Monday, May 23, 2005

Puerto de las Palomas

Our last two stops before the trip back to the airport were at the two highest points of the Grazalema ring. The last of these at Puerto del Boyar (1103m) provided the only definite Spanish Ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica), high on a ridge. But before that at Puerto de las Palomes (1157m) on the Zahara road (CA531) were some spectacular sights.

A remarkable swarm of Swift (mainly Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)) possibly running into tens of thousands of birds were accompanied by Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) seemingly coming out of nowhere. There were also swarms of Hummingbird Hawk-moths (Macroglossum stellatarum) on the clumps of Echium albicans and with them, all too briefly and unfortunately not photographed, one of the highlights of the trip for me, a huge Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis).

The fast-flying ascalaphid were numerous here but difficult to track down stationary.

Hummingbird Hawk-moths (Macroglossum stellatarum)

Libelloides coccajus (an ascalphid related to ant-lions and lacewings)

Nikon CP995

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