August is not a great month for birds, migration is only just starting to get under way and in fact we have seen a few raptors overhead this week. A pair of booted eagles over the house with another large unidentified raptor high above them. Yesterday a Bonellis Eagle, flying west too quickly for a photo. Anyway in August I mainly content myself with the butterflies and dragonflies with which this region is blessed.Young Gulls (Yellow-Leged?) chasing
However I post a few shots of young seagulls, probably yellow-legged, chasing each other around the Guadalhorce. One had a nice fish and was being harassed by others intent upon stealing its prize. The aerobatics were spectacular and fun to watch.Black Percher male - diplacodes lefebvrii
I captured a few interesting dragonflies this week. A single male Black Percher at the Rio Velez amongst all the Lesser Emperors, Scarlet Darters and Iberian Bluetails. Perhaps more interesting is the example below. The eyes, wings and pterostigma are just like a Red Veined Darter, but the abdomen is totally wrong, so what could it be? After some scrutiny of the Field Guide I have decided it must in fact be another Black Percher, this time a female or immature male. They can be so confusing.
I was pleased to pick up a Long Skimmer at the Charca de Suarez. We are a bit of an isolated outpost for this species which was first recorded in Spain and Portugal in 1980 and 1991 respectively. They are still uncommon and are only found in one or two locations in the South of Spain, and in still waters along the Rio Guadiano which forms the southern border between Spain and Portugal. They are highly aggressive hunters and will prey upon other dragonflies. A good sighting.
I know the Charca de Suarez is a good location for this species which likes standing water, often large reedy lakes such as at the Charca, as I have recorded them here before. However the best sighting I had was on the riverbank at the Rio Velez last Summer, so perhaps the species is generally becoming more established in these parts.Scarlet Darter female - crocothemis erythraea
As an illustration of how tricky dragonfly spotting can be, here´s a beautiful female Scarlet Darter, unlike the male not scarlet at all but bright burnished gold. A real Goldfinger.
There may not be many migratory birds around yet but Spotted Flycatchers are abundant. They have had a bumper breeding season with young ones seemingly in every tree. Their Pied cousins obviously breed further North as we have not seen any since the Spring.
This is a Blue Emperor, one of the largest dragonflies. I have noticed that rather than perch they prefer to hang vertically from leaves as in this photo, presumably because it requires less energy than holding a long heavy abdomen in a horizontal position.