Thursday, 14 August 2014

Laguna Chica / Grande, Malaga Province.

A morning with the Trabuco Ladies group and an afternoon Dragon hunting.

I started the day off by giving a wildlife talk to the Ladies group in Trabuco about species found in Malaga Province. The talk went well and after dropping Jayne off at the afternoon craft group I headed to Laguna Chica to meet up with Steve and Lynn who had been there for a while but had not see a great deal. Steve commented that there were far fewer dragons than a few days earlier so we did not cover Laguna Chica again but continued on along a track to Laguna Grande. On the way we picked up Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) and Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum). 
Birds seen included Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus). 
We also saw a few butterfly species as we walked the margins of Laguna Chica and even more as we passed through the woods and scrub on the way over to Laguna Grande, these included Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and Great Banded Grayling (Rey Moro / Kanetisa circe). Steve spotted a Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) feeding on the ground and in the lower branches of a large broom bush, we also added Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) to the bird list before we reached the second pool. We dropped straight down to the water but found that the margins were full 
of high juncus clump at this point and which made getting to the water difficult. However we did see a quite amazing sight, a European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) which was chewing the head off a young Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus). It looked a bit gruesome but very interesting. We also found quite a few Wasp Spiders (Arana Tigre / Argiope bruennichi) in the same patch of Juncus before working our way back up the bank to the Oaks and around to the far side of the pool to a clearer area of shoreline. On the way we saw several Purple Hairstreaks (Quercusia Quercus) flashing around the lower branches and watched a male Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) picking small catapillar´s off the leaves. Once we were back on the water side we started to see dragons again but all very much the same species as we had already seen at Chica but then I found a nice male Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) which was our main target species for the day, Steve got some shots but then it flew out into the lake and perched on a dead stick in some quite deep water. The only option was to start to wade out to it but just as I got in close it flew to the next stick and I started to think that I might have waded up above my waste for nothing but when I reached the next stick the little beauty sat nicely and allowed me to get some nice shot. I made my way back to the shore and Steve took a few more shot. Out on the pool the only new species seen was Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus). I left Steve and Lynn at laguna Grande and walked back to the car and went to pick Jayne up from Trabuco and then met Steve and Lynn back at the house later.

Photographs from the top: Male Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes)   European Mantis (Mantis religiosa), Wasp Spiders (Arana Tigre / Argiope bruennichi) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).

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