Thursday, 21 July 2011

Archidona walk and Salinas, Malaga Province.

RFH walk and getting better shots.

The morning started with meeting the guests at the Hotel Eslava in Antequera and then heading out to the loop walk at Archidona, I was walking with Finn a Swedish guy. We had a slight head start on some of the group and we pushed on around the first part of the walk at a fairly brisk pace to the spilt point where the guests are given a choose a to whether they take the slightly more difficult up hill extension or just carry on along the main track. Finn Choose the harder up hill section and so we set off, on our way up I picked a pair of Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes) which flew over low calling, several Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica). We soon covered the ground and were back on the main track and quickly caught up with the group which had taken the lower route and passed then on the easier flatter section of the walk, along here I added House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). Once we reached the cars we gave the guests the second choose of the day which was to either continue the walk to the monastery on the top of the hill above the town or to go up there in the van, five decided to walk and two joined me taking the easy way up in the van. From the top I had views of Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and a few Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) which circled over the next hill.
I then made my way back towards home calling in briefly at a small pool near Salinas hoping to get some better shots of the Spreadwing dragonflies I had seen the week earlier. As soon as I arrived I found several Migrant Spreadwings (Lester barbarus) and a few, all males of the Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens). Also recorded were Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator). Birds around the area included Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Also seen during the morning were Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli) and a couple of Viperine Snakes (Culebra viperina / Natrix maura) by the pool.
Photographs from the top: 2x Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens) and Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma).

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