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In the wild west of Spain: Extremadura & Gredos in early May

John Muddeman
10/07/2012 00:21:44

A photo-blog combining the observations of two trips to the area in the first half of May, with the wildlife at its peak, especially in the Gredos mountains.

Posted in: Flora, Butterflies and Moths, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, Endangered Wildlife and Habitats | Castile-Leon, Extremadura | Mainland Spain, Western Spain, Central Spain

A private trip to Extremadura with David for 4 days, looking principally for the abundant birdlife, was followed immediately by a week-long tour to Extremadura plus the Gredos mountains with a small group of three. Tragically, two other friends (Susan & Don) who were coming on this latter trip had to pull out just days before the trip started, so I dedicate this roughly chronologically ordered photo-blog to them.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopus minor © John MuddemanPerhaps unexpected in Madrid, the Lesser Spotted
Woodpecker breeds at several sites
Dendrocopus minor
© John Muddeman

Breeding plumaged Great Egret - Ardea alba © John MuddemanBreeding plumaged Great Egret @ Arrocampo
Ardea alba
© John Muddeman

Female Northern Banded Groundling dragonfly - Brachythemis impartita © John MuddemanA fairly recent colonist from N Africa, this is a female
Northern Banded Groundling dragonfly
Brachythemis impartita
© John Muddeman

The scarce Lax-flowered Orchid near Arrocampo - Orchis laxiflora © John Muddemanand an unusual wet meadow nearby houses a fine
colony of the scarce Lax-flowered Orchid
Orchis laxiflora
© John Muddeman

Greater Broomrape - Orobanche rapum-genistae © John MuddemanGreater Broomrape near the Magasca river
Orobanche rapum-genistae
© John Muddeman

Spanish Marbled White - Melanargia ines © John MuddemanA gorgeous Spanish Marbled White
Melanargia ines
© John Muddeman

Eurasian Black Vulture - Aegypius monachus © John MuddemanThe ever impressive Eurasian Black Vulture
Aegypius monachus
© John Muddeman

Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops © John MuddemanA 'No shooting' Eurasian Hoopoe!
Upupa epops
© John Muddeman

Stone-curlew chick - Burhinus oedicnemus © John MuddemanA still fluffy Stone-curlew chick on the Trujillo plains
Burhinus oedicnemus
© John Muddeman

Female Common Quail - Coturnix coturnix © John MuddemanFemale Common Quail feeding on the roadside
Coturnix coturnix
© John Muddeman

Mullein flowers - Verbascum sp. © John MuddemanBack-lit, these mullein flowers were a roadside treat
Verbascum sp.
© John Muddeman

Barn Swallow - Hirundo  rustica © John MuddemanA confiding male Barn Swallow, Talavan
Hirundo rustica
© John Muddeman

Adult Black Stork - Ciconia nigra © John MuddemanAdult Black Stork in Monfragüe
Ciconia nigra
© John Muddeman

Male Spanish Imperial Eagle - Aquila adalberti © John MuddemanThe male Spanish Imperial Eagle of the Portilla
del Tiétar pair carrying the remains of a rabbit
Aquila adalberti
© John Muddeman

Eurasian Eagle-owl - Bubo-bubo © John MuddemanWhile two Eurasian Eagle-owl chicks peered out
from their nesting ledge
© John Muddeman

Long-tailed Blue - Lampides boeticus © John MuddemanA Long-tailed Blue butterfly supping salts
Lampides boeticus
© John Muddeman

Mallow sp. © John MuddemanA gorgeous patch of this sprawling mallow sp.
caught our eye in the rice fields
© John Muddeman

Grey Plover - Pluvialis squatarola © John MuddemanWhere we also enjoyed seeing a few summer-
plumaged Grey Plover - a scarce bird here!
Pluvialis squatarola
© John Muddeman

Longhorn beetle - Iberodorcadion sp. © John MuddemanAt the Tornavacas Pass numerous insects included
this solid-looking longhorn beetle
Iberodorcadion sp.
© John Muddeman

day-flying moth - Eurranthis plummistaria © John Muddemanand this colourful day-flying moth
Eurranthis plummistaria
© John Muddeman

Green-winged Orchid, Gredos - Orchis morio © John MuddemanWhile a pasture in the middle Gredos
was full of exquisite Green-winged Orchids
Orchis morio
© John Muddeman

Ocellated Lizard, Gredos - Timon lepidus © John MuddemanSeveral Ocellated Lizards were sunning themselves
on one trackside bank in the Gredos
Timon lepidus
© John Muddeman

Daffodils in the Gredos - Narcissus pseudonarcissus © John MuddemanImpressive banks of wild daffodils can
be seen in the Gredos
Narcissus pseudonarcissus
© John Muddeman

Gredos Daffodils - Narcissus pseudonarcissus © John MuddemanAnd close up they look like this
Narcissus pseudonarcissus
© John Muddeman

Rock Narcissus - Narcissus rupicola © John MuddemanWhile on the main track appears another
delightful tiny wild daffodil: the Rock Narcissus
Narcissus rupicola
© John Muddeman

Hoop-petticoat Narcissus - Narcissus bulbocodium © John Muddemanand also the gorgeous Hoop-petticoat Narcissus
Narcissus bulbocodium
© John Muddeman

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush - Monticola saxatilis © John MuddemanHere Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush males are always
a stunning sight
Monticola saxatilis
© John Muddeman

Spanish Ibex - Capra hispanica © John MuddemanAlong with this nonchalent-looking
male Spanish Ibex taking a break
Capra hispanica
© John Muddeman

A typically resting male Schreiber's Green Lizard in the Gredos - Lacerta schreiberi © John Muddemanthis colourful, basking male Schreiber's Green Lizard
Lacerta schreiberi
© John Muddeman

Bumble-bee sp. - Bombus sp. © John MuddemanA remarkable bright orange Bumble-bee
fed in the riverside pasture
Bombus sp.
© John Muddeman

Male Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus © John MuddemanOne of the very last new species was this
fine male Cirl Bunting
Emberiza cirlus
© John Muddeman

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