Friday 29 June 2018

John and Jenny Wainwright

Friday 28 June

I arived back in Stamford to see that each day this week has been hotter than the day before but 28C here is a lot less pleasant that the thirties in Spain; very humid once the temperature gets up to the low twenties.  But John went up the mountain and it was probably hotter at the top that here in Lincolnshire!  Interesting that John's report contains no mention of Rock Thrushes, I thought that by now there might be early juveniles moving about and still being fed by their parents.  Perhaps they,too, dislike the heat and were hiding in the rocks out of the direct sunlight.

Sierra Loja: Thursday 28 June

A very warm day but a nice refreshing breeze above the tree line.
As we left the village a Little Owl was noted sitting on top of a telegraph pole - lets hope it doesn´t end up like its mate of three days ago, a casualty on the road.  Also about were Spotless Starlings, Collared Doves, Azure-winged Magpies and House Sparrows.

Nothing more seen until we entered by the Guardia Civil barracks, here a couple of Chaffinches and a Blackbird were logged.

More Chaffinches and Blackbirds were seen as we passed through the tree line, up to the first cliff face where we saw Rock Sparrows, Rock Buntings, Crested Larks, Linnets and a family of Stonechats.  As we watched the Stonechats feeding their young a small number of Jackdaws made themselves known before diving down into the fields by the Venta del Rayo road.

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Leaving the cliffs and nearing the quarry a Little Owl was logged as were a pair of Thekla Larks. Nothing more until we came to the sub-station valley where we found our third Little Owl of the day, while in the trees here we located a family of four Hoopoes,  More Blackbirds and two Red-legged Partridges with their twelve chicks.   As we climbed out of the valley, Jenny spotted a juvenile Montagu´s Harrier hunting  along the mountain side - we presume it is one of the birds from the Venta del Rayo patch.  Also here a Northern Wheatear landed on the track to pick a bug up, before disappearing back into the rocks.

Distant Little Owl Athene noctua (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Three Black-eared Wheatears were seen in three different places as we reached the Charca area.  Lots of Linnets here, as well as Rock Sparrows and Rock Buntings, while above us a dozen or more Chough were wheeling.  Lots of butterflies here today including Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Pale Clouded Yellow (Colias hyale), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhami), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and good numbers of Grizzled Skippers (Pyrgus malvae), plus two Spoonwings (Nemoptera bipennis) such a beautiful insect.

Spoonwing Nemoptera bipennis (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Moving along to the fossil cave area, our first Black Redstart and Black Wheatear of the day was logged, as were more Chough.   At the climbing area two more Black Redstarts were seen, as was a Woodchat Shrike and a huge flock of Chough - over a hundred birds this time, a bit further down the road a large male Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida) was noted.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
On our way back down Blackcaps and Woodpigeon were heard, and one Barn Swallow was note

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