Thursday, 7 August 2014

Laguna Chica and Salina´s, Malaga Province.

The first days dragonfly hunting with Steve and Lynn Jones from Cornwall.

Steve, Lynn and I headed over to Laguna Chica where we were hoping to find the uncommon Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) which would be a new species for his Spanish list. We arrived and parked under a large Oak tree above the lake where we could see and hear Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). We walked down to the lake side where we quickly started to find dragons including Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and with in 10 mnutes an immature female Black Pennant which had emerged quite recently. Along a shortish length of shore we found at least another two Pennants, all of which were immature females. In the same area we found a nice immature Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum). On the water I picked up Little  (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and in the air above the pool Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
We continued on around the pool margin to the ruin where we found at least 4 Common Winter Damselflies (Sympecma fusca) in the shade of the walls. Further on we had good views of most of the species we saw in the first half of the walk but we also saw Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and a very smart Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus). 
On the way back we picked up two of the same Black Pennants, Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and right back at the car a Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta).
After having something to eat we headed to a small pool and some ditches near Salinas, on the pool we had  Blue / Common Emperor, Scarlet Darter, Epaulet Skimmer, Orange-winged Dropwing and on the narrow ditches which run along the field edges we found Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), Mercury Bluet's (Coenagrion mercuriale), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) and several Viperine Snakes (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura) and Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi). 

Photographs from the top:  2x Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens), Common Winter Damselflies (Sympecma fusca), Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).

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