On a pleasant Sunday evening visit to the Charca de Suarez in August I had some fun photographing a flock of foraging Common Waxbills.
I stood quite still on the path along the east border of the reserve and they seemed unaware or unconcerned by my presence, giving me plenty of opportunity for some good close-up photos as they foraged among the trees and tall grasses, announcing their presence with thin piping calls.
The shot below catches a bird against a red wall of an adjacent apartment block, providing an interesting change from the more natural looking shots in the tall reed stems. It's also a reminder that this is a little urban bird reserve, nestled between an industrial estate and some beach-side apartment blocks.
There were other birds to see of course, it was nice to find an Audouins Gull amongst the many Black-headed, Mediterrannean and Yellow-legged varieties.
Spotted Flycatchers are always easy to photograph at the Charca. I only post the Common Moorhen below because the light was good so the image is high quality.
The Turtle Dove is not a good photograph but I include it because I have not seen many lately. I fear they are getting fewer every year. This one was outside in Turtle Dove Alley, also spotted here were a few Red Avadavats including one or two males in breeding plumage.
Other birds of note include Glossy Ibis, White Stork, Pochard, Purple Swamphen, Common Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Barn and Red-rumped Swallows and plenty of resident Red-knobbed Coots.
Finally I spotted this handsome Chameleon climbing around in the bushes. It seems to have been a good year for them as there have been many sightings posted on Facebook.
Elena and I picked up fellow naturalist Hans Borjesson who was in Nerja holidaying with his family. We drove to the top of Sierra Nevada above the ski resorts to look for the butterflies that abound up here in Summer, gradually working our way down ultimately to Guejar Sierra for some well earned refreshments.
I post here a few of the better or more interesting shots from the day in which we picked up about 39 species. It was a lot of fun but I was surprised at how tired I became in the afternoon from scouring hillsides and regularly crouching down for close ups of the insects we encountered. I suspect also that the altitude and heat had something to do with it as well.
I start with a few of the yellow species for no particular reason other than they are some of my favourites, along with the Fritillaries that follow.
The photo below is a lifer for me so I was very pleased to see it. The Hermit is not the prettiest butterfly but it was the star of the day in my book. It's a species of grayling but not one I had come across before.
The Robber Fly is a voracious and lethal predator of other insects which it pounces upon in flight. The prey is immobilised by stabbing with the short strong proboscis and the injection of saliva containing neurotoxic enzymes which very rapidly paralyze the victim and digests the insides; the fly then sucks the liquefied material through the proboscis.
This Fly is seen here devouring an unlucky blue butterfly. The shot below shows the proboscis piercing the thorax of it's victim.
Retired seafarer living in Frigiliana, a white village in Malaga Province in southern Spain. Married to Elena. Keen bird and wildlife watchers.
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