Thursday 1 June 2023

Upper Ansó Valley, the Hecho Valley and San Juan de la Peña, Aragon, Spain.

Another try for the Woodpecker bogey bird.
Ebird List for Valles Occidentales PNat (Linza).
Ebird List for the Hecho Valley. 
Ebird list for the drive down to and at the watch point.
Looking back down the Valley.
Headed further up the Ansó Valley after reading the sign we had seen yesterday which told us there was another chance to see the wanted White-backed Woodpeckers (Pico Dorsiblanco / Dendrocopos leucotos) but even though we gave it a good try it remains unseen.
Welsh Poppy (Papaver cambricum).
Birds-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis).
A bit of low Cloud.
We parked by the Refucio de Linza and walked up through the woodlands following the Barranco de Petrechema, it was quite wet after over night rain and as we went we saw Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and a Marsh Tit (Carbonero Palustre /Parus palustris), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos),  Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
A damp woodland.
On the return walk I found several spikes of the Birds-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis) but most were still to flower along with the leaves of a Lungwort type species, Wood Ruff (Galium odoratum) and Welsh Poppy (Papaver cambricum).
Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin).
Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin).
We returned to the cars and drove back down the valley, after a couple of KMs we stopped again to check some of the woods but on a more open area of rocky slopes I found a couple of Orchid species, there were 3 spikes of
Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea), a dozen or so spikes of what looked like Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys Scolopax), a single almost in flower Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea) and a couple of Burnt Orchids (Neotinea Ustulata).
Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys Scolopax).

Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys Scolopax).

Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).

Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea).

Burnt Orchid (Neotinea Ustulata).

Another stop was made a little further along where we had great views of a singing Garden Warbler which showed uncharacteristically well.
Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio) in the rain.
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
We pushed on back through Ansó as the rain had started to get heavier seeing
Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) on the way and went for another drive up the Hecho Valley where it better for a while and we had nice views of Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula), another Dipper, Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Grey Wagtail, House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella), Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Egyptian (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) and Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
Plant wise we found loads of
Elder-flowered Orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina) of both colour forms, as well as Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha), Early Purple (Orchis mascula) including a nice hypochromatic spike and several Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).
Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula).
Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).
The rain had cleared so we decided to give the San Juan de la Peña Monastery a go and I was very pleased we did, as we drove up the hill towards the car park I picked up a large showy Orchid on the bank, so I remembered the spot for the drive back down as I suspected it was a
Military Orchid (Orchis militaris).
White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium).
White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium).
White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium).
We parked while the rest of the group headed for the woods I made for the more open areas looking for butterflies but instead I found another Orchid for the trip White Helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium), Nottingham Catchfly (Silene nutans), Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria) as well as the first Dragonfly which was a teneral Robust Spreadwing (Lestes dryas).
Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria).
Teneral Robust Spreadwing (Lestes dryas).
Birds included Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Nuthatch, Robin, Black Redstart, Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).
Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys Scolopax).
On the way back down the hill to the Raptor watch point car park we stopped for the Orchid and as suspected it was a very nice spike of Military Orchid but whilst in the area we also found several spikes of the delicate but beautiful Fly Orchid (Ophrys insectifera) and more of both White Helleborine and Woodcock Orchid.
Military Orchid (Orchis militaris).
Military Orchid (Orchis militaris).
Military Orchid (Orchis militaris).
We continued on down the hill and just before we reach the car park had a
Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) fly over, once at the watch point we saw a good number of Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, a Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) and a nice big Wild Boar (Jabalí / Felis silvestris) feeding on the crags.
Fly Orchid (Ophrys insectifera).
Jerry Photographing the Fly Orchid.
On the way back to Ansó we only added Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).

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