Wednesday 15 May 2024

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

A day up on my favourite bit of Mountain.

Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium) flowers covering the far slopes.
We started by heading up the hill from the Abades service area and made our first stop at the low quarry where we started the list with Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) female with food.
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) female with food.
We pushed on up the main crags seeing Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Wall Pennywort (Umbilicus rupestris), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica) and far more Sheep than the area can cope with.
Immature Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
As we crossed the tops we added Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia).
Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia).
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
We stopped at the small dell just before the turn up to Charca del Negro finding Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), a very tatty looking Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia), Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Viola dementria and Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri).
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia).
Hormathophylla spinosa.
Erodium cheilanthifolium.
Sedum mucizonia.
Further on around along the far crags and through the Hawthorns it was quiet but mostly due to the wind, however we did find Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Dianthus pungens subsp. brachyanthus, Thapsia villosa, Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Erodium cheilanthifolium, Hormathophylla spinosa and Sedum mucizonia.
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
On the way back down we stopped at Charca del Negro where Karen picked up a male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) which was up hunting from the fields below and even further down a singing male
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) and Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis).
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
Our last stop was along the track to the middle quarry, here we saw Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus), Venus's Navelwort (Iberodes linifolia), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum baeticum), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Purple Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria) and Antirrhinum australe.
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).
Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).

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