Since returning from Extremadura it has been a busy time but I have managed to get out on couple of occasions with my new 180mm lens which so far has given some good results. For example this Large Pincertail Dragonfly is a nice sharp image which bodes well for future shots.Large Pincertail - onychogomphus uncatus
It also happens to be a new species for me, a welcome and handsome addition to my dragonfly list. I believe it is a Large not the more common Small Pincertail, because of it´s size and small variations of the black and yellow patterning of the thorax.Epaulet Skimmer male -
Here´s another sharp image, this time of a nice male Epaulet Skimmer. Like the Pincertail it was perched on the rocks along the Rio Chillar riverbed above Nerja. This is a very scenic walk which leads through a narrow gorge, in shade and wading in the water which makes it a popular thing to do on a hot summer day.
Spanish Gatekeeper - pyronia bathseba
After an abundance of Spanish Festoons earlier in the year there now appears to be lots of Spanish Gatekeepers around, a very attractive insect. Others sighted include False Ilex Hairstreak, Brimstone, Common and Holly Blues, Cardinal Fritillary, Geranium Bronze and Marbled White. I hope to catch sight of a Two-tailed Pasha, recently spotted by a friend Alan Hartley in the Rio de-la-Miel Valley.Whiskered Tern - chlidonius hybrida
Bird photos have been few and far between. I took this Whiskered Tern on a field outing with the ABS (Andalucia Bird Society) it was hovering over one of the ponds to the North of Osuna. It was an occasion when due to the time of year (June 14th) birds were quite scarce, and with a large number of vehicles in convoy it is difficult to get close to anything.Black-crowned Night Heron - nycticorax nicticorax
I don´t think this Black-crowned Night Heron at the Rio Velez is the same bird that picked up a sizable snake here a week or so earlier. It looks younger with less distinct plumage.
Changes at the Charca Marbled Duck - marmaronetta angustirostris
The Charca de Suarez has been very quiet for some time now. The Reserve is being enlarged and developed significantly. The old car parking area is fenced off and "Turtle Dove Alley" is blocked by a chained gate. A lot of work is being done to develop the newly enclosed area and much planting and landscaping is going on inside the old part. I hope it pays off eventually but this year there have been fewer birds than I can ever remember, the works seem to have scared the birds off and there has been nothing much worth visiting the site for. Where have the Marsh Harriers gone? No Snipe, no Crakes, very few Herons, the Egrets have left, even the Coots and Moorhens have largely deserted the place. I haven´t seen a Purple Swamphen for ages, disastrous really. Today however there were a few Little Grebes again, a good sign as they were not there last time I came. There is an imported Red Knobbed Coot although half throttled with a ridiculous neck ring, and wonder of wonders, a Marbled Duck! This is a rare and endangered species so it is great to see, but I wonder if it is a natural visitor, or if it was brought in like the Coot?
Following the sighting of a Two-tailed Pasha in the Rio de-la.Miel by friend Allen Hartley, I took a trip up that Valley and climbed Castle Rock in search of the elusive butterfly. No luck, but I did photograph this Scarce Swallowtail, a very exotic insect.