A day's Dragonfly hunting just over the border into Malaga Province.
Steve, Lynn and Adam, Day two.
|Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).|
Steve and I headed out along the A92 for a days Dragonfly hunting whilst Lynn and Adam had a days unwinding back at the house. We made our way along the motorway towards the site, on the way we picked up Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Azure-winged Magpie(Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus).
winters rains the track had become impassabe to normal cars so we parked a short way down the hill and walked up to the lake. We started off straght away by picking up the first of hundreds of Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and whilst checking these out we found the first of a few Desert Darters (Sympetrum sinaiticum), this one was a teneral male but later we also saw a couple of adult males. We then moved down to the waters edge and then in to the lake to check out several more insects, out on the water there were large numbers of waterfowl including Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus). As we moved along the margins we flushed dozens of Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi), in the same areas we saw the first of many Small Red-eyed Damselflies (Erythromma viridulum), several Broad Scarlets (Crocothemis erythraea) and the first of quite a few male Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria). In amongst the trees around the pool we picked up European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and over the water there were good numbers of Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus). We continued on up the side of lake adding Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and then in a small bay half way along the pool we found the first of three new species for the site which was a fine male Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii) but the dam thing eluded my camera but Steve got a few. In the bay we had more views of a couple of male Long Skimmers, loads of Broad Scarlets, the first of several Small Spreadwings (Lestes virens) and a nice male Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata). We continued on on foot passed the small ruin on the margins where Steve found the second of the new site species, a single Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) which huged the vegetation around the shaded walls around the building. We again continued on and down near the far end of the lake we had views of a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and a very nice male Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis). Up in this area we located Blue-eye / Goblet-marked Damselfly (Erythromma lindenii), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and several Dainty Damselflies (Coenagrion scitulum) which was a new species for Steve.
We then started to make our way back along the edge of the lake towards the car, back near the ruin I found the third of the new species for the site which was a couple of Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis) which again liked the shade of the large Eucalyptus trees. For the whole of our visit we could hear an Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) calling from the Oak trees on the opposite side of the lake but we did not see the bird. In the area we also saw several butterflies which included Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), mall Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea). We reached the car and then made our way out to a small pool near Salinas, we visited the site last year but then it was nearly dry but this year there was still plenty of water. Our first species was a male Blue / Common Emperor which flew around the main pool. On a near by small stream which ran along side the track next to the harvested fields, here we quickly found several more Small Spreadwings, some of them in tandem. In the same areas there were lots of Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum) including a nice individual which posed nicely for the camera, along with this nice chap we saw Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), another Western Willow Spreadwing, a male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) and then several Mercury Bluet's (Coenagrion mercuriale), some nice males, a female and a pair in tandem. On the way back we had nice views of a male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) and plenty of Red-veined Darters. Birds in the area included another Booted Eagle, Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and several immature Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
From here we had a quick look at an almost dry pool on the opposite side of the nearby motorway where we did not see any new dragons but we picked up White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and a Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).
From here we headed back to the house with a dragon list totalling 22 species which was cracking for a single day at just two sites.
Photographs from the top: Red-eyed Damselflies (Erythromma viridulum), Small Spreadwings (Lestes virens), Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii).