Saturday, 6 June 2015

Almargen and Salinas, Malaga Province and Moraleda Fields, Granada Province.

Another new dragon species for my Spanish list on Steve's third and final day.
Day three.

After I had fully read the notes about the dragons Almargen area I realised that we had been looking in the wrong area for one of the species we had wanted to see the Yellow-Veined Skimmer (Orthetrum nitidinerve) so we drove back over and visited the correct spot which looked totally uninspiring to say the least and along with the very high wind we were not very confident of seeing anything. We checked the only open area of water but found nothing so we walked the track which followed the river and after a about 100 meters we had a female type dragon zip up in front of us and away but even with the brief bad views we had we thought that we had got the targets species so we started to search the area. After a few minutes we relocated the dragon out on the field sat on the soil in a roughly ploughed field and it was instantly obvious that it was a female Yellow-Veined Skimmer with the veining in wings standing out very well. We got some shots but it was hard going in the wind and with the brightness of the lumps of soil. We walked a little further along the stream picking up Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii).
We moved on to the far side of the town and out into the campo to a stream near a disused cortijo where we found ver little in the way of water except for a small sump pool right on the side of the track which was full of Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) and drinking wasp's and bee's. In the same area we found a female Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Iberian Blue-tail, Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
From here we moved back towards home calling in at Salinas on the way to check the pool and ditches in the area, on the pool and ditches we found 2 male Scarlet Darters (Crocothemis erythraea), 4 male Southern Skimmers, 2 male and 2 female Mercury Bluet's (Coenagrion mercuriale), 1 male and 1 female Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), 1 male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), 5x  Iberian Blue-tails, 2 male Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
During the heat of the afternoon we decided to go and have a look out on the fields around Moraleda hoping for a few bird species, we went out onto the tracks and soon had good views of a couple of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), a fine Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) which gave us the run around and did not allow us to get any shot, Short-toed  (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and 2x Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).

Photographs from the top: 2x Yellow-Veined Skimmer (Orthetrum nitidinerve), Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi), drinking Bee, Mercury Bluet's (Coenagrion mercuriale), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) and an immature Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).

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