Sunday, 13 August 2017

Rivers North of Malaga, Malaga Province.

Visiting some of my favourite dragons.

Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
After taking Jayne down to the Airport at Malaga for her trip back to the UK to see our Son Alan, his wife Becky and our Grandson Ryan. Lynn, Steve and I then went and had some breakfast before driving to Zapata but it was quiet except for 3x Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Barn Swallow
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
(Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and as we were leaving the site on the tracks through the ellotment type areas Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and a group of 20 or so Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis).
We headed inland to the Rio Grande but after the winter rains the tracks were in poor condition and most of the birds had been flushed by dog walker meant we only saw more Little Egrets, Little-ringed Plovers, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis).
We again pushed on in land to another river but when we arrived I was surprised to find it was dry except for the usual sewage flow from the town, a few weeks earlier there had been a good flow at the point where we parked. In spite of it being dry at this point we walked on what would be up stream until w found a stretch of around 150 meters of the river that held water and had a small flow on it feed by the local irrigation system. 
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus).
At first we only found a teneral ♂ Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), several Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and a couple of teneral Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma) but as things warmed up we added Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), a female Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and lots of Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma).
Steve and I walked up stream along the stretch that held water and we hear some noise in the dry reeds ahead of us then Steve had an Otter (Nutria / Lutra lutra) cross the track ahead of him but as I was a couple of seconds behind I missed it but it did not matter as a few seconds later another two crossed at the same spot and disappeared in under the trees, fantastic!!!
Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
In the same place we had Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), African Grass Blue (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna), more Common Waxbills, House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
Our last stop of the day was at a short stretch of the Guadalhorce further North, a spot where that have visited for a couple of years and have always had success at and today was no different. 
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
Almost straight away we were getting super views of what is probably my favourite dragon the Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae), as well as at least 5♂ and 2♀ Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii), Orange-winged Dropwing, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Scarlet Darter, Epaulet Skimmers and Copper Demoiselles.
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
From here we headed back towards the house but I chose to ignore the satnav so we took a rather long and winding route back, Sorry Lynn and Steve.

Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus).
Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus).
Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus).
Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii).

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Tarifa and other areas, Cadiz Province.

Raptor migration and Dragonflies with Steve Jones.

White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Jayne, Lynn, Steve and myself left Sanlucar de Barrameda earlish and made our way south taking the long way back home via Gibraltar for the Girls and Tarifa for Steve and I. We dropped Jayne and Lynn off at the border and then drove over to the Raptor watch point called Cazalla which is just East of Tarifa, there were just a few people there as it is still early in the migration season and the birds were equally thin in the air but we did manage 2♀ or Immature Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), several of both Booted (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), 1x of both Honey (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), several Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and 2x immature and 1x adult Egyptian Vultures (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus), both Lesser (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and the star bird amongst the raptors a Lanner Falcon (Halcón Borní / Falco biarmicus) which was a fine addition to my Spanish List.
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
We also had several 100 Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) coming through along with a few Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and a couple of flocks of White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
After a few hours there we moved to a site nearer to Gibraltar where we were again lucky enough to find 1♂ and 2♀ Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) dragonflies, apart from being stunning looking insects these bueaties are extreamly rare. In the same area we had Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Violet (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) and in a nearby field Monarch (Danaus plexippus), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Egyptian Vultures (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus).
Later we met Jayne and Lynn again and we travelled back to Huétor where we stopped at one of the many tapas bars and had a couple of drinks and something to eat after a successful trip. 

Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) male.
Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) male.
Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) female.
Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) female.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
Grasshopper Species needing a name.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Bonanza Area, Cadiz Province.

Pools and Saltpans in Cadiz Province.

Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
Jayne and Lynn were staying around the town and having a walk along the sea front and Steve and I were heading out birding again, so after breakfast in the town we first headed for the small pools near Bonanza. As we arrived the first birds we saw were two Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), the first one looking like a nice normal adult bird but the second one was a leucistic bird looking almost white with darker grey patches. During this visit we saw several more normal looking adults and immature birds but the leucistic bird did not return.
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
However we did add Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides), Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus),
Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
We moved on after a while and revisited Bonanza after yesterdays success, on the main track in we parked a spent quite a while photographing Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei). 
Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
In the same area I also saw Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Little Ringed (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and a pair of passing Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
Once around the corner and heading down to the pump house we stopped and checked the spot where we had seen the Red-necked Phalarope (Falaropo Picofino / Phalaropus lobatus) yesterday but only found Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) and Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina).
Once we were down at the Pump house we were again trying for flight shots of the highly mobile Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons) as well as the Slender-billed, Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis). We also saw a good many other species including Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea).
We retraced our way along the top track and continued on down to the River but only added Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and on the river Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta).
We made our way out of the Saltpans and then had a look at the Laguna de Tarelo but it was quiet except for a very large number of Cattle and Little Egrets, a few Squacco Herons, Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Black Kite and as we went through the woodlands to the far end we saw more Booted Eagles, Black Kite, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Spoonbill, Red-rumped Swallow and Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli). 
Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea).
We moved out on to the open tracks and looked around the other saltpans and wet areas out there but we did not find a great deal but we did see Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Marsh (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Montagu's Harrier's (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus). 
Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
We later went back to Bonanaza where we only added Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) and Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) but had good photographic chances with quite a few species before we headed back to the hotel and went out for the evening.
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).
Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons).
Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons).
Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons).
Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Chipiona, Bonanza and travelling, Cadiz Province.

A trip down to the Cadiz Coast and a Spanish Lifer.

Red-necked Phalarope (Falaropo Picofino / Phalaropus lobatus) by Steve Jones.
We set off and headed west to Antequera and then on over to Jerez and Sanluca de Barrameda, on the way I saw several species including Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax),
Red-necked Phalarope (Falaropo Picofino / Phalaropus lobatus) by Steve Jones.
Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Red-necked Phalarope (Falaropo Picofino / Phalaropus lobatus) by Steve Jones.
Once we were in Sanluca we checked in at the Hotel Los Helechos and the went down to Chipiona and parked on the sea front. We had a walk along the sea front down to the main beach where we had lunch, just off the beach there were large numbers of Terns including 50+ Black (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger), 30+ Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), 100s of Little (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons) and a few Common Terns (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo).
Little Swift (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis).
As we walked back along the coast looking out to see we picked up Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) and down at the port there were 4+ Little Swifts (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis) as well as Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martins, Barn Swallows and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Little Swift (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis).
Later we drove back to the hotel and the girls went in whilst Stve and I went for a couple of hours at Bonanza Saltpans, on the drive up the main track we made a few stops and saw Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius),
Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) and just after we turned right and scanned the second pan along a Red-necked Phalarope (Falaropo Picofino / Phalaropus lobatus) which was feeding in the shallow
2x Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) and several Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea).
water. It was a very distant at first but came a bit closer (allowing Steve to get some good record shot) as it worked it's was towards us feeding all the time, this was the first of two Spanish lifers for me on the three day trip.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) immature.
We continued on down to the pump house and spent some time there trying to photograph the feeding Little Terns and Slender-billed Gulls. We also saw Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Red Knot ( Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos),
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Lesser Short-toed Larks (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
We also saw a single Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and several Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii). We retraced our tracks and made our way back out to the hotel to meet the girls before going out into the main square for a tapas evening.
Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
Caspian Terns (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
1st Summer Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons).