Monday, 31 May 2010

Loja, Granada Province.

Fish farm and industrial estates.

Well not one of the usual places I would choose to visit but with the car needing some new brake disks rather urgently I was left with no option. I dropped the car of to our reliable and cheap Spanish mechanic and passed a couple of hours wondering the local industrial estate and fish farm. As soon as I reached the stream that feeds the trout pools I picked up a displaying Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) only the one bird could be seen but as he was showing off so much I can assume that there must have been a female close by. On the same pool several Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and a male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) were seen. Further up the stream a Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) was seen to slip from a very exposed nest with four eggs, shoals of Iberian Barbel swam in the crystal clear water (shame about all the crap that had been dropped and dumped in the area). Butterflies were every where including Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Moroccan Orange Tip (Anthocharis belia), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) were all in good numbers feeding on the thistle plants on the waste ground, along with Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and several Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris). I then had a walk around the small pond only adding Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and the resident domestic ducks. I then retraced my steps back along the stream picking up Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), both Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). Back at the fish farm I flushed the biggest Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) from the stream bank and this thing did not scuttle away as they usually do, it galloped. Also seen were a single male Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), several Iberian Bluetails (Ischnura graellsii) and a nice newly emerged Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope). Not a bad morning after all !
Photographs from the top: Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Nest of Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus).

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