Saturday, June 29, 2013


Back home after a week in north eastern Catalonia, Spain, in an area between Olot and Girona, with some sorties into the mountains too. We had two bases, one in lush wooded hills, that was more like eastern europe, and one on lowlands that was more typical of a mediterranean climate.

The main goal here was to see butterflies and dragonflies. I have been birding in the Pyrenees before, but didnt really have time to enjoy the masses of butterflies we saw at the time, so promised myself I would go back, with no goals or targets, just to bumble about taking in anything that appears...

Up at 7,000 feet, the temperature was as low as 6 degrees, something you dont expect in Spain in summer, but on the lower levels it reached 28 degrees. A big variation in a day!

Ski slopes on a high mountain pass.

A few birds were noted - Black Redstarts, 3+ Citril Finch, Crested Tit and Crag Martin but it was mainly too cool for the inverts.

The colour of the Gentians matched the sky...
Possibly Black Mountain Moth?

Citril Finch was an easy find here.
A bit lower into the valley and things warmed up a bit, and our first butterflies were noted. This was the start of the La Garrotxa national park, an area of limestone mountains that proved excellent for butterflies and flora.

Pearly Heath
Western Dappled White
Southern Grizzled Skipper
Heath Fritillary
Scarce Swallowtail
Black veined White
Birds noted lower down were Short toed Treecreeper, Firecrest, Fan tailed Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Nightingales, Golden Orioles (everywhere) and Cirl Buntings.

These Cirl Buntings had large young in a nest in a garden hedge next to our hotel.

To be continued...

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