Thursday 6 August 2015

El Molinillo and Sierra Huétor, Granada Province.

A day with Steve and Lynn in the superb Sierra de Huétor.

Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus) female.
Lynn, Steve and I headed out to the east and into the hills to the North of Granada, our first stop was at El Molinillo and along the Prado Negro stream.
Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia Quercus).
This is a cracking spot and we spent most of the day there, on the first stretch we soon found Large Pincertails (Onychogomphus uncatus) x2M-4F, Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) x4M, Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) x3M-5F, adult and immature Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
Out on the fields next to the river we started to find a good selection of butterflies including Tree (Neohipparchia statilinus), Striped (Pseudotergumia fidia) and Common Graylings (Hipparchia semele), Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Dark-green  (Argynnis aglaja) and High Brown Fritillaries (Fabriciana adippe), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis), Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans) and Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia Quercus).
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) female.
During the morning we worked our way along the river for the huge distance of about 900meters, we covered such a short distance due to the amount of species we were seeing and trying to photograph.
Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus).
The species seen included Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) x3M, Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene) x1M, Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) x4M-3F, Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Berger's Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis), a cracking Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) which I had to lye in the river to photograph, Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus).
Stick Insect (Pijnackeria hispanica).
We had some lunch back at the car before crossing the road and checking the meadows there adding Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Prionyx kirbii.
Once we had finished on the meadows we headed back a short way towards Granada on a minor road and stopped in a large area of Pines next to the motorway and checked the track sides.
Whilst we were there we were questioned by one of the rangers about what we were doing (first time in years) and once he was happy with things we spent quite a while talking about cameras and he showed us loads of his shots on his phone.
Trichodes leucopsideus ?????
We eventually go back to searching through the site for insects and Steve came up with a cracking Stick Insect (Pijnackeria hispanica) at only the second site that I had seen them, in the same area we had European Mantis (Mantis religiosa), Southern Brown Argus, Common / Southern Blue,  several Wasp species including Prionyx kirbii, Sriped Shieldbug (Graphosoma italicum), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus).
The day had again flown by so we heade back in to the house for another very pleasant evening on the terrace.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Rivers above Malaga, Malaga Province.

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

Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
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.
Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum).
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.
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
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 morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
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.
Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii).
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.
Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus).
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.
Scolia hortorum ???
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).
Spider-hunting Wasp (Cryptocheilus discolor).
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. 
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae) mating pair.
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.
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae) mating pair.