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.

Friday 12 May 2023

Mollina Area, Fuente de Piedra, track between MA468 and A357 (Arroyo del Chumbo - Arroyo del Cañuelo), Rio Guadiaro at Indiana in Malaga Province and Grazalema in Cadiz Province, Spain.

A trip over to see Sue in Grazalema.

Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
I did a few jobs at the house before I set off to the west, my first stop was at some fields in the Mollina area where I was looking for Rufous-tailed Sceub Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), I drove the tracks finding Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and then two year ticks, Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and then the Scrub Robin which was singing from a chain-link fence.
Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
I pushed on over to Fuente de Piedra and had a quick look around as it was getting quite warm, on the entrance pool I picked up Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
The first area of water, Arroyo del Chumbo.

Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) Male.
A few of the many Mediterranean Bluet's (Coenagrion caerulescens).
I walked out to the Boardwalk but it was pretty much dry so I walked back up to the car and started to head towards Campillos but took the wrong road and found myself heading for Teba but after a while I saw a track that looked interesting, so took a left and as I drove I found two streams which crossed my path.
Mediterranean Bluet's (Coenagrion caerulescens).
Mediterranean Bluet's (Coenagrion caerulescens).
Mediterranean Bluet's (Coenagrion caerulescens).
Mediterranean Bluet's (Coenagrion caerulescens).
At the first I found
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
At the second, which was smaller there were 50+ Mediterranean Bluet's (Coenagrion caerulescens) mostly in tandem, 2x Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
I reached the road down towards Malaga and then took the road to Ronda and to my final stop before reaching Sue's which was along the Rio Guadiaro at Indiana, here I saw White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) and a couple of Western Olivaceous Warblers (Iduna opaca)which was the main reason for coming to this spot.
Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra).
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna).
In amongst the plants including lots of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) and other riverside vegetation I found Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna) x3, Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) and Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium).
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum).
I continued on and managed to park right outside Sue's house and after I unloaded we went up onto the terrace for a drink, later we had a nice meal and then just sat looking at the night sky spotting satellites.