Saturday 4 May 2024

Grazalema Area, La Rana, Cadiz Province, Spain.

A morning with Sue and Sam searching for Orchids.
Lax-flowered Orchid (Orchis laxiflora).
I left home early and headed out west towards Grazalema for a day with Sue and Sam Eatock, on the way I picked up Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Lax-flowered Orchid (Orchis laxiflora).
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera).
Small Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora).
As I was getting close to Grazalema and ahead of schedule
I made a stop at a roadside spot I had been to a few years earlier hoping to find Lax-flowered Orchid (Orchis laxiflora) and was pleased to see 15 or so spikes, some were already starting to go over but a few were still in good condition.
Heart-flowered Tounge Orchid (Serapias cordigera).
Heart-flowered Tounge Orchid (Serapias cordigera).
At the same spot I also found Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera), Small Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum),  Bartsia trixago, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) and Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
Heart-flowered Tounge Orchid (Serapias cordigera).
Heart-flowered Tounge Orchid (Serapias cordigera).
I moved on and was pleased to find a parking spot right outside Sue's, we had an hours chat, catch up and a couple of Coffee's before heading out to our first site where we parked on the roadside and walked into some nearby fields to look for some more Orchids but before we got to the main spot we saw Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta), Hybrid Goatsbeard (Barba Macho / Geropogon hybridus), Phlomis crinita subsp malacitana, Yellow (Phlomis lychnitis) and Purple Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Long-headed Poppy (Amapola oblonga / Papaver dubium) and heard a singing Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis).
Tounge Orchid (Serapias lingua).
Tounge Orchid (Serapias lingua).
On the field we were heading for we found a good number of flowering Heart-flowered Tounge Orchid (Serapias cordigera) and most were still good but some were showing signs of damage from recent rain and some cool nights.
Sue and Sam checking out the Lotus.
Spotted Rockrose (Tuberaria guttata).
Phlomis crinita subsp malacitana.???

French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas).
Hairy Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus subbiflorus) ?????
In the same area we also saw European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Western Orphean, Western Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Small (Pieris rapae) and Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Small Tongue (Serapias parviflora) and Tounge Orchid (Serapias lingua), Ophrys ficalhoana, Curly Rockrose (Cistus crispus), Spotted Rockrose (Tuberaria guttata), French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and what could be Hairy Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus subbiflorus) ?????
Ophrys algarviensis.
Ophrys algarviensis hypochromatic.
Ophrys algarviensis.
Our next stop was on the fields of La Rana where we had a good walk around with Sue showing me some brilliant spikes of very interesting Orchids which included all three colour forms of Small Woodcock Orchid, Yellow Bee, Ophrys algarviensis including a stunning hypochromatic plant, the hybrid Anacamptis × subpapilionacea (champagneuxii x papilionacea) and Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii) including fully hypochromatic spikes and a very smart spike with both white and pink flowers.
Hybrid Anacamptis × subpapilionacea (champagneuxii x papilionacea).
Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii).
Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii).
Mixed Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii).
We moved to another spot nearby where Sue soon found several spikes of the interesting Ophrys apifera var. bicolor and a single over with spike of Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica).
Silene species ?????
Hairy Lupin (Lupinus micranthus).
Hairy Lupin (Lupinus micranthus).
Yellow Lupin (Lupinus luteus).
In the last two spots we also saw
Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), Yellow (Lupinus luteus) and Narrow-leaved Lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) and many more that I just can't remember.
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta) white.

Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta) pink.
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta) greenish.

Ophrys ficalhoana.
We returned to the car via another small colony of the Ophrys apifera var. bicolor and went back up to Sue's where we had some lunch another chat and then later I headed off to go to my hotel in El Colmenar for the night down nearer to the coast ready for tomorrows meeting with more friends and some more Orchids.
Ophrys apifera var. bicolor.

