Tuesday 15 August 2017

Roquetas de Mar, Almeria Province and coastal Granada Province.

A mixed day around the plastic lands of the Roquetas del Mar area and an equally uninviting spot on the Granada Coast.

Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons).
Lynn, Steve and I set off for the salt pans just to the west of Roquetas around the reserve of Punta Entinas-sabinar, on the way in towards the reserve we saw several Collared Pratincoles (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola) skimming the reed beds feeding and again whilst we were driving in along the main track more were seen but during the rest of the day we did not see a single bird let along get one in front of the camera.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
As we went in to the reserve it became apparent it was a great deal drier than the last time I was there, even so we continued on down to some of the salt pans where there was water and found Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Little Terns (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus).
Lynn returning after her stroll to the distant lighthouse.
We drove further down the pans to an area where there were several derelict salt pan buildings and scanned the rocky bars there looking for Terns and found plenty of Common (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo), Sandwich (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Whiskered (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) and more Little Terns, as well as Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Slender-billed (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia) and Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus).
Steve looking very professional.
On the way out of the site we added Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
As well as several Dragons including Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres).
Once we were out of the reserve we drove around to a spot on the far side of the pans and walked in along a reed fringed track seeing several Long Skimmers, masses of Lesser Emperors and good numbers of Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii). 
Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
Birds included more Whiskered, Common, Little and Sandwich Terns, Slender-billed Gulls, along with Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
Once we were back at the car we found a very newly emerged Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) which perched well for the camera, once we photographed this insect we headed back along the coast to a spot near to Castell de Ferro where we searched an area of Wild Caper (Capparis spinosa) plants for the uncommon Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) butterfly which we found at the furthest point along the track. 
Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo).
By the time we had finished we had found three insects and had managed to photograph a couple. 
From here we moved on and made our way back to the house.
Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo), Slender-billed Gulls (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii).
Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).

Sunday 13 August 2017

Rivers North of Malaga, Malaga Province.

Visiting some of my favourite dragons.

Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
After taking Jayne down to the Airport at Malaga for her trip back to the UK to see our Son Alan, his wife Becky and our Grandson Ryan. Lynn, Steve and I then went and had some breakfast before driving to Zapata but it was quiet except for 3x Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and as we were leaving the site on the tracks through the ellotment type areas Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and a group of 20 or so Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
We headed inland to the Rio Grande but after the winter rains the tracks were in poor condition and most of the birds had been flushed by dog walker meant we only saw more Little Egrets, Little-ringed Plovers, Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis).
We again pushed on in land to another river but when we arrived I was surprised to find it was dry except for the usual sewage flow from the town, a few weeks earlier there had been a good flow at the point where we parked. 
Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis).
In spite of it being dry at this point we walked on what would be up stream until we found a stretch of around 150 meters of the river that held water and had a small flow on it feed by the local irrigation system. 
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus).
At first we only found a teneral ♂ Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), several Copper Demoiselles (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and a couple of teneral Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma) but as things warmed up we added Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), a female Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and lots of Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma).
Steve and I walked up stream along the stretch that held water and we hear some noise in the dry reeds ahead of us then Steve had an Otter (Nutria / Lutra lutra) cross the track ahead of him but as I was a couple of seconds behind I missed it but it did not matter as a few seconds later another two crossed at the same spot and disappeared in under the trees, fantastic!!!
Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
In the same place we had Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna), more Common Waxbills, House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
Our last stop of the day was at a short stretch of the Guadalhorce further North, a spot where that have visited for a couple of years and have always had success at and today was no different. 
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
Almost straight away we were getting super views of what is probably my favourite dragon the Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae), as well as at least 5♂ and 2♀ Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii), Orange-winged Dropwing, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Scarlet Darter, Epaulet Skimmers and Copper Demoiselles.
Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae).
From here we headed back towards the house but I chose to ignore the satnav so we took a rather long and winding route back, Sorry Lynn and Steve.
Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus).
Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus).
Ringed Cascaders (Zygonyx torridus).
Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii).