A new species of Dragon for my Spanish list and three new one for Steve´s list as well.
Lynn, Steve and I headed off west up the A92 passed Granada and in to the fabulous Sierra Huétor to the north of the Sierra Nevada. We parked and spent the next few hours checking out just a KM or so of fast flowing river. The area is in a wooded valley with some good open grassland areas for butterflies. We started to see good numbers of butterflies straight away including Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Great Banded Grayling (Rey Moro / Kanetisa circe), Iberian Marbled White (Medioluto Ibérica / Melanargia lachesis) and Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli). Steve picked up the first of the bird species when a group of Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) started feeding around the nearby crags, we also sawand heard Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). Once we were down by the river we found a female Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus) up on the grass just away from the water, down under the tree in the fast water we found Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) which was the first new species for Steve´s Spanish list. We moved along the river slowly and eventually we found the first of several Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo subsp meridionalis) which were a couple of males and just a little further on we located a nice group of both males and females sitting on juncus spikes. Seveveal Common Golden Rings flew passed us both ways along the river and on the grassy banks around us we saw High Brown (Fabriciana adippe), Cardinal (Pandora / argynnis Pandora) and Queen of Spain Fritillaries (Issoria lathonia), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and under the trees a single Wood White (Leptidea sinapis). Steve and Lynn stayed in this spot for a while and I continued on up stream for a while where I had nice views of a Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura) which appeared to be catching pond skater. I also picked up a ne species for my Granada Province Dragon list in the shape of two Western Spectre´s (Boyeria Irene) and what I think is Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) which would actually be a new species for my Spanish Butterfly list. All along this stretch of river we were finding the Bridge Spider (Larinioides sclopetarius) with their large webs strung between patches of juncus and the trees. After a while Steve and Lynn caught me up and we spent some time watching the Spectre´s and Goldenrings before starting to return along the drier route through the Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) scrub. Just as we were about to leave the river said he had an Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) which was the first of this species for the day but with in a couple of seconds he had changed his mine and had identified the insect as the much rarer Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio) which was a new species for both our Spanish lists, a very nice find. on the walk back we added Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) to the bird list along with Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Dusky Heath (Ninfa de Esper / Coenonympha dorus), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) to the insect list. We reached the car and could not believe that we had walked just 500m and seen so much at a fantastic spot.
Photographs from the top: Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica), Male Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo subsp meridionalis), Female Beautiful Demoiselle, High Brown (Fabriciana adippe), Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura), Bridge Spider (Larinioides sclopetarius), Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio) and Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus).