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Castle Creature Comforts

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Offline Sue

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« on: March 12, 2007, 23:15 PM »
Monday March 12th in the area of Bornos, (Western Andalucia) we saw several storks installed in their lofty nests and one female hen harrier quartering the fields along side the main road.
Near to Prado del Rey are castle ruins set on a hill with no obvious path. We followed the sheep tracks through lentisc, wild olive, carob and dwarf fan palm scattered amidst limestone outcrops and up to the summit. Many warblers dashed from shrub to shrub with Sardinian warblers chattering at us. On the ruined walls a blue rock thrush kept a wary eye on us as a short-toed eagle and two black kites flew overhead. Possibly having just traveled over from Africa together!

In the grassy area inside the rock wall perimeter were many butterflies, red admiral, festoon, painted lady, bath white, scarce swallowtail, swallowtail, large tortoiseshell, clouded yellow and speckled wood. The old tower is home to around 20 jackdoors who dispersed at our arrival giving a noisy arial display. They have the most amazing views across to the mountain peaks or over the flat lands to the Atlantic coast.Griffon vultures drifted by more quietly.

Small flowers that decorated the slopes were mainly bluebells and intermediate periwinkles with a handful of yellow palmate anemone, a low growing Star-of-Bethlehem (ornithogalum orthophyllum) and a barberry nut iris. The field edges had hairy thorny broom (Calycotome villosa), cistus albidus, hawthorn and asphodels all in flower. Several rustling sounds were from unknown lizards with only one Iberian wall lizard brave enough to watch us pass. A farm house ruin had the first gecko that we have seen out this spring.

Near Benamahoma are pyramidal orchids and many yellow cytisus arboreus in full flush of colour. From here to Puerto Boyar there were 3 separate groups of Spanish ibex, each close to the road and even crossing in front of us.

In the rock face above Grazalema were groups of "Orchis olbiensis" in various shades of white, pink and purple plus a few small clusters of yellow narcissi.

It seems spring is upon us!

Sue
« Last Edit: March 13, 2007, 20:58 PM by Sue »
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
www.grazalemaguide.com

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2007, 14:17 PM »
Greetings Sue,
Many thanx for your spring-is-[almost]-upon-us update. Only being able to get away at weekends, we poor city-dwellers often have to conform with dreaming and envying you lucky folks out there in the wilds, as well as admiring your ability to identify such a wide variety of wildlife.

'Spose you'll be very busy over the coming weeks, months, etc. but would greatly appreciate further updates whenever poss.

Enjoy it (and for the rest of us)!

Regards,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Simon

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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2007, 21:32 PM »
Hi Sue,

Really loved your diary. I'm off to the Pyrenees myself tomorrow and guess what - winter's coming back with a vengeance!

Keep journalizing!

Simon

Offline Sue

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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2007, 22:59 PM »
Hi folks, thanks for your mails.

We are very lucky not to have to go far to encounter wildlife / flora, just a trip to the post office can be quite an adventure. I find the natural world here fascinating and sometimes frustrating as the Baetic mountain range has many endemics and subspecies. I am slowly learning to identify more around us, but info on these lesser plants can be quite hard to come by. Not working from a botanical description using a ruler and a scalpel, I rely on a good photo, that can be tricky too.

Thank goodness for computer searches, though Clive does yawn if he sees a daffodil or an orchid on the screen now!

Regards, Sue
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
www.grazalemaguide.com