Monday, 28 June 2010

Ronda, Malaga Province and Grazalema, Cadiz Province.

Two new Dragon's in one day.

Jayne and I drove over to Ronda and had a pleasant few hours wandering around the town's shops. On the way we passed Laguna Ducie and picked up half a dozen Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) and several Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). Around the again we had Pallid's but also some Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) as well.
We later popped in to see Peter Jones (of Spanish Nature) and his wife Brenda for a couple of hours, after a pleasant chat we made our way to Montecorto for some lunch.
The next stop was at a spot for some Dragonfly photography, I was soon wading my way along the stream and soon started to find some cracking species. The first was a male White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), quickly followed by Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) and what was going to turn out to be the star of the day a male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi). I must admit that at the time I did not know what this insect was but with some work in the books and some help from Steve Jones of Cornish Nature it was soon sorted. I think that it is still a very rare species in Spain and is best identified by the brightness of the red colouration, Short dark pterostigmas, and the amount of amber colour in the wings. This new species was soon followed by another when a nice male Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) flew in and started to chased the Dropwing around for a while before they both settled and I managed some good shots of the Pincertail but the Dropwing was less helpful. At least five Viperine Snakes (Natrix maura) were seen four of them swimming for cover but on decided to test how much better my phobia of snakes had come on, well it won I was on top of the biggest rock in a flash. Hundreds of Iberian Water Frogs (Rana perezi) were flushed from the margins, along with loads of Iberian Wall Lizards (Podarcis hispanica) and a couple of Large Psammodromus (Psammondromus algirus).
We then made our way to Grazalema to see Clive in the Visitor Centre on the main Car Park. The place was looking great with a couple of exhibitions to view and lots of local goods for sale. We dropped lucky and both Sue and the fast growing Sam were there for the afternoon, during the next half hour or so Sam showed us that he can now get around on his own two feet quite well. We then departed and had a steady drive back home.
Other birds seen during the day included Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Photographs from the top: Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) and Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus).

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