Up to our bits and beyond !!
Jayne and Lynn were having a day in the local town of Huétor Tajar and then a chill back at the house whist Steve and I headed off west again. This time we started the day at a site near Ardales on the Rio Turón where earlier in the year Steve and I had seen both Yellow Clubtail (Gomphus simillimus) and Western Demoiselle (Calopteryx xanthostoma) for the first time but neither of us had got great shots of the Clubtail and needed to see a male Demoiselle. We arrived at the spot and started to look around the shallow stretch of river and soon located several Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and a couple of Small Pincertails (Onychogomphus forcipatus). Birds seen and heard in this first spot included Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). A little way along the track on the far side of the river we saw White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). We checked the deeper water upstream and found several more Iberian Blue-tails, a female Blue-eye / Goblet-marked Damselfly (Erythromma lindenii) and a male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
We continued to check the area but did not find either of the two target species so we checked another area nearby which we had spotted on the drive in. We parked and straight away we saw good numbers of Violet (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperor, Small Pincertails, Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Blue-eye / Goblet-marked Damselfly. After a while I pushed through a short hedge of Tamarisks and came out into what I can only describe as a secret garden for Dragons and as soon as I was through the bushes I located loads of Small Pincertails, more Orange-winged Dropwings, Scarlet Darter, Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), 2 or 3 Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene) and a single male Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus) which flew up and down the river for a while before disappearing some where. In this area we also recorded Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
Mid afternnon had arrived so we decided to head back towards home but made a last minute detour to Fuente de Piedra to have a look at the dried out pools along the entrance road, the pools had dried out much earlier in the season so we did not really expect to find much. We checked the track side clumps of clubrush and were pleased to find several Small Spreadwings (Lestes virens), Red-veined Darter and good numbers of Keeled Skimmers. The main reserve was almost completely dry with just a short slither of water in the North east corner which held a hundred or so Greater Flamingo´s (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna).
From here we headed back to see the girls at home.