Saturday, 18 July 2015

Laguna Chica / Grande and Salinas, Malaga Province and Arroyo Vilano, Granada Province.

A successful day searching mainly for Dragons.
Paul and Helen Brock Day Seven.

We started the day at Laguna Chica where I was very pleased to find that the track had been regraded and made getting up the hill much easier. We parked and walked down to the 
back edge of the reedbeds and soon started to find the first of quite a few female and newly emerged Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria), later we started to find a few males. We also found Black-tailed Skimmers (Orthetrum cancellatum), several male Blue / Common Emperors (Anax imperator), Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Dainty Damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum), Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) and a single Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens). Butterflies were few but we did get a very nice male Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus) which sat nicely as well as Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto). There were again lots of other types of insects but he onl one with a name at the moment was the Southern Sickle Bush-cricket (Phaneroptera nana). Birds on the water and the surroundings included Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
When we reached the far end of the pool we continued on across to Laguna Grande where we were hoping to find more dragon species but the only new ones were Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi). As we approached the margins we saw several Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and an immature Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea).
We spent quite a while here but eventually we made our way back to the car and then made our way to Salinas area to a pool and stream where we had finding the pool to be very low due mainly to the water being drained off for the local goat herds. There was water in the near by ditches and we soon found several Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) as well as a couple of Viperine Snakes (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura), Southern (Orthetrum brunneum) and Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens) and Mercury Bluet's (Coenagrion mercuriale). Birds included Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Our last stop of the day was near the house on the Rio Vilano where we added White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii) and Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) to the day list as well as European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).

Photographs from the top: Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria) x3, Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Small Spreadwing (Lestes virens), Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) pair in tandem x2, Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) and Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca).

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