Wednesday 21 August 2013

Rivers North of Malaga, Malaga Province.

A new species for my Dragonfly list but a bad day with the camera.
Steve, Lynn and Adam, Day Eight.

Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus) taken by Steve.
Jayne, Steve, Lynn, Adam and I all set off for Malaga in our poor little Ford Fiesta, the car did far better than expected up hill with five passengers on board. We reached the centre of the City where Steve and I dropped the others off before heading North to check out a couple of the rivers near Cartamar. We made our first stop on one of the smaller streams but very nearly gave up on it straight away as there was a large quantity of raw sewage flowing in to it and as you can image this is not great for any wildlife let alone Dragonflies. We persisted and moved a considerable distance up stream passed the out flow, the sewage had obviously been flowing into this beautiful stream for some time (I had smelt it last summer) and nothing has been done about it which I wish I could say surprised me but it does not.
Wish Steve had told me he was taking this as I could have pulled the gut in a tad.
It was still early and the walk along the river produced nothing dragon wise for quite a distance but eventually we started to see a few Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Broad Scarlets (Crocothemis erythraea) and the first Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata). After a considerable distance we came to a short run of water which was flowing more rapidly and look spot on for the uncommon Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus) and with in 30 seconds we had located a beautiful male insect cruising up and down a short stretch of the river. This male turned out to be tolerant beyond belief and hung from some Iris leaves several time for quite long periods giving Steve the chance to take some belting shots and for me to totally screw up every shot I took. For some reason my camera's just would not  focus on this insect how ever hard I tried and however many times.
 it perched. Whilst we were having a great time with the Cascader I notice a Pincertail fly in and land on a stem just above the water a few feet to our left, I glanced down and immediately thought that looks pale and nudged Steve and he had pretty much the same reaction. After a few seconds we both realised that we were watching a lifer for both of us, a male Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae) we both managed to take a quick shot before it flew off. Later Steve spotted the Pincertail on a small rock a little further up stream and got some stunning shots of it before it disappeared for good. Whilst we were at this site we picked up quite a few bird species including Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and both Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). Other dragons seen at this spot and during the walk back included at least 4 more Ringed Cascaders, clouds of Broad Scarlet's, Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii).
Male Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae) taken by Steve.
Once the Cascader ad fully warmed up it did not land again, Steve did get some nice flight shots but after a while we moved on to the Rio Grande a few KM back towards Malaga. Here we walked several likely looking channels in the river but only managed to add a single male Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) to the days list. Birds were also plentiful and we got good views of lots of Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Our last stop was on the Rio Campanillas where at a really scruffy spot under a bridge on the edge of the town w had several species including Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii) which was a new species for the day list. Other species included Lesser Emperor, Broad Scarlet, Epaulet Skimmer and Violet Dropwing.
From here we headed Back into the City and met up with the others before having a run back home.


Anonymous said...

het is daar goed en mooi verblijven wat een heerlijke natuur.

Steve Jones said...

Great reminder of a brilliant day, thanks Mick!