina).
On the bird front there were good numbers of Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Alpine (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), a very smart singing male Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), a heard only Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) and the target for the walk a cracking singing male Ortolan Bunting (Escribano Hortolano / Emberiza hortulana).
Snow Gentian (Gentiana nivalis).
Anemone narcissiflora.
European Alpine Primrose (Primula hirsuta).
We returned to the car but found one of the shops / bars was open so we got a coffee and a few bottles of well price booze, out on the side of the car park there was a good number of plants on a
Snow Gentian, Anemone narcissiflora and European Alpine Primrose (Primula hirsuta).
Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota).
Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota).
Our next stop was just over the road where we checked out a set of rocks and a nice wet flush where we found Globe Flower (Trollius europaeus), 
Large-flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora), Alpine Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza Alpestris),  Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata), more De Prunner's Ringlets, Common Frog (Rana temporaria), Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis), Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella), Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba).
Large-flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora).
Globe Flower (Trollius europaeus).
Alpine Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza Alpestris).
Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata).
We again returned to the car as it started to rain but fortunately it was just a short shower so when we reached a small car park further down the hill it had stopped, we stopped here to look at some Orchids but were told by the warden that the very special Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus) was not yet in flower yet but he did however agree to take us and show us the plants.
Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus).
The Lady's Slipper  plants were still a week or so away from flowering unfortunately but we did see Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanathera longifolia), Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) and Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).
Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius).
Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus).
Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus).
Turquoise Blues (Polyommatus dorylas).
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus).
Turquoise Blue (Polyommatus dorylas).
The warden was very helpful with the Orchids but also gave us a good spot for our lunch stop so we headed off and were soon at the view point where there were a couple of picnic benches, next to the tables there were a couple of muddy patches where several butterflies were coming down to take on minerals including
Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Common (Polyommatus icarus), Adonis (Lysandra bellargus), Mazarine (Cyaniris semiargus) and a least 2 Turquoise Blues (Polyommatus dorylas) which were a new species for me. 
Swallowtail (Papilio machaon).
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense).
Pyrenean Hyacinth (Hyacinthus amethystinus).
The Rain coming up the Valley.
In this area we also saw and heard Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Wood White (Leptidea sinapis), Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum),  Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), Pyrenean Hyacinth (Hyacinthus amethystinus), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum) and Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare).
Amanda's Blue (Polyommatus amandus).
8969 Euclidia glyphica.
7547 Latticed Heath (Chiasmia clathrata).
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
We dropped down the hill and made a roadside stop where we had a pair of 
Bullfinches (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula), Greater Butterfly Orchid, Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Amanda's Blue (Polyommatus amandus), 7547 Latticed Heath (Chiasmia clathrata) and 8969 Euclidia glyphica.
Puente de Torres.
The rain again arrived so we headed back towards Ansó but made a stop at Puente de Torres just to the South of Hecho, we had a wander around but didn't add anything of great interest to the wildlife list but the 14th century bridge it's self was rather stunning and the sign in the lay-by gave us some inspiration for tomorrow.

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