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Saturday 11 May 2024

Cabo de Gata in Almeria, Sierra de Huétor and near Torreón de Albolote in Granada Province, Spain.

Moving out West through Granada to Antequera.
Ebird List for Hotel Blanca Brisa, Cabo de Gata.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).
We woke to cloud and a bit of light rain, had cleared my room and was doing a bit of birding outside in the hotel car park when I was surprised to see a Pied Crow (Cuervo Pío / Corvus albus) fly over with a couple of Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), unfortunaley it continued on and I didn't get the chance to take any photo's.
Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) a very tatty individual.
I contacted Garry Pearson a local birder and he told me that it had been around for a while and was unringed, extremely mobile and difficult to track down so I was very pleased to connect with it.
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Karen and Rob came out but missed the bird unfortunately, we loaded up and started the drive across to Antequera but instead of going along the coast we went up north and via Sierra de Huétor, on the way we saw Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) x3, Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
We pulled off the A92 at Venta del Molinillo where we had a walk up along the Arroyo de Prado Negro where we found
Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia).
Butterflies included Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) x2, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Small (Pieris rapae), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). 
Sisymbrella aspera.
Sisymbrella aspera.
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua).
We started to walk back to the car, as we went we saw Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), Sisymbrella aspera, Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis),  Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa), Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) and Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
We moved a few KM up the road to Los Mimbres where we saw several spikes of some Orchids including
Barton's  (Dactylorhiza insularis), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) and Orchis cazorlensis.
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
As we walked around the Pine Woodlands we also saw Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Clouded Yellow, Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Adonis vernalis, Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), False Sainfoin (Vicia onobrychioides), 
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
We continued on towards Granada and visited another spot just to the north of the city near to Embalse de Cubillas, we parked and wandered around the grassland area near the Picnic area and then went up the main track and checked out a couple more interesting looking butterfly spots, we found Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), a few Small WhitesBladder Senna (Colutea arborescens), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense) but not a great deal else unfortunately.
A full looking Embalse de Cubillas near Granada.

Bladder Senna (Colutea arborescens).

Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense).


Friday 10 May 2024

Inland from Nijar, Punta Entinas near Roquetas de Mar and Retamar, Almeria, Spain.

A drive inland but with a noticeable lack of Butterflies.
Ebird List for Punta Entinas, 38 Species.

Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) male.
We were up, out and headed inland hoping to find a few more butterflies which so far had been thin on the ground in Almeria but as hard as we looked we spent the whole of the drive and walk finding just 3 Wall Browns (Lasiommata megera) and an unidentified White species.
Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) male.
Other species seen included Iberian Brown Hare (Liebre ibérica / Lepus granatensis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). 
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) immature male.
We made a stop in Sorbus for a coffee, whilst there we checked the Rambla de la Mojonera from the nearby bridge adding a Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) and then as we dropped down to Roquetas de Mar and on to Punta Entinas, on the way we saw another RollerRaven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
We arrived at the reserve but found that there was a chain across the track so we parked and walked in, on the way we saw Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x1, Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) x3 a single Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) and around the pools we added Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Little (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Gull-billed (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Common (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo) and Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Slender-billed (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons).
Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola).
On the two larger deeper pools on the opposite side of the track we found
Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
We turned around and made our way out adding Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) male.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
On the way back to the hotel we went via Retamar where we had coffee and cake before checking out the two large  Ziziphus spina-christi bushes and even though it was extremely windy we still found several Common Tiger Blues (Tarucus theophrastus) including at least one female which was displaying with a male and getting attention from several others.
Clytra quadripunctata.
We returned to the hotel and then later we went out for a meal in San Jose and had a walk along the beach before returning to the hotel for our last night.

Thursday 9 May 2024

Cabo de Gata, Torre Garcia, Retamar, Retamar Park, Centro de visitantes Las Amoladeras, Faro de Cabo de Gata, Las Salinas de Cabo de Gata in Almeria, Spain.

Looking for a Tiger in Almeria.
 
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
We started the morning by trying to get to Rambler Morales but the track was blocked by a lorry and a large digger so we only managed to see Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) x2, a male Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
Our next stop was at the Salt Pans Hide where we saw 
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Yellow-legged Gull, Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
We moved around the coast and visited Torre Garcia area where we were looking for the main target for the area the Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus), we parked and walked the area and after a while we found at least five, all of which were males.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
In the same area we also picked up Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and several Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus).
We moved up the road to Retamar where we had a coffee before going down to the beach but we didn't find very much and only added
Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna) Male.
African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna) Male.
We went back through the town and checked out the largish park there, around a couple of large very spiny Ziziphus spina-christi bushes where we found 20 odd more Common Tiger Blues and on the grass nearby we saw several
African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna), as we walked around the park we also added Small White (Pieris rapae), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
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We headed back towards Cabo but made a quick stop at the Centro de visitantes Las Amoladeras to check out the Botanical Garden there but unfortunately it was a complete waste land and had not been looked after for quite a long time, however we did see European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster). 
From the Light House.
Friends Karen and Rob at Faro de Cabo de Gata.
Me.

We tried to get down to the Rambla Morales again but the digger was still blocking the beach track so we tried another route but failed on another track but added Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Northern Wheatear, several Painted Lady's (Vanessa cardui), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Seaside Daisy (Asteriscus maritimus), Winged Sea Lavender (Limonium sinuatum) and Yellow horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum).
Winged Sea Lavender (Limonium sinuatum).
Our next stop was down at the Light House at the far end of the Cabo de Gata area, on the way we saw a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), we parked and had a walk around taking in the views and finding Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
Seaside Daisy (Asteriscus maritimus).
We drove back along the coast and took the track along the back side of the Saltpans, as we drove along this track we added Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), a Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Mediterranean / Lesser Short-toed Lark (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Ringed Plover, Shelduck, Greater Flamingo, Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed Tern, Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Audouin's Gull, Western Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Painted Lady's and Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
We came off the track and headed back to the Hotel and then later we went out to Retamar for a Pizza.