Saturday, 9 August 2014

Straits of Gibraltar, Cadiz Province.

A day out on the Straits whale watching and some Dragons later.

After breakfast we dropped Jayne down at the Gib crossing and headed for Tarifa where we were hoping to head out to sea Whale watching, we arrived and found the offices of one of the companies. We booked to go out on one of their 3 hour trips which leaves the port at 11:00, we made our way down to the port from the office and were given a briefing in the port office before we were taken down to the boat. Around the port there were quite a few Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) which were by joined by Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and a single Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) once we were out to sea. We cruised for about three quarters of an our towards the coast of Morocco until we came into a pod of Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) which showed all around the boat for ages giving very nice views of both adults and youngsters.The Dolphins moved off and were replaced by several Long-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas) which again performed very well right along side the boat. I enjoyed what we saw but feel we spent too long watching these two species and did not look for other whales in the area.
Once we were back on dry land we when to a spot just opposite one of the Raptor watch points where we parked and had our lunch whilst looking for early passage birds but we only managed to see a dozen or so Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), a single Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and a few resident Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) so we decided to head back to the field where we had seen the Green Hooktails (Paragomphus genei) yesterday. We arrived but it was dam hot and the dragons were even harder to find than yesterday but I managed to locate a male and two females but none were happy to be photographed, in the same area there were several Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and a few White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes). After a while we abandoned the field and went down on to the river, on the way we saw a European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) on the track. Down by the river we had more White Featherlegs, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) and a Monarch (Danaus plexippus).
Once we had finished here we headed off to pick up Jayne and then we made our way back along the coast and then home.

Photographs from the top: 2x Long-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas), Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), Immature Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).

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