Spain - Andalucia and beyond.

Portugal, Spain, Andorra

Re: Spain - Andalucia and beyond.

Postby Ray Hamilton » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:58 am

Did you find that body of water via google maps?


They wouldn't have shown on Google Earth due to the size. I drove around during the day, just mooching about and checking any likely sites. After dark I revisited those sites with a torch. I know checking the maps or Google Earth is a good way to locate potential water bodies, I just didn't really have too much time.

Ray
Ray Hamilton
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:43 pm
Hometown: Bournemouth
country: England

Re: Spain - Andalucia and beyond.

Postby Ray Hamilton » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:50 pm

Not until mid August did we return to Spain, landing this time in Alicante rather than Malaga. Our base is now the town of Oliva, some 80kms south of Valencia. With only one previous short visit to this area of the coast, it will hopefully offer us some new wildlife spotting opportunities.

One positive from our trip home is I have managed to obtain a new camera at a reasonable price. I hope the photographs will benefit.

Living in Oliva old town means there is a couple of kilometres to walk to get to the beach and sand dunes. Thankfully there is a path which follows the course of a shallow river all the way down. Although the water is littered with plastic rubbish and the outrun from numerous storm drains it is still home to plenty of wildlife.

Most obvious are the terrapins, with Red-eared outnumbering the natives by around 10 to 1. Some of the Red –eared are hatchlings from earlier in the summer. Also lots of Iberian water frogs of all sizes both around the water edges and, after dark, in the puddles on the footpaths.

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Oliva - Canal les Fonts

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Red-eared terrapin (Trachemys scripta elegans)

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Iberian Water Frog (Pelophylax perezi) in drying puddle.

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Iberian Water Frog (Pelophylax perezi) just out of the water.

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Squacco heron (Ardeola ralloides) – hunter of P.perezi

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Orange-winged dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) ♂

Other sightings along the river include Viperine Snakes (Natrix Maura), one individual seems to have it’s own territory and I’ve spotted it on three different days around the same river boulder. Lots of different Dragonflies and Grasshoppers providing food for several bird species. Hoopoe, Little Egret, Kingfisher, Golden Oriole, Squacco Heron, Swallows and Cattle Egret are regularly seen.

A couple of bridges cross the river linking rural citrus fruit growing areas. The breeze block walls at the road edges are a good place to spot the local Wall Lizards.

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Catalonian Wall Lizard (Podarcis liolepis)

The beach at the far end of the river is backed in part by extensive sand dunes. So far they have proved to be hot and difficult places to spot fast moving reptiles. One lizard I have managed to photograph is Psammodromus edwarsianus.

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Psammodromus edwarsianus

Lots of interesting insects within the dunes.

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Minstrel Bug (Graphosoma lineatum)

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Mammoth Wasp (Megascolia maculata)

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Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus)

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Robber Fly (Asilidae) waiting to strike.

We made an after dark foray into the dunes and found many Western Spadefoot Toads (Pelobates cultripes) by torchlight. I was finally able to get some decent shots of these great looking amphibians. They sit tight as you arrange your camera around them, other frog species could learn a lot from them.

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First to show.

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Next toad slightly further out of the burrow.

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Within an hour most toads out and sitting in the sand.

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Western Spadefoot Toad (Pelobates cultripes)

We have taken a couple of trips out into the rural areas. One footpath we used near the town of Villalonga took us along an old railway track. I managed to turn up a Bedriaga’s Skink (Chalcides bedriagai) under ground cover also lots of Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus) basking in the vegetation. Many newly metamorphosed Spiny Toads and Iberian Water Frogs in puddles and damp vegetation.

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Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), more yellow on this individual than I’m used to seeing.

The path continues on through several railway tunnels. Walking through one we heard a hissing sound that could have been a reptile. Checking on the ground turned nothing up however in the roof of the tunnel was a hole containing a couple of bats both of which had been disturbed by our presence. I haven’t heard bats hiss before but there was nothing else it could have been.

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Greater Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis) – unsure of ID.

Anything further of interest we can find will be posted on this thread.

Thanks for looking.
Ray Hamilton
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:43 pm
Hometown: Bournemouth
country: England

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