Some new dragons for Sue and Sam.
Sue and Sam had travelled over from Grazalema yesterday and after a pleasant quiet evening at our house we decided that we would spend the morning around a couple of areas of wetland looking for Dragonflies. The day was forecast to be a hot one so Jayne, Sue, Sam and I started out straight after breakfast so we arrived at the laguna in good time. As we arrived a party of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) flew out of one of the nearby Oak trees and several Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) were seen and heard on the far side of the pool. As we approached the water we picked up several species out on the water including Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). Once we were on the margins we started to see Dragonflies and Damselflies including Iberian Bluetails (Ischnura graellsii), Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) and Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea). We then moved back out in to the area between the reeds and the scrub where we quickly found a cracking male Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) which Sue managed to take some nice shot of. Further round we saw good numbers of Red-veined Darters of all ages and sexes along with a couple more Long Skimmers and a really nice male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma). In the nearby Eucalyptus stand there were more Azure-wings and loads of Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), a few Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and a Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator). A little further along the track we found a female Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) which sat nicely for us to get some shots, here we also came across a couple of Adonis Blues (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus) and a single Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice). It was now getting dam hot so I went back and got the car while the others sheltered in the shade of one of the larger Oak trees, I met up with them and we had a drink and snack, while we were there we picked up a second Woodchat Shrike and a female Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) which both sat in the same tree.
We then moved onto the small pool near Salinas where we were hoping to catch up with a few more species. As soon as we arrived we started to see lots of Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum) hunting along the small road side ditch, also there were a few Mercury Bluet’s (Coenagrion mercuriale), Broad Scarlet and a female Long Skimmer which was a new species for the site. The Long Skimmer played hard to get for a while but eventually sat nicely, near by we also had a nice male Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens) followed by several more including a couple of pairs in tandem. We then went and had a look at what remained of the pool on the opposite side of the road where we found several more Broad Scarlet’s, at least another half a dozen Small Spreadwing’s and a nice male Blue Emperor. At this point the heat started to get to us so we headed for home. Back at the house we spent some time watching the antics of the local Golden Orioles (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Azure-winged Magpies trying to eat as many of our figs as they could. During the evening we sat out on the terrace and had nice but brief views of a single Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) as it fly close to the house.
Photographs from the top: Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra), Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens) and obscured Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).