Saturday 21 June 2014

Sue´s Garden, Puerto de los Presillas, Grazalema crags and Sewage works, Near Sue´s at Sue´s again, Cadiz Province.

A walk in the mountains and some Dragon,s nearer to Sue´s.

Sam checking his bug pot.
During the earlier part of the morning I spent some time around the garden whilst Jayne and Sue had a good chat, down in the far paddock I soon relocated the family of Subalpine Warblers (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) that I had seen yesterday and they were joined in the same Quince tree by a family of Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), a Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).
Pistorinia hispanica.
On the opposite side of the patch there were some more mature trees and in this area I quickly located Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Southern Campanula (Campanula velutina).
As things started to warm up some butterflies started to fly including Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Just after 10 Sam and Clive arrived and we all had a bit of a chat before Clive headed back to Grazalema and the four of us got sorted and went out for a walk along a track up towards a spot called Puerto de los Presillas where we were going plant hunting.
White Stonecrop (Sedum album).
Right by the place where we parked we were soon watching several species of Butterflies including Small (Thymelicus sylvestris), Marbled (Carcharodus lavatherae) and Lulworth Skippers (Thymelicus acteon), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and an almost dead Fritillary which Sue rescued from a water trough which still needs a name but it was in such bad condition it will not be easy.
Sedum sediforme.
Plants seen in this area were Fragrant Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora subsp Fragrans), Spanish Oyster Thistle (Scolymus hispanicus), Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia), St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum), White Flax (Linum suffruticosum) and Great Mullein (Verbascum giganteum). We continued on up the track until we reached a nice area of crags, on the way up we saw a family party of Firecrests (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), a Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) being mobbed by a pair of Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre).
Plants included Pyramidal Orchid (Orquidea Pyramidal / Anacamptis pyramidalia), Candle-stick bugloss (Echium boissieri), Curry Plant (Helecrisum stoechaes), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Iberis pectinata, Clinopodium vulgare subsp. arundanum, Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Oleander (Nerium oleander), Pistorinia brevifolia, Sedum sediforme, White stonecrop (Sedum album), Pistorinia hispanica and Blue lettuce (Lactuca tenerrima). Butterflies were also seen and included most of the species seen earlier plus Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea) and Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini) which Sue saw but I missed.
Hoplia bilineata.
At the furthest point I did a bit of scrambling around on the rocks and eventually found a couple of the rare endemic Grazalema Poppy (Papaver rupifragum) and in the same area I also had Sedum brevifolium, Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), Putoria (Putoria calabrica), Campanula specularioides, Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum villosum) and Clematis (Clematis vitalba). We continued on a little way before turning around and returning to the car seeing Mountain Catchfly (Silene Andryalifolia), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), Spiny Restharrow (Ononis spinosa), Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Reversed Clover (Trifolium resupinatum), Melancholy Toadflax (Linaria tristis) and Viper's Bugloss (Echium plantagineum).
Melancholy Toadflax (Linaria tristis).
From here we headed back through Grazalema to a bar near Sue and Sam´s but made a quick stop to photographs Southern Campanula (Campanula velutina). We had lunch and then went back up to there house, later I drove down to the sewage works nearer to Grazalema where I checked the rocks on the way down and saw males of both Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) before parking near the Rio Guadalete. On the pools I saw just two male Broad-bodied Chasers (Libellula depressa), several Blue-eye / Goblet-marked Damselflies (Erythromma lindenii), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Sam enjoying a sweet from the barman.
I moved on to another site not too far from the house where I saw Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Summer Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes aestivalis). 
Trapdoor spider (Bothriocyrtum californicum).
After an hour or so I went back up to the house where we set up the Moth Trap, whilst we were doing this we saw or heard Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Jay, Short-toed Treecreeper, Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Trapdoor spider (Bothriocyrtum californicum) and Huntsman Spider (Eusprassus dufouri). Later we had a nice meal and settled down.

Friday 20 June 2014

Laguna Dulce, Ronda and Grazalema area, Cadiz Province.

