Several new species for Steve Powell's Dragonfly list.
Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus). From above Riofrio we made our way along the Motorway towards Malaga and on to our first site. We arrived just below the lake and made our way up the track and in the Oaks that lined the way we had a small flock of birds which was made up of Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), a Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and several Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli). Once we reached the top of the ridge we scanned the pool and soon picked up Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). We made our way down to the margins and started to find Dragonflies already on the wing, there were several Blue / Common Emperors (Anax imperator) patrolling the reeds further out in the pool and a couple of Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) closer in to shore along with lots of Red-veined (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and a few Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum) and the first of a few Blue-eye / Goblet-marked (Erythromma lindenii) and Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathinerum). We made our way steadily along the Northern side of the pool and added Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) to the bird list and the first of a couple of Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria), Broad Scarlets (Crocothemis erythraea) and Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii) to the Dragon list. Down in a bay near a small ruin at the site we started to see the first Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum) which became commoner as we continued on and several Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) of several different colour forms. In the trees around the ruin we look for but did not see the Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) found a few weeks ago, we did however see Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster). Along from the Ruin we stayed on dry land for a while and this payed off with nice views of both male and female Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and Oriental Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lupinnus). At the furthest point along the Northern bank we turned around and took the track back to the car and dropped back down into Salinas and onwards to the nearby second site.
We arrived at the small pool near Salinas and straight away we added a couple of Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis) which were stuck low down in the Juncus along side the stream. Here we also saw the first of many Epaulet (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Southern (Orthetrum brunneum) and Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens), more Small Spreadwings, Broad Scarlets and a couple of Dainty Damselflies (Coenagrion scitulum). Birds here included Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
By the time we had finished here it was almost 5 in the afternoon so we said our goodbyes and Steve and Elena headed back off towards Malaga and then home and I took the motorway for Granada.
Photographs from the top: Blue-eye / Goblet-marked (Erythromma lindenii), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum), an exuvia of either Blue / Common (Anax imperator) or Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and a Dainty Damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum).