Sunday 12 August 2018

Laguna Chica, Salinas, Laguna Grande, Laguna Chica again, Malaga Province and Balsa de Rigedor, Granada Province.

A day looking for Dragonflies with Bent from Denmark.

Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica).
I met Bent at the hotel in Granada and we drove to the furthest point for the day whilst it was still cool and arrived at Lagua Grande, just over the in Malaga just after 10:00. We parked and started to walk down to the surprisingly low pool, after the wettish winter I had expected to find more water, Anyway we saw a few isects including Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Small White (Pieris rapae), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina). 
On the water there were good numbers of Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
All the time we were there we were aware of the number of Hunters shooting in the surrounding scrub and as we did not want to bump into any of the Macho Men out with there shot guns blasting highly dangerous fluffy rabbits to bits to prove their manliness we left the area to return later once they had gone to the bar to tell their friends about their bravery against the savage fluffy bunnies😠😠😠.
We decided to head for some small areas of water near Salinas, on the way we checked an area of irrigation channel finding two extremely active Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) which spent the whole time we were there in aerial combat over the water and a single Mediterranean Bluet (Coenagrion caerulescens) which was bobbing slowly around amongst the Small Fleabane (Pulicaria vulgaris) flowers.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
Once were were at the spot near Salinas we checked a small pool which was very quiet except for a single Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
We drove around to the far side of this spot and parked by a surprisingly dried out pool on the track side, there was a small amount of water in the roadside corner but we only found another Red-veined Darter here.
We walked back along the track to the small stream which crossed the track and quickly found a couple of very smart male Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum), a couple of male Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens), 1x male Mercury Bluet (Coenagrion mercuriale), as well as Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Scarce / Spanish (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius / Iphiclides feisthameli) and Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Sage Skipper, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) and Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
On our way up to the Laguna Grande we stopped on the Arroyo de La Viñuela where Bent had a lifer when we saw a Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) sat up on the tops of some reeds. We also recorded Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Hoopoe, Keeled and Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma).
We drove up the track to Laguna Grande only to find the Bunny blasters had moved across to this area but we parked and walked down to the lake anyway, on the water we again saw Mallard, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, Little Grebe and added Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus). In the woods and around the margins European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) were seen.
Over the water and on the twigs in the water we saw several new species of Dragon including Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum), Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea) and Red-veined Darter, Orange-winged Dropwing, Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator),  Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) and Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).
As we were leaving the site we came across another one of Bents target species, a fine male Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) which showed well on a track side root.
We moved on and went back around to Laguna Chica which was gun free by this time so we parked by the old ruin and searched the areas around the walls and soon found a couple of Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) which were also new for Bent. In this area we also saw several Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathinerum) and a few Dainty Damselflies (Coenagrion scitulum).
Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
After a lunch stop in Salinas we headed for the last stop of the day at Balsa de Rigedor just off the A92 were we saw several stunning male Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) which was Bents dragon of the trip. We also had Orange-winged Dropwing, Blue / Common Emperor female, Black-tailed Skimmer, Red-veined Darter, Small Red-eyed, Long Skimmer, White Featherleg and Scarlet Darter. We also had a calling Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Pochard, Mallard, Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) before heading back towards Granada and then home.

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