Sunday, June 13, 2021

Flowers, Butterflies, and Birds. A Mash Up

Apologies I've not had the time to write the blog for weeks, so I'm going to have to summarise our birding, 

it's better to be out there birding and making the news than writing it up

Tuesday 8th June Sierra de Salinas in Bloom

Painted Lady

Striped Greyling

An interesting area which does look very promising for birding, it's our second visit in as many weeks, but it was the flowers and butterflies which made the day, not a big bird list, and at the lower levels Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Greater short-toed Lark, Woodchat Shrike, Chough, Raven,  lots of little birds, and upon the mountain Mistle Thrush, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Crested Tit, Common Buzzard, Rock Bunting, Bonelli's Warblers, Jay, Merlin, Wood Lark, I've not mentioned every bird seen, or heard 

False ilex Hairstreak

Bath White

Spanish Gatekeeper

Meadow Brown

Southern Blue

Greater short-toed Lark

Friday 11th June
 A Full day birding on the plains

Petrola, Corral Rubio, Bonete, Castile la Mancha, El Bachillar, etc

Clouded Yellow

Well, another superb day but the butterflies won the day for me, that's not to say the birding was bad. It's just the butterflies are in pristine condition and most of the birds are looking a tad bit tatty, it's not surprising they just finished breeding, so there entitled to look just a bit tatty.

The cornfields are high and ready to be cropped it's beautiful up there with all the different colours of soil and crops, it's worth making the effort just for the scenery. 

Clouded Yellow

Knapweed Fritillary

Great Bustard, under the belt and easy, also several close fly past, Rock Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Chough, Greater short-toed Lark, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern, Yellow Wagtails, Lapwing, Kentish Plover, Little-ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Black-necked grebe, Purple Swamphen, Great reed Warbler, Nightingale, Marsh Harriers, Gadwall, Red-crested, white-headed, Pochard, and so on. 

Great Bustard

 It's a big birds list so I'll stop now.  No major birding moment, well maybe there was a moment, how often do you get to see 25+ Chough close up at less than 5 meters? 


Little-ringed Plover

Rock Sparrow

 Juvenile Chough

The moment of the day for me was the abundance of Clouded Yellow and the very beautiful but Small Knapweed Fritillary. I'm a birder but you're got to appreciate these butterflies 

Small White

 Iberian Marbled White

Knapweed Fritillary


I've seen these poppies grown here many time before, field upon field on the plains. 

But I haven't questioned what the crop is grown for, I thought maybe for cooking, but I have an idea the crop is for medical use to make morphine, its opium poppy.

it's almost the longest day?

Today 14th June

Santa Pola Salinas, El Pinet, La Marina, Vistabella Road, etc, 

We planned to find and photograph European Roller which we did easily, (4) also finding a least 4 Great-spotted Cuckoo in the process, but we didn't manage any photographs of the G S Cuckoos,

European Roller  

 Santa Pola Salinas was quiet, but the normal summer breeders were busy, and at La Marina Kentish plover and young entertained us.


        Little Owl

 A Peregrine falcon perched on a distant pylon. And a little Owl stood its ground and obliged to me a photographed, Bee-eaters we're around and calling.

                                           Marbled Duck                                       

 On Vistabella Road 16 Marbled Duck and also good numbers of Collared Pratincoles.  We called in briefly to San Felipe VC, it's got that funny coloured water again and not many birds, but Great reed Warblers we're cracking off in several places.

                              Great reed Warbler                           

 It was getting hot, so we called it a day,
A nice morning birding

Have fun 
Cheers Bryan

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