Saturday 21 August 2021

Charca Suarez and Castillo de Ferro, Granada Province, Spain.

A quiet morning at Charca and a few butterflies further down the coast.
Steve and Lynn, Day Thirteen.
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
We were up and around a bit earlier today so that we could be down on the coast for the opening time of 09.00 at Charca Suarez, we arrived and parked just up the road and went in through the gate and made our way up to the hide over looking Laguna Blanca but it was generally quiet and we only saw Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).
We moved on around to the main hide Laguna de las Aneas but we had a quick look in at the northern end of Laguna del Taraje on the way were we again saw Western Swamp-hen but an immature bird this time, Mallard, Common Moorhen and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).
Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) male.

Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) male.

Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) male.

Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) male and female.

Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) male and female.

From the main hide we scanned the laguna finding Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), several Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) on the island with a couple of Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
European Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus).
Cynanchum acutum, Id by Anita Beijer.

6688 Spoladea recurvalis.

Down below the hide on the floating weeds Steve located several Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii) dragonflies and on our way to the next hide over looking Laguna del Trébol I found a new Moth species for me, 6688 Spoladea recurvalis which was sitting on a climbing plant called Cynanchum acutum.
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) male.

Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) male.

Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) male.

Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) female.

Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).

Steve found a cluster of
European Firebug (Pyrrhocoris apterus) on the leaves of the same plant as I had seen the Moth and another cluster a bit further on, from the hide I watched 4x Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) and on our way out of the reserve we also saw Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna).
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.
We drove down the coast and up on to a site on the out skirts of Castillo de Ferro where we walked up on to a disused urbanisation where we looked for and found both male and female Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore), in the same area we also saw a single Black Percher and Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) before we went home where we later sat on the terrace and heard Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).

Friday 20 August 2021

Rio Agar o Cacín, Sierra Tejeda, Granada Province, Spain.

A return to the valley of the Rio Agar o Cacín.
Steve and Lynn, Day Twelve.

Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus).
We headed back down to the same valley we had visited a few days earlier and parked in the same area but this time we walked upstream along the track for a few KMs to the Arroyo de la Venta.
Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus).
Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus).
As we started we found an immature Spiny-footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus) which showed very nicely, in the same area we also had Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus) and a couple of other insects which still need names.
We continued on seeing
Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and a calling but unseen Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Red Deer (Ciervo común / Cervus elaphus).
Horseshoe Whip Snake (Coluber hippocrepis).
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus).
As we walked we reached a pool down to the right where we watched a
Red Deer (Ciervo común / Cervus elaphus) feeding on the far shore, a Horseshoe Whip Snake (Coluber hippocrepis) which swam to the far reed bed and as we walked down to a spot where we could see the whole pool we also saw Dusky Heath (Coenonympha dorus), Small White (Pieris rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca), Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Dusky Heath (Coenonympha dorus).
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia).
Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone).
We continued on and watched a couple of
Cardinal Fritillaries (Argynnis pandora) which were feeding on some small Carlina corymbosa subsp. hispanica along with several Southern Blues (Polyommatus celina), Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) and a bit further along the track Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone), Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia palustris), Blue-winged (Oedipoda caerulescens) and Red-winged Grasshopper (Oedipoda germanica).
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) male blue form.
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) male blue form.
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) male blue form.
Just before we reached a point where the Arroyo crossed the road and we had a large dragon fly passed us which I first called as an Emperor but Steve said he thought it was not and we soon sort the id when if flew by again and landed and showed itself to be a
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) of the blue form which is quite a rare sight. 
Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca).
Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii).
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens).
In the same area we also found a very smart 
looking Long-horn Beetle which is called Aromia moschata ambrosiaca and down by the Arroyo we found Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene), Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), the exuvia's of both Western Spectre and Southern Hawker, Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia Quercus), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia). 
Aromia moschata ambrosiaca.
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
We continued on a short way to where the Arroyo again crosses the track again where Steve came up with the find of the day a very small Betic Midwife Toad (Alytes dickhilleni) which was clinging to a rock just above the water line, we also found several of this species Tadpoles.
Betic Midwife Toad (Alytes dickhilleni).
Betic Midwife Toad (Alytes dickhilleni).
In the same area we found Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe), a couple of distant Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and back in the water several Larva of the Western Spectre Dragonflies.
Betic Midwife Toad (Alytes dickhilleni) Tadpole.
We walked back to the car and drove back towards the Embalse de Bermejales and along the track we saw House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene).
Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene).
Our next stop was at the bar near the Embalse where we had a drink, whilst there we heard and saw a single Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Our final stop of the day was just down the road at the concrete sided inlet to the Embalse where we checked the two remaining pools finding Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Iberian Bluetail, Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus). 

Thursday 19 August 2021

Laguna Grande and Laguna Chica, Salinas, Malaga Province, Spain

A few hours getting stuck in the mud.
Steve and Lynn, Day Eleven.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.

Steve and I headed out to Laguna Grande just over into Malaga Province, we parked and took the track down to the pool edge where I scanned the water finding Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) x152, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) x2, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) x8, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) x2, Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) x2 and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) x5.
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) female.
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) male.
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) male.
As we walked around the margins we saw lots of Dragons including
Red-veined (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), the first of many Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria) as well as lots of Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and stunning looking young Ladder Snake (Culebra de Escalera / Etaphe scalaris).
Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) female.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) male.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) male.
As we walked around and scanned the bushes and sky where we found Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Iberian Green (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and then locally the rarest birds of the day which were 3 Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) male.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) male.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
We continued on around the pool seeing a couple of egg laying Blue / Common and a nice male Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) and along the last stretch of shore line we had an Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), a couple of Small Red-eye (Erythromma viridulum) Damselflies and then the one species we had hoped to find a male Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra).
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) male.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) eating a male Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) young male.
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) Exuvia.
We spent a good while along this shoreline sinking into the mud and in the end we found 5 male Pennants, one of which sat very nicely and gave us good photo opportunities but later at home I found that the card I had swapped to just as we reached this point was corrupted and I lost all the pictures, not a happy bunny.
Ladder Snake (Culebra de Escalera / Etaphe scalaris).
Ladder Snake (Culebra de Escalera / Etaphe scalaris).
Once we had the required shots we returned to the car and drove around to Laguna Chica but there was not very much water and it was not possible to access the shoreline due to a curtain of Tamarisks and the surrounds was full of Ticks.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) mating pair.
We walked around the area on the track and scanned the water from above seeing Mallard, Eurasian Coot, Little Grebe, European Bee-eater, Woodpigeon, Iberian Magpie, House Martin, Sardinian Warbler, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and away from the water Blue / Common Emperor and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
Back at the house later we sat up on the terrace where we saw and heard a male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Iberian Magpie, Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and a pale morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).