A day searching for late Dragonflies with Sue.
Again we started off by getting Sam sorted and off to School on the bus before going back to the house and getting our kit together, Jayne decided on a days shopping around Ronda and Sue and I were going to spend a few hour along the Guadiaro Valley looking for Dragonflies. Our first stop was in the town to drop Jayne at the top of the main shopping street and then on to the River at Indiana where we parked just past the small bridge which which crosses the Arroya de la Arrayo, from the bridge we could see several Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa) and a couple of very large Iberian Barbel (Luciobarbus comizo) feeding on the carcus of a dead Chicken. A Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) flushed up from the far bank of the main river Guadiaro and a couple of Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) flew towards us from the concrete wire just down stream. A little further along the Northern bank we flushed up a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), heard a very vocal Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) several times, watched a pair of Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) flycatching from a nearby wire before reaching a small Poplar plantation where we saw several Crimson speckled footman (Utetheisa pulchella) which flushed up out of the grass whilst we were searching for mantis with out any luck. We walked back along the river towards the car but only moved a short distance down to the main road bridge over the river, from the end of a short track we walked a short distance up stream and added White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) to the bird list and started the Dragon list with Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Our second stop was at the carpark along side the river near Cueva de Gato where we made our way out to the still collapsed but crossable bridge where we picked up more Cetti's Warblers, Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and another Grey Wagtail.Around on the pool below the entrance to the cave we saw several male Desert Darters (Sympetrum sinaiticum) and a single very dark Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis) along with Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius). Whilst we were hear we also added Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri) to the list.
Our last stop was down on the river Guadiaro just below Estacion de Benaojan where we checked out the area by the wire and then searched the reed beds on our way back to the car. On our way to and near the wire we recorded Rock (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Cirl Buntings (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). We spent some time sat by the wire scanning the reeds for dargonflies and soon added both Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and on the way back towards the car boosted the list with Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and a single White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) plus a spider in a tall broom bush but I will have to get Sue to give me the name of that one at some point. Birds on the leg of the walk included a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Grey Heron and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Once we were back at the car (rather later than planned) we motored quicker than planned to Ronda to pick up Jayne before heading back to Grazalema and collecting Sam from his dad at the centre in Grazalema, whilst there several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) passed over along with a single Black / Cinereous (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
Once back at the house I had a wander around the garden and picked up Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Photographs from the top: Mist durring the walk to the bus, Desert Darters (Sympetrum sinaiticum), Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis)and Autumn colours at the wire on the Guadiaro.