Saturday 6 August 2016

Malaga Province.

Up to our knees in Dragons and wastes in water.

Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus).
Steve and I headed out to a spot on the Guadalhorce North of Malaga to look for Dragonflies and other wildlife. 
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
We arrived on site and found that there was a lot more vegetation along the main river and quite a lot more water in a very nice little side tributary.
White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes).
We were at the spot by 11.00 and left at 17.00 and spent the whole six hours in an area of just a couple of hundred meters of river where we saw Large (Onychogomphus uncatus) x1M, Small (Onychogomphus forcipatus) and Faded Pincertails (Onychogomphus costae) x12M & 3F, Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus) x9M, Blue / Common (Anax imperator) x2 M & 1F and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) x1M, Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea) and Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) and Violet Dropwings (Trithemis annulata), Southern (Orthetrum brunneum) x1M and Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x 2M.
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes). 
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
In the same area we had Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) x1, Greater Short-toed (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), African Grass Blue (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna), Mediterranean skipper (Gegenes nostrodamus), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura).
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus).
Tandem pair of White Featherlegs (Platycnemis latipes).
Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii).

Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).

Thursday 4 August 2016

Huétor Fields, Granada Province and the Caminito del Ray, Malaga Province.

A morning on the local patch and a walk along the Caminito in the afternoon / Evening.

Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Steve and I started the day off with a look around the fields which was done mainly from the car as Steve had tweeked his back on the flight over. 
Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax).
We did the near fields first along the Rio Vilano and then later out on the mesia road. Species seen included Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) as well as Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x 7M & 4F, Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) x1M and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) X 10+.
The View on the walk out to the start of the Cliff Walk.
Later in the afternoon Jayne, Lynn, Steve and I drove over to El Chorro area and parked near one of the bars around the lakes there and made our way out to the starting point of the Caminito del Ray, on this first stretch we saw Night (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) and Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x2M, Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica). 
Steve and Lynn on the Walk.
We were soon up on the raised parts of the walk, the first section was quite tame and not in anyway difficult but the second section was far more like what I was expecting with some dromatic cliffs and drops below the path way and then right near the end the moving bridge which was great. 
Lynn and Jayne.
By the time we cleared the far end I added Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) to the list.
Looking from the first part of the Cliff walk to the second.
On the way back home or to the bar for something to eat to be a bit more accurate we had Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), two Red-necked Nightjars (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) and a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua). 
A cracking day at a superb site in good company which was finished off nicely with a beer and some Tapas in one of the local bars in Huétor Tajar.
Jayne off ahead.
Jayne, Lynn and Steve on the swingy Bridge.
On the last part of the walk.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Antequera, Fuente de Piedra and Teba areas, Malaga Province.

A mornings birding with Lydia and James from Canada.

Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) Adult.
I met Lydia and her son James in Antequera and we headed out on to the fields just the other side of the A92 for our first stop and the first birds seen were a family of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) on a small track side ruin. In the same area we picked up Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Greater Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) x5, Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) which was sat on a distant arm of one of the very large watering booms.
Our next stop was for some breakfast in Fuente de Piedra at a nice Spanish bar before we went down to the Lagoons, most of which were bone dry. 
Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina).
We parked and then walked up the steps and around to the view point where we scanned the main lake but as the only water was way off on the eastern side we only managed to get distant views of the few Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) that remained as well as Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), a Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) which we could hear crocking when we arrived but we did not manage to see it, Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli) and a couple of Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
We moved on around to the hides at the side and rear of the center, on the first small pool where I usually see nothing worth while we had a couple of immature Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) which were still looking quite downy, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), 2 adult Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), 2x immature Iberian / Southern Grey Shrikes (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), a female Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and several Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) which passed over head.
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
From the main hide we added several new species to the day list including Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), a dozen or so Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and 8+ Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), a female White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Grey (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) before we checked the last hide and had really nice views of a Western Olivaceous Warbler (Zarcero Pálido Occidental / Hippolais opaca) feeding in the bushes right in front of the hide as well as Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and more Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
A herd of Goats on the fields.
We returned to the Mirador and the dropped down on to the lowere track to make our way back around to the car, on the way we had more Reed Warblers, House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and a Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) which for ths species showed amazingly well and allowed Lydia and James to see it in the scope.
Once we were back at the car we drove down the western side of the lake but added nothing to the list so we took to the fields and headed across country to the dryed out remains of Laguna Dulce, on the way we had Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and a Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), right at the far end of the track the way was block for a short while by a flock of Goats and a young lad on a donkey, he was carrying a dog and texting on his smart phone !!
Our next stop was at the Raptor watch point just off the main Malaga road, as we arrived we watch 20 or so Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) move off to the east and we had a small flock of European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) but they remained high and hard to see, Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
The Goat herder using his mobile at the wheel.
We moved just down the road and parked near the Tajo de Molino and then walked down to the small pools near the bridge were we found star species for the day a fine male Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae) which was unfortunately chased of quickly by one of 4+ male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), in the same area we had Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x2M, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x3M & 1F and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x1M. We walked down the gorge but thinks were very quiet and we only managed to add Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) to the list. Things were now getting warm so we decided on a drink and pit stop before heading to Santa Ana train Station and on a bit of rough ground near the bar James and I saw a Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) in flight but we could not relocate it for Lydia.
On our way to the Station we had a very quick look on an arm of the nearby Embalse but only found a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) for the day list.
We reached the station and I dropped Lydia and James off for their train to Sevilla and headed Home.