Monday 1 July 2024

Col du Pourtalet, Merendero de la Sarra and West of Jaca, Aragon, Spain.

A mixed day weather wise up high but hot down below.
The view down the valley from above Col du Pourtalet.
I started the day by driving straight up to the Col du Pourtalet, on the way I saw Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Piedmont Ringlet (Erebia meolans).
Piedmont Ringlet (Erebia meolans).
Ground Lackey (Malacosoma castrensis).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius).
Once I reached the Col I stopped for some breakfast but could only get Coffee and a couple of magdalena's which did the job, sort of, before I went for a walk out along a track I have done several times in the passed but it was still a touch misty with quite a lot of low cloud.
Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis).
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota).
However I did record House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella), Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) on the walk out.
Houseleek (Sempervivum arachnoideum).

Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea).
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
Other species seen included lots of well over with Elder-flowered Orchid (Dactylorhiza sambucina), Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha), Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea), Houseleek (Sempervivum arachnoideum), Horned Pansy (Viola cornuta), Centaurea montana, Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Ground Lackey (Malacosoma castrensis), Chimney Sweeper (Odezia atrata) and Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota).
Looking up the Rio Estarrón.
It started to warm up a bit by the time I turned around and I then heard the call I want to hear from a nice male Ortolan Bunting (Escribano Hortolano / Emberiza hortulana) which was calling from quite a long way up the slope above me.
False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina).
False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina).
False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina).
False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina).
False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina) and Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus).
As I walked back I had Piedmont Ringlet (Erebia meolans) x5, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) x1 and a small flock of Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus) back at the Col where I went and got another coffee and walked into France so that I could say I was on a foreign holiday before heading off to a spot Steve Griffon had given me nearby.
Southern Heath Fritillary (Melitaea Celadussa).
Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus).
I drove to the Northern end of the Embalse de la Sarra where I parked and checked the fields to the right of the river which was running in and then walked the track up the western side of the water, in the fields I didn't see a great deal but along the track I checked out several piles of cow poooooooo which turned out to be more productive than you would think.
Safflower Skipper (Pyrgus carthami).
Safflower Skipper (Pyrgus carthami).
Safflower Skipper (Pyrgus carthami).
Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages).
Just as I started the walk I found the first Southern Heath (Melitaea Celadussa) 120+ in total and False Heath Fritillary (Melitaea diamina) x7+,  Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) 15+, Small Blue (Cupido minimus) x18, Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) x3 and Southern Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvoides) x1.
Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus).
Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus).
Small Blue (Cupido minimus).
Further on I found what must have been a particularly tasty lump of poo as it was covered in butterflies, so I sat down next to it (as you do) and started to take photo's, during the hour or more I was there I was passed by several groups of walkers, most just looked a bit sideways at me and must have been thinking "what is this pillock doing" or something similar.
Amanda's Blue (Polyommatus amandus).
Amanda's Blue (Polyommatus amandus).
One young Spanish family sat down with me for 20 minutes or so, the two kids and the lady were mesmerized by the comings and going but I think the Guy was a tad embarrassed and walked off up the track a bit and sat down.
Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus).
Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus) and Small Blue (Cupido minimus).
Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus) and Small Blue (Cupido minimus).
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
Whilst I was there I / we saw Wood (Leptidea sinapis) x2, Green-veined (Pieris napi) x1, Black-veined and Small White (Pieris rapae) x4, Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia) x1, Adonis (Lysandra bellargus) x5, Amanda's (Polyommatus amandus) x1, Small and Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus), Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania) x30+, Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) x4, Safflower Skipper (Pyrgus carthami) x8, Southern Heath and False Heath Fritillary.
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Also seen away from the poo were Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) x3, Turquoise Blue (Polyommatus dorylas) x3, Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) x2, Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) x1, Purple-edged Copper (Lycaena hippothoe) x1m, a Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis antiopa) x1 which didn't live up to it's name as it was in a right state, Duke of Burgandy (Hamearis lucina), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra).
Small White (Pieris rapae).
Green-veined White (Pieris napi).
Large White (Pieris brassicae).
As I walked up and back again I also saw Round-headed Rampion (Phyteuma orbiculare), Fragrant (Gymnadenia conopsea), Heath Spotted (Dactylorhiza maculata) and Burnt Orchid (Neotinea Ustulata), Bladder (Silene vulgaris), Red (Silene dioica) and White Campion (Silene latifolia), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Yellow-wort (Blackstonia perfoliata), Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor), White Stonecrop (Sedum album), Greater Meadow-rue (Thalictrum aquilegiifolium), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Greater Meadow-rue (Thalictrum aquilegiifolium).
I returned to the car and after getting something to eat nearby I dropped back down to Jaca and to a woodland spot near there that I had visited on the first day in the area but it was extremely windy today but I still gave it a go.
Purple-edged Copper (Lycaena hippothoe).

Duke of Burgandy (Hamearis lucina).
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania).
As I walked I saw Broad-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis Helleborine), Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Robust Marsh (Dactylorhiza elata) and Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata),  Macroglossum stellatarum (Hummingbird Hawkmoth), Weaver's (Boloria dia), Silver-Washed (Argynnis paphia) and Dark-green Fritillary (Speyeria aglaja), Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), Large (Ochlodes sylvanus) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), a Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus), White Featherlegs (Platycnemis latipes) and several Beautiful Demoiselle's (Calopteryx virgo).
Weaver's Fritillary (Boloria dia).

Weaver's Fritillary (Boloria dia).
Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe).
Silver-Washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia).
Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus).
Bird wise there were a good number of calling
Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).
Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus).
White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes).
As it was so windy and getting hot I headed back to the Camp site and spent some time in the bar having a beer and catching up with the blog. 

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