Thursday 15 June 2023

Mirador Del Alto De Hondonero, Malaga Province, Spain.

A morning looking for Butterflies.
Pam and John, Day Two.

Pam and John at the Mirador Del Alto De Hondonero.
We drove over the border into Malaga Province and up to the Mirador Del Alto De Hondonero where we were going to search for Butterfly species, we parked at the highest point right next to the Mirador and the walked down through the trees and then out onto the grasslands where the small pools that are there normally were completely dry.
Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis).
Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis).
The commonest butterfly species by far was the Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) and we saw between 70 and 80 or so of them along with Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia Quercus), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia Quercus).
As we walked around the site was also had Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus).
Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra).
Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra).
Other species seen included Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Common stork's bill (Erodium ciconium), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Purple Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea),  Small Fleabane (Pulicaria vulgaris), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca) and Catananche caerulea including a white flower.
Catananche caerulea.
Catananche caerulea.
We dropped a short way down the hill and parked again where we had a short walk to what this year was a dry pool, on a bank full of
Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) near the car where we found Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), Clouded Yellow, Iberian Marbled White, Southern Brown Argus and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi)
False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi).
Further along the walk we added
Cleopatra, Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
We returned to the car, got the chairs out and had our lunch and whilst we were eating I picked up a butterfly flying around the top of a nearby bramble bush which turned out to be a
Nettle-tree (Libythea celtis) a species I rarely see.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).

After we finished our food we took a walk down the hill finding a good condition False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and a single Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia).
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia).
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
We again returned to the car and dropped further down the hill and parked again, this time just John and I walked out through an area of Hawthorns where we had good views of a cracking
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora), another Large Tortoiseshell, Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Watching the sun go down.
We again returned to the car and started to head back to the house but made a stop for a drink on the way, later I headed up to the Botanical Gardens in the Sierra Nevada to meet up with some more people to carry out a Moth survey.

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