Friday 3 May 2024

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Records for the 2nd May 24.
15W Actinic on the terrace, +4.5
7 Moths of  7 Species. 
Any corrections PLEASE send me a comment on the post, thanks.
8167 Idaea subsericeata (Satin Wave).

8167 Idaea subsericeata (Satin Wave) x1, 8246 Orthonama obstipata (The Gem) x1, 8328 Nebula ibericata x1, 9433 Caradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow) x7, 9435/6 Caradrina noctivaga / flavirena x1, 9454 Hoplodrina ambigua (Vine's Rustic) x1 and 10238 Peridroma saucia (Pearly Underwing) x1.
10238 Peridroma saucia (Pearly Underwing).

Thursday 2 May 2024

Huétor Fields, Balsa de Regidor, Moraleda de Zafayona Fields and

Back out on the Patch with Danielle.
Ebird List for Huétor Fields.

The Male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We were out early and soon watching the usual suspects on the fields near Huétor including the calling male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), a single Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) which was sat up on the overhead wires, Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) were everywhere, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and my first two Garden Warblers (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin) of the year, Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and a good sized flock of European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) flew through.
Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).

Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
We drove through to Mesia and then went across country seeing more Common Waxbills, Turtle Doves, Danielle's first Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), a teneral Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Small White (Pieris rapae) and loads of Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) before we reached Balsa de Regidor where we saw Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and what I think are Andalucian Wall Lizards (Podarcis vaucheri).
Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri).
Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri)
We crossed the A92 and went out onto the road to Castillo de Tajarja and then back towards Moraleda Fields, as we drove we saw several nice
Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) patches, Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo),  and had good views over to the Sierra Nevada. 
Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
Once we were out on the fields near Moraleda we scanned for new species and soon had a very nice pair of
Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Greater Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra),  Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), at least 3 Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops) which was another species Danielle had want to see and more surprising was an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which saw us at the same moment that we saw it perched on a nearby ledge. 
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
As we were leaving the site and about to finish the birding we picked up a shape on a rock pile which turned out to be a very nice Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which was a very nice way to finish off.
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).

Wednesday 1 May 2024

Fuente de Piedra in Malaga Province and Sierra de Loja in Granada Province, Spain.

Wetlands and uplands with Danielle.
Ebird List for Fuente de Piedra.
Ebird List for Sierra de Loja.

Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We headed down the A92 from Loja and were soon watching waders on the entrance road pool in the rain, I think I can say with some certainty that Damielle was a little happy seeing the Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) which were feeding alongside Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) and an Egyptian Goose (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
The rain continued so we watched the pool from the car and added Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Slender-billed Gulls (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) x2, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).

Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).

The rain eased so we went up and parked and then went down to the boardwalk where there were a good number of Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), a couple of Curlew Sandpipers (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), at least 3 Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), a couple of heard only Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
Egyptian Goose (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca).
Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna).
Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris).
Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris).
Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna).
We moved and parked the car up at the far end of the car park and then went up to the visitors center and then out to the Mirador where we saw many more Greater Flamingo's, Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) before going around to the hides over looking the fresh water pools.
Slender-billed Gulls (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
On the first pool we picked up White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) immature.
We again returned to the car and had one last look at the roadside pool on the way out adding just a single Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) before we headed back East and then up Sierra de Loja now that the rain had stopped.
Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina).
We drove out to the furthest point just passed the Hawthorn woods, on the way out we stopped to check some plants and found Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Dianthus pungens subsp. brachyanthus, Thapsia villosa, Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Herb-Robert (Geranium robertianum), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum baeticum), Venus's Navelwort (Iberodes linifolia), Cerastium gibraltaricum, Viola dementria and Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium). 
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) with a Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) caterpillar.
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
As we drove up we saw a very manky looking Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and out on the tops we soon found Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Along the far crags and amongst Hawthorns we added 
Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and at least 8 Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).

On the return drive we went a short way along the central track towards Salara and added Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and on the way down a pair of Spectacled Warblers (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) showed well before we called it a day.