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Spain Lynx Quest tour

John Muddeman
07/11/2013 11:17:36

A few notes from my latest tour covering Andújar and Doñana to look for the endangered Iberian Lynx.

Posted in: Butterflies and Moths, Dragonflies and Damselflies, Other Invertebrates, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, Endangered Wildlife and Habitats | Andalusia | Mainland Spain, Southern Spain


Recently returned from the week-long Travelling Evening light in the Andújar hills & Santuario © John MuddemanEvening light in the Andújar hills with the Santuario
perched on the distant peak
© John Muddeman
Naturalist tour on a 'quest' to look for Iberian Lynx and in the throes of writing the trip report, it's a good time to write a few lines.

The numerous sites we visited in both Andújar and Doñana were relatively quiet, the rain that fell just before the started the tour was ideal, and the beautiful and largely sunny and warm conditions we enjoyed helped set an ideal panorama. Add to this the excellent rapport among the group (and it was great to see four of the group returning for a tour with me as well as meeting two friendly new faces :-) ) and largely excellent local cuisine (despite the bony fish dishes; Sorry Sue!), and it was no surprise that it went well.

Ah, and not forgetting of course that we had excellent views of a large male Iberian Lynx in Andújar as it sat surveying its surroundings, before it meandered off in characteristic lynx style! The half a lynx subsequently seen disappearing into the Doñana scrub by a few of the participants, was consequently a fortunate near-miss as a result!

A-Iberian-Lynx - Lynx-pardina © John MuddemanLarge male Iberian Lynx which I only
photographed looking away from us!
Lynx pardina
© John Muddeman
The varied interests among the group were great too, and enabled us to fill in lots of time during sometimes extended waits at the principal viewpoints, including butterflies, moths, dragonflies, wild flowers, reptiles and amphibians, as well as the birds and mammals.

Bird highlights included Spanish Imperial Eagles every day except the last, plenty of other largely Iberian endemics including hoards of Iberian Magpies, plus Iberian Grey Shrikes and numerous Iberian Green Woodpeckers (finally recently split from European Green Woodpecker by two different research teams), and other quality species included Marbled Duck, Black Stork, 14 species of raptor including Cinereous Vulture, Black-winged Kite and Lesser Kestrel, Purple Swamphen, Common Crane, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Eurasian Hoopoe, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Red-billed Chough, Crested Tit, Eurasian Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Eurasian Penduline-tit, Calandra and Thekla Larks, Cetti's, Dartford and Sardinian Warblers, Short-toed Iberian Magpie - Cyanopica cyana © John MuddemanIberian Magpie in a palm!
Cyanopica cyana
© John Muddeman
Treecreeper, Spotless Starling, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Sparrow, European Serin, Hawfinch and Rock Bunting amongst an apparently modest total of 126 species recorded.

The main focus of the tour, the mammals were headed, in numbers terms, by abundant Red and Fallow Deer, a few European Rabbits, Mouflon and Wild Boar, plus one group of superb Spanish Ibex, as well as 'el lince'.

A fine supporting cast of other species included plenty of herptiles: Spanish Terrapin, Turkish and Moorish Geckoes, (small, ha ha!) Large Psammodromus, several Ocellated and Iberian Wall Lizards, Horseshoe Whip- and Viperine Snakes, Natterjack Toad, and calling Stripeless Tree Frog and Iberian Water Frogs.

Butterflies, still on the wing in this late and very warm year, included Common Swallowtail, Bath White, Clouded Yellow, Cleopatra, Lang's Short-tailed, Long-tailed and African Grass Blues, Spanish Brown Argus and several Two-tailed Pashas!

Dawn-over-the-El-Rocío-lago © John MuddemanDawn view from our rooms over the El Rocío lagoon© John MuddemanThe sheer numbers of dragonflies had to be seen to be believed in the Doñana area, and overall included Western Willow Spreadwing, Iberian Bluetail, Lesser Emperor, Red-veined Darter (by the 1000s!) and both Violet and Orange-winged Dropwings!

And the final 'other species' included small numbers of special moths including Crimson Speckled, Ocnogyna baetica, Chesia legatella and Palpita unionalis amongst others (a number of which I still need to ID from the photos), plus a suite of other intersting invertebrates such as Praying Mantis, Red- and Blue-winged Grasshoppers, Migratory Locust, a Water Scorpion in the children's swimming pool and a few lovely beetles including some impressive scarab beetles and a quaint female Rhinoceros Beetle on the Doñana dunes, which both turn out to be interesting range-restricted species!


Species Lists

BIRDS - AVES Iberian-Green-Woodpecker - Pi © John MuddemanDigiscoped male Iberian Green Wood-
pecker - recently split as a full
species
Picus sharpei
© John Muddeman

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Greylag Goose Anser anser
Gadwall Anas strepera
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus
Black Stork Ciconia nigra
White Stork Ciconia ciconia
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Great Egret Ardea alba
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
Red Kite Milvus milvus
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus Migrant-Hawker - Aeshna-mixta © John MuddemanMale Migrant Hawker
Aeshna mixta
© John Muddeman

Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
Spanish Imperial Eagle Aquila adalberti
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Merlin Falco columbarius
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian/Common Coot Fulica atra
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata Natterjack-Toad - Epidalea-ca © John MuddemanA small Natterjack Toad
Epidalea calamita
© John Muddeman

Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis
Black Tern Chlidonias niger
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon Columba livia
Stock Dove Columba oenas
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Little Owl Athene noctua
Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Iberian Green Woodpecker Picus sharpei Hair-leaved-Snowflake - Leuco © John MuddemanHair-leaved Snowflake
Leucojum trichophyllum
© John Muddeman

Iberian Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Iberian Magpie Cyanopica cooki
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Northern Raven Corvus corax
European Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus
Great Tit Parus major
Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus
Sand Martin / Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Common House Martin Delichon urbicum
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra
Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Thekla Lark Galerida theklae
Woodlark Lullula arborea
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis Palacio-del-Rey-courtyard-D © John MuddemanThe beautiful and historic Palacio del Rey, taken
from inside its courtyard
© John Muddeman

Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla
Eurasian Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea
Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla
Common/European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor
Common Blackbird Turdus merula
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
European Robin Erithacus rubecula
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Mouflon-male - Ovis-orientali © John MuddemanA fine male Mouflon
Ovis orientalis
© John Muddeman

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia
Dunnock Prunella modularis
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
European Serin Serinus serinus
European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina
Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus

MAMMALS - MAMMALIA
European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus
Spanish Lynx Lynx pardinus Lynx-food - Oryctolagus-cunic © John MuddemanLynx food! A European Rabbit
Oryctolagus cuniculus
© John Muddeman

Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Eurasian Wild Boar Sus scrofa
Red Deer Cervus elaphus
Fallow Deer Dama dama
Spanish Ibex Capra pyrenaica
Mouflon Ovis orientalis

REPTILES - REPTILIA
Spanish Terrapin Mauremys leprosa
Turkish Gecko Hemidactylus turcicus
Moorish Gecko Tarentola mauritanica
Large Psammodromus Psammodromus algirus
Ocellated Lizard Timon lepidus
Iberian Wall Lizard Podarcis hispanica
Horseshoe Whip Snake Hemorrhois hippocrepis
Viperine Snake Natrix maura

AMPHIBIANS - AMPHIBIA
Natterjack Toad Epidalea calamita
Stripeless/Mediterranean Tree Frog Hyla meridionalis
Iberian Water Frog Pelophylax perezi

BUTTERFLIES - LEPIDOPTERA
[Common] Swallowtail Papilio machaon
Large White Pieris brassicae
Small White Pieris rapae
Bath White Pontia daplidice S-Common-Blue - Polyommatus-c © John MuddemanMale Southern Common Blue
Polyommatus (icarus) celina
© John Muddeman

Clouded Yellow Colias crocea
Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
Lang's Short-tailed Blue Leptotes pirithous
Long-tailed Blue Lampides boeticus
Geranium Bronze Cacyreus marshalli
African Grass Blue Zizeeria knysna
Southern Common Blue Polyommatus (icarus) celina
Spanish Brown Argus Aricia cramera
Two-tailed Pasha Charaxes jasius
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
Wall Brown Lasiommata megera

MOTHS - LEPIDOPTERA
European Pepper Moth Duponchelia fovealis
White pyralid sp. Palpita unionalis
Geometer sp. Isturgia miniosaria
Geometer sp. Perigune convergata
Geometer sp. Menophra japygiaria
Geometer sp. Calamodes occitanaria
Geometer sp. Eucrognophos mucidarius Foraging-Wild-Boar - Sus-scro © John MuddemanWild Boar foraging at dusk
Sus scrofa
© John Muddeman

Blair's Mocha Cyclophora puppillaria
Vestal Rhodometra sacraria
Garden Carpet Xanthorhoe fluctuata
Lime-speck Pug Eupithecia centaureata
Chesias Chesias legatella
Crimson Speckled Utetheisa pulchella
Arctiid moth sp. Ocnogyna baetica
Blackish noctuid sp. Trigonophora haasi
Beautiful Gothic Leucochlaena oditis
Crimson Speckled Utetheisa pulchella
Arctiid moth sp. Ocnogyna baetica

DAMSELFLIES & DRAGONFLIES - ODONATA
Western Willow Spreadwing Lestes viridis
Iberian Bluetail Ischnura graellsii
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta
Vagrant Emperor Anax ephippiger
Blue Emperor Anax imperator
Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope
Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum
Violet Dropwing Trithemis annulata Rhinoceros-Beetle - cf-Copra © John MuddemanFemale rhinoceros beetle
Typhaeus (Chelotrupes) momus
© John Muddeman

Orange-winged Dropwing Trithemis kirbyi

OTHER SELECTED INSECTS - INSECTA
Grey bush-cricket sp. Thyreonotus bidens
Migratory Locust Locusta migratoria
Red-winged Grasshopper Oedipoda germanica
Blue-winged Grasshopper Oedipoda caerulescens
Field Cricket Gryllus campestris
Mole Cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa
Rhinoceros Beetle Typhaeus (Chelotrupes) momus
Scarab Beetle Scarabaeus (Ateuchetus) cicatricosus
Praying Mantis Mantis religiosa

OTHER SELECTED TAXA
Wasp Spider sp. Argiope trifasciata

LARGER FISH - PISCES
Black Bass Micropterus salmoides
Common Carp Cyprinus carpio
Barbel sp. Barbus sp.

El-Rocío-lagoon-from-SEO-ce © John MuddemanBirdwatching at the El Rocío lagoon from the
SEO/BirdLife info centre
© John Muddeman



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