Wednesday 5 July 2023

Travelling North to Ojedo in Cantabria, Spain.

Going North to do some Butterfly hunting.

Great Bustard (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda) 8 of the 20 or so.
I set off at just after 04.00, made a stop at around 09.00 for some breakfast and then pulled off again around an hour south of Madrid for a break and a bit of birding. 
Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda).
I drove along some tracks in a large area of mixed agriculture, a site I have visited several times but over the years it has change from a vast area of cereal crop to an area which is now starting to be dominated by Olive trees and is becoming more and more sterile.
Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda)
However for the moment there are still some good areas and they still hold a decent number of the amazing Great Bustard (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda), today I managed to see around 20 birds in two groups along with Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Greater Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis).
Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis).
Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis).
I continued on and eventually got around Madrid via a rather convoluted route after the Satnav had a bit of a Brain-fart, at Aguilar de Campoo I took to the minor roads and went up over the Mirador de Piedrasluengas and then down into Ojedo.
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
On the way I made a couple of roadside stops to stretch the legs, get some lunch and have a look for some Butterflies to start the trip list off with, somewhere between Madrid and Burgos I picked up Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis), Small White (Pieris rapae), Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora), Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) and Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Then later once I was on the minor roads I picked up Red (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) as I drove.
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
At another roadside stop I spent a while trying to photograph an extremely flighty Great Banded Grayling which gave me the run around for a while but whilst chasing it I also recorded Long-tailed (Lampides baeticus) and Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail, Meadow Brown, Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalia) x2 and a very tatty looking Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea).
Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous).
Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous).
I continued on to Ojedo over Mirador de Piedrasluengas but didn't stop as it was getting on a bit and I wanted to check in at my digs for the next few nights.
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia).
Later, after getting settled in I went into Potes for something to eat where I bumped into a couple of friends, Ed and Monica Mackrill, who had been camping in the area for a while and were also looking for butterflies.
Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe).
I went with them up to the restaurant on their camp site where we had a meal, chatted and arranged to meet next morning to visit a few nearby sites that Ed had already checked out and had found a few species I wanted, very exciting😀😀😀😀

No comments: