Friday 19 April 2024

Sierra de Huétor, Granada Province, Spain.

Our second day out looking for Butterflies and Orchids.
Ebird List for Huétor Fields.

Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Steve and I headed out to the fields not far from the house where we had the territorial male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Our second stop turned out to be better than expected as I thought the Orchids we were going to look at would probably be over with so we were very pleased to find a single Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea) still on fairly good condition and a couple of the many flowering Bumble-bee Orchids (Ophrys bombyliflora) were still hanging on as well.
Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea)
In the same area we also saw Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri) and Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia) which were both still resting on plants as it hadn't warmed up enough to get them flying.
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia).
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
Birds included European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea).
Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
We headed off again and made our way to a spot to the West of Deifontes where we had hoped to find some flowering Lady Orchid (Orchis purpurea) but unfortunately we only found blind leaf rosettes, however we did find spikes of Ophrys dyris, Southern Early Purple (Orchis olbienis), Yellow Bee, Mirror, Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera) and Pink Butterfly Orchids (Orchis papilionacea).
Ophrys dyris.
Southern Early Purple (Orchis olbienis).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
Other species seen included 
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), Purple Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum baeticum), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus), Wild Grape (Muscari neglectum) and Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Southern Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum) and Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri).
Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We returned to the car and had our sandwich at a nearby picnic table before heading for
Sierra de Huétor, our first stop there was at  Mimbres Sur where we parked and checked out a couple of Spanish Guys who were photographing some orchids, these were our first Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis) for Steve and just starting to open, in the same area we added Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Small White (Pieris rapae), Small Heath, Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).

Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
We again returned to the car and had a slow drive through the Sierra / Park on the tracks to the Centro de recepción de La Alfaguara where we turned off the main track and went to the Alfaguara Botanical Garden, on the drive through we stopped a couple of times and picked up a spike of
Purple Limodore (Limodorum abortivum) which was still someway off flowering, Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) and Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis).
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanathera longifolia).
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanathera longifolia).
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanathera longifolia).
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis).
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis).
We reached the Botanical Gardens and went for another walk but all we managed to find were several more spike of none flowering Purple Limodore, a few flowers of Adonis vernalis a very local uncommon plant and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius).
Purple Limodore (Limodorum abortivum).
Again we returned to the car and then headed back towards the house via a spot near Illora for some more Lady Orchids but again we failed to find any flowers and only added Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Adonis vernalis.
On the way back we saw Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), later we went for a meal down in Huétor.

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