Friday 5 June 2015

Fuente de Piedra and Almargen area, Malaga Province.

A new species for my Spanish Dragon list whilst out and about again with Steve Jones from Cornwall.
Day two.

We headed out earlish and made our way to Fuente de Piedra where we were hoping to find some of the Dark Spreadwings (Lestes macrostigma) I had seen a few weeks earlier as it would be a new species for Steve's list. We arrived and checked out the now dry ditches and pools around the entrance road but all we found were a few Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) x10 on the dragonfront but we did see Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) before heading up to the Mirador with the Oak tree behind the Visitor Centre. From here we scanned the flock of Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and quickly located 2 of the Lesser Flamingo's (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor) at the site along with Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and a couple of fly over Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax). At the first screen which over looks a small pool we saw several Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (FochaComún / Fulica atra), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and the target species Dark Spreadwing x7 but they were a good distance away. Steve did get some record shots but nothing very good so we continued on and had a look at the other two hides and added Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) 1 male, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) 2 teneral, Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) 1 male, Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Coliascorcea) and Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla). We returned to the view point and had another look at the Lesser Flamingo's before dropping back on to the lower track and checking the ditches again but with the same results.
From here we headed West to Campillos and then on to Almargen area where we were following information gained from ROLA. We checked an area of river side vegetation which was absolutally alive with dragons of a good few species including Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) x20+, Mercury Bluet's (Coenagrion mercuriale) x50+, Mediterranean Bluet (Coenagrion caerulescens) x300+, Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum) x30+, Blue / Common Emperor x 1 male & 1 female egg laying, Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) x 1 male and Iberian Bluetails x 5+. In the same area we also had Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Water Scorpion.
Again we moved on but this time just down the road to a spot nearer to the town where we only added Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis) to the day list.
On the opposite side of the town we searched a stretch of the river in a large concrete colvert which turned out to be more productive than expected. Species seen included Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) over head, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x 1 male, Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) x 6 males and 1 female, Blue / Common Emperor x 1 male & 2 egg laying females, Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x 2 males, Iberian Bluetails x 10+ and Mediterranean Bluet x 3 males and 1 female.
On the way back home we called in at Laguna Dulce but it was generally quiet but we added Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) to the list before heading back to the house.

Photographs from the top: Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), male Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), teneral female Keeled Skimmer,  male Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum), female Small Red Damselfly, pair in tandem Small Red Damselfly, Mercury Bluet's (Coenagrion mercuriale), copper coloured female Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and green coloured female Copper Demoiselle

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