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Friday 24 May 2024

Near Torreón de Albolote, Granada Province, Spain.

Third time Lucky searching for Spanish Zephyr Blue.
Ebird List for Albolote.

Spanish Zephyr Blue (Plebejus hespericus) Male.
I was down in Loja early for a Doc's appointment which went well, as I left I met friend Beth and we went for a walk at a spot up to the North West of Granada where I was hoping to see the rare Spanish Zephyr Blue (Plebejus hespericus) which was thought to be extinct in Granada Province until recently.
Spanish Zephyr Blue (Plebejus hespericus) Male.
We arrived and after parking walked one of the tracks where there was good amounts of Astragalus alopecuroides the food plant of the target, as we walked we found Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), Small White (Pieris rapae), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) and 2 male + 1 female Spanish Zephyr Blue which was the main target.
Spanish Zephyr Blue (Plebejus hespericus) Female.
Bird wise we heard and saw Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Spanish Zephyr Blue (Plebejus hespericus) Female.
Apart from the Astragalus alopecuroides the food plant we also found Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Bladder Senna (Colutea arborescens), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Antirrhinum hispanicum and Antirrhinum australe, Helianthemum cinereum ??? Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense) and Cleonia lusitanica.
Spanish Zephyr Blue (Plebejus hespericus) Female.
In the area I also saw several Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) and the strangest / craziest / daftest thing I have seen in a long time when after a bit of a commotion in an Oak tree a Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) came running towards us with a Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) on its back 😁😁😁😁 The Blackbird held on at the back of the Squirrels neck with its bill and would have been there longer if we hadn't been in the way.

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