Wednesday 28 June 2023

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province, Spain.

A day up in the Sierra with Pam and John looking for a couple of endmic's.

Looking out to the North.

Pam, John and I started the day with a Coffee at Hostal Restaurante El Desvio half way up the Sierra Nevada before heading up to the barrier and then going for a walk along the track out to the Hoya de San Juan which John renamed as the track of death after his first visit up there a few years ago.
Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus).
Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus).
Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus).
Nevada Blue (Pleicula golgus).
Anyway when we first arrived it was quiet butterfly wise but we still picked up a few birds including Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Tawny Pipit (Bisbita Camprstre / Anthus campestris).
Mountain Stone Grasshopper (Eumigus monticola).

Eryngium glaciale.
Jurinea humilis.
Hormathophylla spinosa.
As we walked out we saw Mountain Stone Grasshopper (Eumigus monticola), the first of around 25+ Nevada Blues (Pleicula golgus) an endemic to these mountains, which was followed by Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) x3, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x2, Bath White (Pontia daplidice) x2 and eventually the species we had come for, the Spanish Brassy Ringlet (Erebia hispania) which is a locally common Spanish endemic found only here and in the eastern Pyrenees.
Arenaria imbricata.
St Bruno's Lily (Paradisia liliastrum).
Digitalis purpurea.
We also saw a few species of Wild Flower as we walked including Hormathophylla spinosa, Digitalis purpurea, Arenaria imbricata, Erigeron frigidus, Eryngium glaciale, Eryngium bourgatii, Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Minature Wild Plum (Prunus prostrata) and St Bruno's Lily (Paradisia liliastrum).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Idas Blue (Plebejus idas).
Mountain Argus (Aricia montensis).
We returned to the car and dropped down into the Ski Resort where we had a coffee before going for a walk out onto the slopes nearby where we found several new species of butterfly but the numbers were very low, we did see Idas (Plebejus idas) x1 and Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) x3, Small (Lycaena phlaeas) x1 and Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron) x2, Knapweed (Melitaea phoebe) x1 and Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora) x1, Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) x3, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x5, Black-veined (Aporia crataegi) x1 and Small White (Pieris rapae) x2 and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) x3.
Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata).
Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).
In this area we also saw Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata), Horse Mint (Mentha longifolia), Small Fleabane (Pulicaria vulgaris), Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron).
Knapweed (Melitaea phoebe) and Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Rosy Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus onopordi).
We dropped down and started to make our way down the old road towards Granada via Güéjar Sierra, our first stop was at area of grassland a couple of KM below the Visitor's Center where we had
Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and Phlomis crinita subsp. malacitana, White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Blue Spotted  (Satyrium spini) x5 and False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi) x2, Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) x3, Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x1, Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) x1 and Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) x2.
Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).
Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
Robber-fly Species.

Phlomis crinita subsp. malacitana.

Further down the hill we stopped at the Fuente Agrilla where we checked the roadside verges and the Ash trees where we found Spanish Purple Hairstreak (Laeosopis roboris) x3, Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) x14+, Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) x1, Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) x3, Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) x1, Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia) x5, Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe) x2, Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus) x5 and a Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) x2.
Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis).
Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli).
We also saw another spike of Robust Marsh Orchid, Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) which was huge and by far the biggest specimen I have ever seen, Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) by far the biggest I have seen.
Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata).
We continued on down the hill to a spot next to the Rio Genil where we had a look around but it was a little difficult as there were a couple of people there swimming, however we still added Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Holly (Celastrina argiolus) and Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus) along with Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) before we headed back to the house.

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