A couple of days with Sue and Sam near Grazalema.

Adult male Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
Jayne and I hit the road early and made our way over towards Ronda, on the way we made a stop at Laguna Dulce where I spent half an hour scanning the pool. As usual the commonest species was Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), followed by White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and on the margins Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).
Immature Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
In the air and around the margins there were a good number of species seen and heard including Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
Once I had finished in the hide we drove on to Ronda where Jayne wanted to look at a couple of shops so I went down to the Gorge and had a look at what was about there, the commonest species seen by far was the torist which was a good sign for Ronda and Spain.
Birds recorded were Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and most surprising was a flock of 3 Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) which appeared to be moving North / South, possibly coming from Embalse de Zahara-El Gastor and heading down to the coast.
Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis).
After lunch Jayne and I headed to Sue´s house where I had a quick look around the garden before Sue arrived, species seen included Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Summer Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes aestivalis).
Insects were also every where and included Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi), Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus lavatherae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). Sue arrived and we all went in and had a drink and a chat out on the terrace bufore I went for a quick look around a quickly drying out river bed not far from the house.
Female Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis).
As I arrived I flushed a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) from its perch on one the pools and also soon had Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Male Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis).
A little further along the more open stretch of water I found several very nice spikes of Summer Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes aestivalis) which were growing just above the water line on tussocks in the remaining pools, all the other plants that we had seen last year had been eaten by the larger number of cattle that now graze the pasture. At the same spot I also had a couple of dozen newly emerged Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis) and the rush stands in the river at this point were covered in their exuvia. 
I continued on down the river picking up a few more birds species on the way including Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and a surprisingly aggresive Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) which when I came around a bend flew at me squawking and landed a couple of meters away giving me abuse and then flew off.
Exuvia of  Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis).
On the larger pool in the woods and in the Cistus scrub on the banks I saw several Orange Featherlegs (Platycnemis acutipennis), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). On my way back to the car I added another couple of bird species before headed back to Sue´s which were Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) and Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla). Also seeen during this walk were Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus) and Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi).

Thursday 19 June 2014

Laguna Chica, Malaga Province.

A couple of hours in the water with the camera.

Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum).
Whilst Jayne was at the Trabuco Craft Group I went and had a look around the margins of Laguna Chica for Dragonflies. I parked the car under some very convinient Oak trees and made my way down to the waters edge, on the way I saw several False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi) nectering on Curry Plants (Helecrisum stoechaes), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Spanish Marbled White (Medioluto Inés / Melanargia ines) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
Once I was down by the water I was surrounded by dozens if not hundreds of Dainty Damselflies (Coenagrion scitulum), a few Broad Scarlets (Crocothemis erythraea) and Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
Broad Scarlets (Crocothemis erythraea).
On and around the pool there were several Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Dainty Damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum).
I walked right the way around to the Eastern end of the pool passing the ruin and did the return walk away from the water amongst the bushes, I like this site but the ticks this year are really bad and I must have knocked 20 odd of my legs thankfully before they dug in. They were probably a bit slower digging in due to the gallons of insect repellent I had sprayed on my legs.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
On the way out and back again I recorded more Violet Dropwings, Broad Scarlets, Epaulet Skimmers, hundreds more Dainty Damsels and Blue / Common Emperors plus a few new species Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Red-veined (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) and Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).
The whole time I was walking around the margins Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) were leaping from cover into the water and the odd Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura) slunk away and swam for cover in the blanket weed.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

North of Malaga, Malaga Province.

A few Dragonflies.

Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus).
I dropped Jayne off in Malaga and made my way North to a small tree lined river that I had visited a week or so earlier.
Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea).
I parked and walked up the dry river bed until I reached a point where there was a small trickle which got stronger as I walked further on, on the way I saw a Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor),
Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and just as I reached
Adult male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma).
the main Dragon area a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) flushed up. In the main area of water I soon located Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Iberian Blue-tail  (Ischnura graellsii), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata). Also seen during the walk I also saw Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi).
Teneral Male Epaulet Skimmer.