Saturday 28 August 2021

Zapata, Malaga and Rio Turon, Ardales, Malaga Province, Spain.

Covid tests, Birds and Dragons.
Steve and Lynn, Day Twenty.
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
We drove down to Malaga and to the Airport where Lynn and Steve went into the terminal and had the necessary covid test for their return to the UK. Once it was carried out we drove out of the back of the airport and along the river at Zapata where we parked by the Ford that crosses the Rio Guadalhorce and we soon had good numbers of passing Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) and Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
In the same area we also recorded
Grey (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).
Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) male.

Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta) male.

There was a good number of Dragons around which included male and female Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Violet (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) and a couple of butterflies African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) male.
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) male.
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) male.
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) male.
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) male.
We returned to the car and drove North to Ardales where we went on to a spot along the Rio Turon where we checked the river and soon found several male Small Pincertails (Onychogomphus forcipatus), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), Orange-winged Dropwing, Blue / Common Emperor, Scarlet Darter, Small White, False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus),  Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and the large Hoverfly called Volucella zonaria.
White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes).

Friday 27 August 2021

Sierra Tejeda, Granada Province, Spain.

Back to the Sierra Tedeja and a few more lifers.
Steve and Lynn, Day Nineteen.
Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).

Today's area was again a new site for me and I think it was for Steve and Lynn as well but just as good and it again came up with some cracking finds. 
Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus).

Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia).

After a drive out on a pretty rough track we decided that it was time to park before I took the suspension out, after putting the sun cream on we started off and we soon found that there were good numbers of Grayling species in the Oak tress along side the track including Tree (Neohipparchia statilinus), Striped (Hipparchia fidia) and Common Grayling (Hipparchia semele).
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) female.

Along this first stretch we also saw Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius).
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus).
Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca).
As we continued there were a couple of
Purple Hairstreaks (Quercusia Quercus) high up in an Oak tree, Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Blue-winged (Oedipoda caerulescens) and Red-winged Grasshoppers (Oedipoda germanica) and after we dropped down a steep track to the river again Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and Bridge Spider (Larinioides sclopetarius).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) male.
We continued on up stream  but not before Steve found what looked like a used
Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) nest on the crags above us, further on we adding Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe), Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca), Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis) male.
Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis) female.
For a while Lynn and I lost Steve along the stream so we turned around and found him in a pool where he had found a new species for me the uncommon native White-clawed Crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) which is being cleared out by the American Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus).
Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).

Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous).

Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone).

Clouded Yellows (Colias corceua).

We returned to the car where we had some lunch before stopping by another stream on the way out, here we had more Copper Demoiselle's, Western Spectre,  several Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis), Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Common Darter, Common Winter Damsel, Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Clouded Yellows (Colias corceua), Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus), Southern Blue, Tree and Striped Graling, Speckled Wood, Large (Pieris brassicae), Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath WhitesHolly Blue, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and a couple of beautiful Spurge Hawkmoth (Hyles euphorbiae) Caterpillars. 
Spurge Hawkmoth (Hyles euphorbiae) Caterpillar.
Spurge Hawkmoth (Hyles euphorbiae) Caterpillar.
Spurge Hawkmoth (Hyles euphorbiae) Caterpillar.
European Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa), mating pair.
In the same area we found
Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and mating female and a rather nervous looking male European Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) before we headed back home via the Cacín Valley where the only new find for the day was a migrating Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).

Thursday 26 August 2021

El Torcal and Laguna Grande, Malaga Province, Spain.

Rocks, Old fossils (other than Steve and Myself) as well as a few Dragons later.
Steve and Lynn, Day Eighteen.
Lynn and Steve on the edge.
We started the day with a drive out to El Torcal, a place Steve and Lynn had been once before a few years ago but saw nothing due to a thick layer of cloud, today was much better.
One of a few Ammonites out on the rock platform.
Shots of the view.
We started by walking out to the rocky shelf that gives spectacular views down to the coast or it does on a less misty day where we had views of several of the local Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).

We walked around the area and found some of the Ammonites, some looking more genuine than others, I think it was the concrete dust that made us suspect they may have been tampered with.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
We dropped down off this area and walked the short route back around to the Visitor Center, on the way we had Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), a single Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), European Plumbago (Plumbago europaea), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and a few Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
European Plumbago (Plumbago europaea).
We returned to the car and on the way down stopped away from the other visitors and had our lunch and then a little further down Lynn and Steve checked out a mock up of a Dwelling down below the road, from here we headed back through Antequera and then along the motorway to Laguna Grande again to give me the chance to replace the photo's of the Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) which I had lost due to a technical problem with one of the cards.
Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) male.
Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) male.
Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) male.
Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) male.
We arrived and after the last visit we came better prepared for the mud, I put my wellies on and Steve tied plastic bags around his feet which actually worked better than the wellies as there was less suction.
Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii) teneral.
Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) female.
We went straight to the area where we had seen the Pennant a few days ago and we were soon getting some shot of this uncommon and very smart looking species.
Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra) female.

Other species seen included 138x
Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), 2x Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), 2x Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Long (Orthetrum trinacria) and Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii), Small Red-eye (Erythromma viridulum) and Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).