Saturday 13 May 2023

Grazalema, Jardín Botánico El Castillejo in El Bosque, Camino del Castillejo, Benamahoma and Río Guadalete Walk, Cadiz Province, Spain.

Out looking for some Butterflies and flowers with Sue.

lonicera implexa.
We were up and about earlyish but then got waylaid by all the wonderful Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) wheeling around up high above the village or zipping between the houses noisily lower down, just magical to watch and difficult to drag ourselves away from.
Sue at the Botanical Garden Entrance.
Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).
Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum).
Cone-head Mantis (Empusa pennata).
From the Terrace we also saw the
Cinereous / European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus) briefly, Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) which sat on the roof opposite and some heard only Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
Cone-head Mantis (Empusa pennata).
Cone-head Mantis (Empusa pennata).
Carpocoris purpureipennis larvae.
Once things had started to warm up we headed for the Botanical gardens at El Bosque, a spot I had been to once before with Sue, Sam and Jayne but as it was just Sue and myself today we were able to wander around at a very leasurly pace taking loads of pictures of some great species including Cone-head Mantis (Empusa pennata), Carpocoris purpureipennis larvae, Common Golden Ringed (Cordulegaster boltonii),  Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum) and Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus). 
Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).
Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus).
Small White (Pieris rapae).
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
On the butterfly front
Blue Spotted (Satyrium spini) x5 and False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi) x1, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x8, Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) x25, Small White (Pieris rapae) x8, Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) x2, Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) x6, Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) x1, Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) x6, Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus) x4, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) x3, Rosy Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus onopordi) x1 and Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) x1. 
Pine-cone Knapweed (Leuzea Conifera).

Linaria becerrae.

Phomis X margaritae.
Some of the plants seen were
Pine-cone Knapweed (Leuzea Conifera), Linaria becerrae, Phomis X margaritae, Italian Sainfoin (Hedysarum coronarium), Klasea pinnatifida, Fumana lacidulemiensis (endemic to the Sierra de Grazalema) and Sorbus aria.
Small White (Pieris rapae).
Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia).
Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia).
Orgyia triotephras caterpillar ?????
As we walked around we also heard and saw Iberian Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Ibérico / Phylloscopus brehmii), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great Spotted (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Labyrinth Spider species.
Labyrinth Spider species.
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
We left the Gardens and went for a walk along the Camino del Castillejo and added Orgyia triotephras caterpillar, Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) x1, Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) x1, Iberian Scarce Swallowtail x1, Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia) x2, Meadow Brown x15, Spanish Gatekeeper x10, Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) x1, Small White x5, Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) x2, Cleopatra x30+ and Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x2.
Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia) and Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).

Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) Male.

Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) Female.

Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).

Other species were a species of Labyrinth Spider, lots of Spanish Funnel Web Spider (Macrothele calpeiana) webs, a single immature male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Scorzonera angustifolia and Baetica, Delpinium pentagynum and Scabiosa atropurpurea.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus).

Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) ????
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) ????
We returned to the car and then had some lunch before we drove to the smaller village of Benamahoma where we did a very nice walk along the river where there were good numbers of butterflies including many Cleopatera's x25+, Clouded Yellow, Marsh Fritillary, Meadow Brown, Rosy Grizzled Skipper, Small Copper, Small Skipper, Large Tortoiseshell, Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli), Holly, Long-tailed and  Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina),  Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Wood White (Leptidea sinapis), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small Copper, Spanish Gatekeeper and Blue Spotted Hairstreak.
Cirsium gaditanum.

Bird wise we were lucky enough to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker which was coming to a nest in a tree near to us so we moved on and added Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Serin, Blackbird, Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Collared Dove, Short-toed Treecreeper, Cirl Bunting, Common Chaffinch, Booted Eagle and right at the far end of the walk we found lots of the tall thistle Cirsium gaditanum.
Fragrant Bug Orchid (Anacamptis coriophora subsp fragrans).
Fragrant Bug Orchid (Anacamptis coriophora subsp fragrans).
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera).
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Our final stop of the day was at a spot just above Grazalema along the Rio Guadalete where we found several spikes of
Fragrant Bug Orchid (Anacamptis coriophora subsp fragrans) and singles of both Bee (Ophrys apifera) and Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta as well as Cirl Bunting, Griffon Vulture and Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Night time over Grazalema.

Back at Sue's we had some snacks as we were still quite full, Sue made up some very nice Humus and some Veg sticks, as it got dark we spent another really nice evening checking out the stars and satellites.

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