Saturday 1 July 2023

Rio de San Pedro, near Marismas de Cetinar Puerto Real, Near Grazalema, Cadiz Province and Indiana in Malaga Province, Spain

Back out on to the Salt Pans and then up into the Mountains.

Marismas de Cetina.

Today was my last day with good firends Pam and John, after breakfast we left the hotel and went just down the road to a spot which over looks the Rio de San Pedro, around the hotel and on our way to the first spot we saw House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Marismas de Cetina.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
We ariived at the Rio where we saw quite a few Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and heard only Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
As there weren't many species around we moved on and went to the Saltpans at Marismas de Cetinar, on the way in we saw Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and once through the gates we added Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Barn Swallow, Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Greylag Geese (Ansar Común / Anser anser), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Tawny Pipit (Bisbita Camprstre / Anthus campestris), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Mediterranean / Lesser Short-toed Lark (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens).
Black-tailed Godwits (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Slender-billed (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).

Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta) male.

Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta) male.

As we walked back to the car we had a couple of males and a female Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta) which come in close but are always difficult to get a decent photograph and a African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna).
Common Golden Ringed (Cordulegaster boltonii).
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) Male.
We left the site and started to make our way towards Pam and Johns hotel, we took the fast roads as far as Arcos del la Frontera but after we called in at the Supermarket we took to the minor roads to El Bosque and then on to Grazalema, between the two villages we made a couple of stops, the first at Fuente del Descansadero where we had a short walk along the Arroyo Descansadero where we found
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and Common Golden Ringed (Cordulegaster boltonii). 
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius).
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius).
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
A bit further on, as we were driving towards Grazalema, I saw a large butterfly out of the corner of my eye and instantly recognized it as a
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius) so we pulled in and after a short walk back down the road we got nice views of this great butterfly as well as a Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) Male.
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) Male.
Our final stop before the Hotel was at the Rio Guadiaro near Indiana, on a rocky stretch I was very pleased to find a
Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus), Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) x3, quite a few Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) x4 and Violet Dropwings (Trithemis annulata) as well as Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus).
We returned to the car and made our way to the Hotel Cortijo Las Piletas where I said goodbye to Pam and John after a really nice visit and then I drove home.

Friday 30 June 2023

Conjunto Arqueológico Baelo Claudia, Cueva del Moro in Sierra de Plata, La Janda, Barbate Marismas, Cadiz Province, Spain.

More birds, butterflies and Roman remains with Pam and John.

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We were off early and by 10.00 we were at the entrance to the Conjunto Arqueológico Baelo Claudia, on the way down we saw Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Collared (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Looking down on the Bolonia area from Sierra de Plata.
John looking for Swifts.
We dropped Pam off at the site before heading just up the road to Sierra de Plata where we spent some time checking the cliffs, caves and woods for birds and butterflies finding
Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Small White (Pieris rapae), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) and a couple of gliding Monarchs (Danaus plexippus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We didn't find any interesting Swifts, in fact we didn't see a single Swift so we dropped down to a lower level and took another track but we didn't do any better here so we returned to Baelo Claudia and went for a walk around the site for a while, it was very impressive but spoilt slightly for me by the amount of metal fences and barriers, I understand that lots of people don't respect signs saying keep off the monument but it could be done better.
Our next stop was going to be for some lunch at a roadside bar in Tahivilla but it was closed so we went up into the town it's self where we found a nice little bar in the main square and had a nice lunch, whilst we were sat there I saw a lady getting into her car with a hair colour that I recognized so I went over and had a quick chat with Eva Bratek (who I had not see for quite long time) as she was on her way to work.
We finish Lunch and went for a drive along the track which follows the Main Channel through La Janda, it was very quiet but we did see Common Stonechat, Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and on some flooded Rice Fields several Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) and Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus). 
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
We left La Janda and made our way to the cliffs where the Northern Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita) breed but as I had suspected they had already moved on so we did as well and made our way to the Barbate Saltpans.
Northern Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita).
Northern Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita).
We arrived and in the paddocks near the main road we saw at least 12 of the Ibis feeding amongst lots of Cattle, later in the shade of a tree we scanned the water finding Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Greater Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
A very worn Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
We left the site and made our way up to our hotel at Puerto Real where we settled in and then had a couple of drinks and something to eat, as we sat there we had good numbers of Common Swifts over head and fly overs by White Storks and two Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax).

Thursday 29 June 2023

Villa Romana de Salar, Salar, Granada Province, Spain.

A visit to see the superb Roman Mosaics at Salar.
Their Website.

The dining room floor.
I had mentioned to Pam and John about a site near to us where there is an on going excavation of a Roman Villa and they were very Keen on visiting the place so I went on line and booked.

On the morning we met a very nice young lady who showed us around the three covered areas where we saw some of the most amazing Mosaics.

It was very well woth the €5 charge and more and I would recommend anyone in the area or visiting to prebook and visit.
John's Gambas Pil-Pil bubbling away nicely.

Later we went down to Huétor Tajar and had a meal, John really enjoyed his Gambas Pil-Pil.

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Records for the 28th June 23.
Garden Light, min +21. 
1426 Prays oleae x1, 1655 Ethmia bipunctella x1, 5624 Bostra obsoletalis x5, 6145 Ematheudes punctella x2, 6551 Udea numeralis x7, 6690 Palpita vitrealis x3, 9460 Spodoptera exigua (Small Mottled Willow) x3 and 10351 Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth) x1.

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.