Saturday, 16 July 2011

Laguna Herrera, Fuente de Piedra and Salinas, Malaga Province.

A new species for my Herrera list and two new Dragonflies for my Spanish / Life list.

I went up to the Hotel and meet up with Luigi who I was walking with today, he had been over to Fuente de Piedra the day before but wanted to go back so that he could get some better views of the Greater Flamingo’s (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber). Thinking about his request I first headed to Laguna Herrera which was not to far from the hotel where we had some cracking views of around 150 Flamingo’s including a nice flock of around 50 birds in flight, flushed when one of the micro-lights from the nearby grass strip took off. Mixed in with the Flamingo’s were plenty of Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and a single non-breeding adult Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), my first record of this species at this site. On the margins there were Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), lots of Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocets (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus). In the vegetation a family party of Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) scolded us from deep cover and the smaller commoner relative Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus, sang from the top of a reed stem, also seen were Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and at least 6 calling Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) were heard.
We then moved on to Fuente for the walk which we started out by the hide on the road to the west of the Lagoon. There were thousands of Flamingo’s on view, along with a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) which did a couple of passes, plenty of Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), adult and immature Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni). We completed the walk and headed back to the hotel and I started my journey home via a small pool near the boarder between Granada and Malaga Provinces at Salinas. The main point was to check if there were any Dragonflies present and I was far from disappointed. In fact I found two new species for my list. The first was Migrant Spreadwing (Lester barbarus), of which I saw at least 20 insects and the second was Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens) but this insect was much rarer and I only saw 1 pair in tandem. Other Dragonflies included Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Photographs from the top: Migrant Spreadwing (Lester barbarus), bad shot of Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), red female Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) and a male? Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii).

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