Friday 14 August 2015

Off Tarifa, Cadiz Province and travelling home.

A second trip out for the Orca's.

Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas).
As we had not seen the Orca's yesterday we got 30% off todays trip out but this time there were less of us so we were on a much smaller boat which made it a bit more choppy. 
Long-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala melas).
Again there was no sign of the Orca's but on this trip we did see more Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as well as several Atlantic White-sided Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus) and a good number of Long-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala melas) all of which gave us good views but as the boat was smaller getting in to get photographs was a lot harder.
Jayne on the boat.
During the cruise we had several more Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), a single Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) and many migrating Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
We arrived back at the port in Tarifa and had some Lunch before heading back towards home but on the way we called in at a spot where we photographed a couple of White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).

White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).

Thursday 13 August 2015

Off Tarifa, Barbate Marshes and La Janda, Cadiz Province.

A mornings Dolphin watching and an afternoon birding.

Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis).
The four of us headed down to Tarifa and booked on to the Orca watching boat trip and later we went down to the harbour to wait for the boat and saw Yellow-legged Gull  (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis).
We headed out on one of the companys larger boats with a lot of other people which was not as nice as the last time we did it but we did enjoy it. The only thing missing from the trip were the Orca's but we did see several Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Sunfish (Mola mola) and quite a few Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and lots of migrating Barn Swallows as well as around a 1000 White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis).
Once we were back on dry land we headed around the coast towards Vejer, stopping to have lunch at Apollo XI before going a bit further on to the golf course where we saw just a single Bald Ibis (Ibis Eremita / Geronticus eremita), several Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and down by a largish pool nearby we had Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
A large Tuna being landed.
Dragons included Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) halfway across.
We continued on past Vejer calling in at the cliffs below the town where we saw the now empty Ibis nests along with Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and House Martins
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
Our next stop was down at the coastal marshes where I was a bit disappointed with the number of birds but we did see Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Yellow-legged Gull, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little and  Cattle Egret and Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia). 
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
At this point we started to make our way back toward the hotel via La Janda, we spent an hour or so but only worked the main track where we saw Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), White Storks, Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Black-winged Stilts, Greater Flamingo's, Spoonbill, Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) as well as Red-veined Darter, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
As we headed back to the hotel we hit a long traffic jam and whilst we were stuck I saw Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Booted Eagle, Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
We eventually cleared the Tarifa traffic jam and got to the hotel, later we went out and head a very nice Italian meal in the restaurant El Mafia.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Hozgargantes, Jimena del la Frontera, Cadiz Province.

Lynn and Jayne on Gib whilst Steve and I went looking for dragons and birds inland.

Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) female.
Steve and I drove inland from the border to Gib picking up Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) male.
Once we reached Jimena we were surprised to find that there was a lack of water but there were a couple of pools up stream so we went and had a look at them.
Steve photographing the Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus).
On the first pool we soon had a male Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei) but after landing once it disappeared up the river bed. In the same area we had Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x1M-1F, a male Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and the first of 3 male Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus), in the sky overhead we had Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus).
On the second and larger pool we found another 3 male Green Hooktails and a single female along with Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) x8M, Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) x 20+, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x1M, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x5M, Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii) and White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes).
Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus).
We had a very smart Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus) which was very tame and came right up close whilst it had a drink. In the same area there were loads of Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) all along the side of the pools.
An immature Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
In the trees around the area we found Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), 2x Kingfishers (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and on the way back we found a very nice male Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene).
We went back towards La Linea and met the girls and then went and found the hotel and checked in and later we went for a meal at the Luna beach bar back in La Linea.
The castle at Jimena.

Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Laguna Chica, Laguna Grande, Malaga Province and Rio Vilano, Granada Province.

Steve and I headed out for a days local dragonfly hunting.

Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.
We started the day by making our way to Laguna Chica and I was very pleased to find that the track had been resurfaced which made getting up to the pool far easier.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.
We walked down to the edge of the pool but found we could not get close to the water due to the reedbeds but on the track around the northern edge we saw Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria) x15+, Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) x3M, Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) 3M-1F, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x50+, Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) x1M, Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) x3M, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x5M-2F and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) x2M.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.
Birds included Grey (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Orphean (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.
On our way around to Laguna Grande we called in at a small ditch which looked as though it would be quite good for dragons but all we managed to find was a single male Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis).
Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca).
Up at Laguna Grande we were amazed to find well over 50 Long Skimmers on the wing, 500+ Red-veined Darters, Black-tailed Skimmers x20+, Scarlet Darter x20+, Common Blue Damselfly x1M, Orange-winged Dropwing x2M-1F, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x1M, White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) x5M and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) x10.
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) female.
Birds included Eurasian Coot, Great Crested and Little Grebes, Mallard, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus).
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Our last stop of the day was near to home on the Rio Vilano where Steve had found several Mediterranean Bluet's (Coenagrion caerulescens) x4M-1F, Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum) x8M-1F, Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x2M, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x1M, Iberian Blue-tail x20, Scarlet Darter x3M and Red-veined Darter x4M-1F.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) male.
We also had views of a soaring group of 13 Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), a dark Morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), an immature Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and a couple of Greys, Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa). From here we headed back to the house and sat on the terrace and had a drink.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) female.
Mediterranean Bluet (Coenagrion caerulescens).
Mediterranean Bluet (Coenagrion caerulescens).

Monday 10 August 2015

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Turning Steve to the dark side and took him birding, a change from the Dragons (well almost).

White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes).
Lynn, Steve and I headed out past Moraleda and on to the fields where we were had views of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a fine Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and most amazing a flock of over 150 Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) feeding on a stubble field.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
Our next stop was down in the Valley near the Contra-embalse de Bermejalis where we did dip back in to the Dragons for a short while and found Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis) x1M, Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) x2M-1F, White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) x5, Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) x1F, Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) x5M-2F, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x10 and a single male Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
In the same area we had a Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Crested  (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). 
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
A little further down the road we stopped at the Contra-embalse de Cacìn and scanned the water seeing Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) x7, European Bee-eater  (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), immature Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Barn Swallow, House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
Moving further on we stopped at the gorge seeing nothing new so we headed back up the valley and called in at Balsa del Rigedor cecking the pool for dragons adding Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) x2M-1F, Red-veined Darter x50+, Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) x4M-1F, Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum) 2M, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x5M, Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x3M, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard and Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
Black-tailed Skimmers (Orthetrum cancellatum) mating pair.
Our last stop of the day was at a small rather smelly pool on the arroyo Vilano near the house. Here we had good numbers of  Scarlet Darters x8M, Red-veined Darter x10, Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) x5, Epaulet Skimmer x1M and a single White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium).

Sunday 9 August 2015

Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A Granada Province tick in the Garden.

Southern Darter (Sympetrum meridionale).
Steve Jones had found a male Southern Darter (Sympetrum meridionale) in next doors garden and I had unfortunately missed it but later in the day he found a different insect. This time it was a very nice immature male which spent a while on the canes in my veg patch.

Southern Darter (Sympetrum meridionale).