ENCINAS BORRACHAS TRACK - SIERRA DE LAS NIEVES NATURAL PARK
WEATHER: ALL DAY HOT AND SUNNY - TOP TEMP 31C LIGHT BREEZE
We had a wonderful day in the mountains near Ronda visiting two of my favourite places with birds and butterflies on the agenda. It was a superb morning with exquisite light and a nice cool 20C until about 10am. We arrived at the Encinas Track at 8:30am and spent the next 3 hours stroll through the most scenic mountainous landscapes you can imagine.
The 'Encinas' Oak Trees along the track
Heathland also features on this walk
We found most of our target birds: Rock Bunting, Rock Sparrow, Thekla Lark, Woodlark, Blue Rock Thrush, Black-eared and Black Wheatear, Dartford, Spectacled and Subalpine Warblers. The only evidence of passing migrants was the presence of a single Whinchat, two Spotted Flycatchers and groups of hirundines flying over.
Two views of Black-eared Wheatear - male above female below
After a quick coffee stop near Ronda we drove to Sierra de las Nieves where we spent the rest of the afternoon. Bird sightings were far fewer there, but we listed 13 species of butterfly and had a great time trying to photograph them.
Again migrant bird species were few, a couple of Common Redstarts, also Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs were coming to drink at a water trough and not much else.
Butterflies included: Cardinal Fritillary, Sage Skipper, Striped Grayling, Spanish Chalk-hill Blue, Bath White, Long-tailed Blue, Clouded Yellow, Southern Gatekeeper, Small Copper and Meadow Brown.
Raptors were also conspicuous in their absence, we only saw Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Booted Eagle and few Griffon Vultures.