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Tuesday 2 July 2024

Aragón Valley and Aisa Valley, Aragón, Spain.

A cold windy morning but a much more successful afternoon.

Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
I set off fairly early and made my way around to Canfranc where I stopped for some breakfast opposite the well known Railway station, they did the best coffee and tostada since I left home, on the way there I saw Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania).
Oberthür's Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus armoricanus).
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina).
False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina).
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
I continued on up to the French border and again went just into France for my second foreign holiday in two days but I reached the border it was very cloudy and cold so I dropped down a bit and did a short walk on the edge of the ski slope area at Aparcamiento Candanchú along a short stream track, here I picked up a female Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea), Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor), Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Common Rockrose (Helianthemum nummularium) and Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium).
Dark-green Fritillary (Speyeria aglaja).

Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne).
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne).
False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina).
Dark-green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja).
I dropped further down the valley to a spot which Steve Griffin had told me about where I parked just above Canfranc-Estación and walked North along the Rio Aragón through several different meadows as far as the Hotel by the road and then back.
Southern Heath Fritillary (Melitaea nevadensis).

Southern Heath Fritillary (Melitaea nevadensis).

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi).

During this walk I saw
Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Great Tit, Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus), Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), on the bird front.
Xiphion latifolium.

Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica).

Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata).

Birds-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis).

Butterflies included Pearly (Coenonympha arcania) and Spanish Heath (Coenonympha glycerion iphioides), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Southern Heath (Melitaea nevadensis) and Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora), Small White (Pieris rapae), Wood White (Leptidea sinapis), Green-veined White (Pieris napi) and Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Adonis (Lysandra bellargus) and Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi), Large (Ochlodes sylvanus) and Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages), Comma (Polygonum c-album), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Swallowtail (Papilio machaon).
Looking up the Aisa Valley.
Other species included Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia) many, Birds-nest Orchid (Neottia nidus-avis) x2, Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanathera longifolia) finished, Burnt Orchid (Neotinea Ustulata), Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), Xiphion latifolium, Betony (Stachys officinalis), Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria), Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), Martagon Lily (Lilium Martagon), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica), Chimney Sweeper Moth (Odezia atrata), Macroglossum stellatarum (Hummingbird Hawkmoth) and Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata).
High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe).
Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne).
Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus).
I reached the car and as it was still quite early in the day I decided to head for the valley above the town of Aisa where I was hoping but not expecting the uncommon Mountain Alcon Blue (Phengaris rebeli) would be on the wing, I arrived to find a group of people on a Butterfly holiday already there and searching the area.
Amanda's Blue (Polyommatus amandus) and Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
Turquoise Blue (Polyommatus dorylas) and Chalk-hill Blue Species???
Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
I walked up onto the meadow where the species meant to fly and started to search, here I saw Southern Heath and Dark-green Fritillary (Speyeria aglaja), Common / Southern (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Turquoise (Polyommatus dorylas), Green-underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis), Silver-studded (Plebejus argus) and Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and Marbled White (Melanargia galathea).
Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).

Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
Green-underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis).
Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
I crossed the river at the same time as the leader of the group, Peter and we got chatting and he was a very nice helpful guy, we walked along the track on the far side bridge seeing Dark-green, and False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina) and lots of in tandem Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).
I walked back to the car park and got a drink, the group passed me and headed off down another track, I followed them around 10 minutes later, as I walked one of the ladies came back and said that they had found a female 
Mountain Alcon Blue but not wanting to get in the way of the tour I held back a way but Peter waved me over to see it which was extremely good of him as it was a lifer for me. 
Digitalis lutea.
Digitalis lutea.
Malva hispanica.
I waited until all the group had finished taking their photo's and they had moved on further down the track before I got stuck in and took some shots, she sat there and was still sat there when I moved off.
Mountain Alcon Blue (Phengaris rebeli).
Mountain Alcon Blue (Phengaris rebeli).
Mountain Alcon Blue (Phengaris rebeli).
Mountain Alcon Blue (Phengaris rebeli).
Further along the track I picked up a
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Holly Blue, Large Skipper, Silver-Washed (Argynnis paphia) and High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe), Malva hispanica, Digitalis lutea, and after I turned around I found a second female Alcon egg laying on it food plant the Cross-leaved Gentian (Gentiana cruciata).
Peacock (Aglais io).
Marbled White (Melanargia galathea).
Flax Species.
Flax Species.
I was by later afternoon knackered so I started to head back but on my way back over to the campsite I made a stop at a high point in what was a challenging road to drive due to the fact that the potholes were covering more of the surface than the tarmac, while there I added a fine looking 
Peacock (Aglais io) to the trip list but nothing else.

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