Saturday 3 July 2010

Cabo Sacratif and Charca del Suarez, Granada Province.

Well what a day (for a day dream) should have stayed in bed.

Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).

We started out from Granada at the usual 06:15 but something was not quite right! We got to the coast to carry out the JULY Ram Sea Bird Survey and it was dam cold, heaving down with rain and blowing a gale. We were all sat there in our summer shorts and tee shirts freezing our bits off and even the the Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) looked at us as if we were mad. Any way we carried out the two hour stint picking up fairly good numbers of Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), a few Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) also passed west along with a handfull of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus). 
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus).
Juan picked up a single Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Catharacta skua) but even with directions the bird slipped away from me unseen. Several Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) all made there way back to wards the port at Motril during the session.
Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) were some of the other species noted.
Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
We then moved on to a quiet Charca, well when you have 3 Little Bitterns (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and Stripeless Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis) all on view at the same time, it sound harsh to say it was quiet but compaired to other times of the year and the fact that the weather kept all the Dragonflies under cover, it was.
Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus).
Other birds seen included Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).

Monday 28 June 2010

Ronda, Malaga Province and Grazalema, Cadiz Province.

Two new Dragon's in one day.

Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) Male.
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. 
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
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 Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri) 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.
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus).
Other birds seen during the day included Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), 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).