Friday 22 July 2011

Travelling to and at Rio Velez, Malaga and Granada Provinces.

Dragonflies everywhere !

Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii).
The main wildlife purpose to today was to get some shots of the Dragonflies on the Rio Velez. I arrived and had a walk down the river towards the beach and immediately started to see Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Broad Scarlet’s (Crocothemis erythraea) and a few Iberian Bluetail’s (Ischnura graellsii). On the shingle areas there were upwards of 50 adult and immature Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and a single summer plumaged Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) all of which were soon flushed by a naked man and woman wading up the river (why is it that nudists are always people who really should keep it covered up). They also flushed a couple of Squacco Herons (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides), a Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus) and both Grey (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea). I reached an area where the bank was a little more open with some blanket weed along the margins and sat down to see what showed up. Almost immediately a pair of Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria) in tandem flashed by and disappeared into some nearby reeds before coming out singly. They performed up and down the spot for the next hour and a half giving me views down to a couple of feet but never settling for the camera. The next nice find was a male Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii) which again did not want its photo taken, so I only managed some poor shots of it from far too far away. Whilst I was sat there I also saw more Broad Scarlet’s, Red-veined Darters, Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) and a male Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum). 
Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
Other birds seen included Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata).
On the way home we also picked up Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).

Thursday 21 July 2011

Archidona walk and Salinas, Malaga Province.

RFH walk and getting better shots.

Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens).
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 Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), 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). 
Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens).
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). 
Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma).
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.