Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Rivers above Malaga, Malaga Province.

The first of a few days Dragon Hunting with friend Steve Jones from the UK.

Steve and Lynn Jones arrived from the UK yesterday for a bit of sun and some wildlife, there first proper day found Lynn and Jayne off to Torre del Mar and Steve and myself wading along some rivers above Malaga. Our first stop was at one of the smaller rivers which was dry for most of its course but a short stretch is feed by an irrigation channel and carries water all the time in varying amounts. Birds were around before the dragons had warmed up and included Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and a very nice pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus). As things warmed up we started to get a few dragons taking to the air including Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) x3M+, Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x3M, Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) x2M, Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) x20+, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x1F, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x4M-1F and a very nice male Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus) which as usual did not want to land.
Our next spot to visit was supplied to us by Paul Winter from the UK who had found a new site for the extremely rare Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae) a few KM north of where we were. We arrived at the spot and with in seconds had seen our first of these incredible insects flying over the stony margins and during the next few hours we had fantastic views of around x30+ males and a couple of females but the females evaded the camera. In an area of swifter moving water a little way down stream we had two possibly three male Ringed Cascaders, Orange-winged Dropwing x10M+, Copper Demoiselle x7M-3F, Epaulet Skimmer x2M- 1F, Keeled Skimmer x2M, Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) x3M, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x10M+- 2F, Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) x5, Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii) x20+ and White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) x3M. Birds included Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Cetti's Warbler, Green Sandpiper, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
The afternoon just flew by and before we knew it it was time to head in but we did take the longer cross country route back and added a very smart Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) to the day list. 
Once we were back at the house we were soon up on the terrace as usual and picked up Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) whilst we were enjoying a rattle and a drink.

Photographs from the top: Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae) male, Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), another male Faded Pincertail, Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii), Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus), Unidentified Wasp species, another Unidentified Wasp species, Spider-hunting Wasp (Cryptocheilus discolor) and 2x mating Faded Pincertails.


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