Saturday 20 April 2024

Cabo de Gata area in Almeria Province and Castell de Ferro in Granada Province, Spain.

Birds and Butterflies today but no Orchids.
Ebird List for Rambla Morales.
Ebird List for Torre Garcia.

Rambla Morales from the beach.
We were off to Almeria today and our main target there was the tiny but beautiful Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus), we arrived earlier than expected and it was still quite cool so we went around to Rambla Morales where we did some birding picking up a few wader species including Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Ringed (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Wood (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola), Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and a year tick Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
Gulls and Terns were flying in and out all the time we were there, the commonest were the 75 or so Slender-billed Gulls (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) as well as smaller numbers of Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), plus Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Gull-billed (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) and Whiskered Terns (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
Ononis natrix.
On the water we picked out Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Reichardia tingitana.
Other species seen included Mediterranean / Lesser Short-toed (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and then in some bushes along side the Rambla we found both Spotted (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) which were newly in and feeding up before they move on further north.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
We moved on around to Torre Gracia and went down to the beach where we sat and ate our lunch and then went for a walk around the nearby scrub and after a while even though it was cloudy we found a couple of very smart Common Tiger Blues (Tarucus theophrastus), one of which sat very nicely for us and gave us some nice photographic chances.
8907 Grammodes bifasciata.
Berberomeloe insignis.
Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica).
In the same area we saw Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Small White (Pieris rapae), 8907 Grammodes bifasciata, Berberomeloe insignis, Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus), Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica), Cynomorium (Cynomorium coccineum), Lobularia maritima, Yellow Sea Aster (Asteriscus maritimus) and Lycium intricatum.
Sneaking through the vegetation after a Tiger.
Steve photographing the Common Tiger Blue.
We returned to the car and then headed west along the coast and made a stop at Castell de Ferro where we went to a spot where I have seen our second main target of the day the Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) but I was not confident we would see it as it was early in the season.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
We walked out to the site picking up Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and then the first of around 4 Desert Orange-tips (Colotis evagore) Steve's second lifer of the day.
Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous).
African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna).
As we walked back down we had good views of both African Grass (Zizeeia knysna) and Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
We headed back to the house and then later went out for something to eat down in Huétor.

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.

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Records for the 18th April 24.
15W Actinic on the terrace, +11.
94 Moths of 24 Species. 
Any corrections PLEASE send me a comment on the post, thanks. 

4887 Crocidosema plebejana.
As usual I put the light up on the terrace and it was fairly busy, species included 1361 Zelleria oleastrella x1, 1426 Prays oleae x1, 1525 Plutella xylostella (Diamond backed Moth) x2, 1655 Ethmia bipunctella x1, 4855 Epinotia thapsiana x1, 4887 Crocidosema plebejana x1, 6690 Palpita vitrealis x2, 7533 Stegania trimaculata (Dorset Cream Wave) x1, 7725 Menophra japygiaria (Brassy Waved Umber) x1, 7765 Peribatodes ilicaria (Lydd Beauty) x2, 7926 Aspitates ochrearia (Yellow Belle) x1, 8059 Scopula marginepunctata (Mullein Wave) x1, 8246 Orthonama obstipata (The Gem) x3, 8787 Acronicta rumicis (Knot Grass) x1, 9056 Autographa gamma (Silver Y) x2, 9100 Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder) x1, 9282 Cleonymia pectinicornis x2, 9433 Caradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow) x37, 9435/6 Caradrina noctivaga / flavirena x19, 9460 Spodoptera exigua (Small Mottled Willow) x1, 9927 Hecatera dysodea x1, 10084 Dichagyris flammatra (Black Collar) x1, 10238 Peridroma saucia (Pearly Underwing) x2, 10343 Agrotis puta puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart) x3 and 10351 Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth) x6.
7765 Peribatodes ilicaria (Lydd Beauty).

7765 Peribatodes ilicaria (Lydd Beauty).

8059 Scopula marginepunctata (Mullein Wave).

8787 Acronicta rumicis (Knot Grass).

4887 Crocidosema plebejana.

9927 Hecatera dysodea.

10084 Dichagyris flammatra (Black Collar).

10238 Peridroma saucia (Pearly Underwing).