Monday, 2 June 2014

Near Ardales and Laguna Chica, Malaga Province.

Day three and things just keep getting better, two more new species for out Spanish Dragon lists.

After another good nights sleep Steve and I headed out to a site not too far from the town of Ardales over in Malaga Province where we were hoping to see another couple of uncommon species of Dragon. We arrived and soon located the correct spot but we were quite early so we started to have a poke around looking for roosting or emerging insects. After a while we found a single female Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) part way along a track away out on to the fields on the far side of the site. Birds included several singing Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotted 
Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae). Once things warmed up a bit things started to move, Steve found a single Yellow Clubtail (Gomphus simillimus) which had climbed up an Iris leaf to warm up for the days flying but by the time I got to the spot it had flown. Next came a single female Western Demoiselle (Calopteryx xanthostoma) which was the only individual we saw of this species, as hard as we searched we could not find a male. The Clubtails started to fly more but seldom settled and when they did they we not very approachable. In the same are we also recorded Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), both White (Platycnemis latipes) and Orange Featherlegs (Platycnemis acutipennis), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus) and Blue-eye / Goblet-marked Damselfly (Erythromma lindenii). Butterflies included Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus lavatherae), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). After a while things went quiet so we decided to head back towards Granada area calling in at Laguna Chica near Archidona on the way. We arrived and walked the whole of the Northern and eastern shores, checking the water side on the way out and the scrub on the way back. Here birds were quieter as it was the afternoon but we did see and hear  Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little  (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and Subalpine Warblers (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus). Dragonflies were also plentiful with hundreds of Dainty Damselflies (Coenagrion scitulum) on the margins and out on the water along with Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Blue-eye, Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) and a newly emerged female Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens). There were also masses of Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) and a couple Viperine Snakes (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura).
 The heat was quite bad by late afternoon so we headed back to the house and went out for some tapas and a beer.
Steve's flight was early on the Tuesday morning, so we were off down to Malaga at 06;30 in time to get him there for his flight.

Thanks Steve for a fantastic few days and looking forward to looking through some shot when you and Lynn come back in August.

Photographs from the top: Yellow Clubtail (Gomphus simillimus), Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) pair in tandem, Copper Demoiselle male, Western Demoiselle (Calopteryx xanthostoma) female, White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus), Blue-eye / Goblet-marked Damselfly (Erythromma lindenii) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).

1 comment:

Steve Jones said...

A brilliant trip Mick, thank you for an experience that will live long in the memory.