Wednesday 28 August 2013

Lagunas near Salinas, Malaga Province.

Several new species for Steve Powell's Dragonfly list.

Blue-eye / Goblet-marked (Erythromma lindenii).
Steve, Elena and I have had a few problems with our meetings points over the last few weeks and today was no different but we did get sorted up by the A92 after a while but during my drive there and finding Steve I did see a few species to start the days list of with including 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 Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki). From above Riofrio we made our way along the Motorway towards Malaga and on to our first site.
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
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).
Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum).
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  Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) 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).
An exuvia of either Blue / Common (Anax imperator) or Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
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) 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).
Dainty Damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum).
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.

Monday 26 August 2013

Along the old road in Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

A morning in the woodlands looking for butterflies.

Dusky Heath (Ninfa de Esper / Coenonympha dorus).
I had a couple of hours to kill so I headed up on to the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada looking for Butterflies and Dragonflies. I started off just below the Visitor Center on the old road down to Guejar-sierra. At the first I parked on the side of the road and had a wonder around a large area of grassland lined with Pine woodland and whilst I was there I picked up a few species of bird including a cracking male Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and a calling Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei). Whilst I was having a bimble around here I also saw quite a few species of butterfly, Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus) was by far the commonest species closely followed by Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia) and Oriental Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lupinnus).
Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica).
On a small rocky ridge on the sharp corner in the road I found the first of a few Dusky Heaths (Coenonympha dorus), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). On the main open area there were good numbers of Clouded Yellows (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Small Heaths (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus) and under the pines a couple of Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria).
Lower down I parked by the bridge which crosses the Rio Genil and dropped down below it on to the rocks to look for some dragons, straight away there were a small number of Common Golden Ringed Dragonflies (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) which were chasing around the over hanging Willow trees. I alsosaw a rather tatty Comma ("C" blanca / Polygomum c-album), a Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and several Painted Lady's (Vanessa cardui). I then notice that one of the Golden Rings was settling regularly down on an area of brambles so I climbed down to the river side to try and get some shot.
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) male.
On the way I disturbed a male Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) which soon came back to its perch and let me take a few shots. After a while the Golden Ring also came back and settled whilst it finished off it's last catch and allowed me to take a few pictures. In the same area I also saw Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).