Spain - Andalucia and beyond.

Portugal, Spain, Andorra

Re: Spain - Andalucia and beyond.

Postby Ray Hamilton » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:21 pm

After finding the trapped Montpellier Snakes in the concrete drains we spent more time in the citrus groves checking the interiors of the ones we could find. Many were inhabited by Iberian Water Frogs. We found a total of six Montpellier snakes that were unable to free themselves from the deep drains. One was already drowned but the others we were able to release. There were also terrapins captive in some of the drains which had partly flooded. The only thing we could practically do for them was to build makeshift ramps that gave them a way out when they resurfaced. Of the terrapins we actually saw, all appeared to be red-eared terrapins.

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Down the drain - Iberian Water Frog

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Western Montpellier Snake as found and on release.


I collated the information (location, dimensions, species) and forwarded it all to Timon Herpetological Association who are currently doing some research into the problems caused by the open drains in Valencia province.





An outing to Calp on the coast to the south gave some fine views of Greater Flamingos on the lagoon behind the beach. It also provided our only Southern Smooth Snake so far. A juvenile found by flipping stones. An adult Ladder snake also turned up under ground cover on the Cabo San Antonio headland near Javea.

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Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus)

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Southern Smooth Snake (Coronella girondica)
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Southern Smooth Snake (Coronella girondica)


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Ladder Snake (Zamenis scalaris)


Catalonian Wall Lizards are still out basking in suitable weather. One particularly dark sided individual was photographed on the outskirts of Oliva.

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Catalonian Wall Lizard (Podarcis liolepis)
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The Viperine Snakes that had previously been seen among the river boulders waiting in ambush slowly began to disperse and the last sighting of one was made in mid November. However the species still could be found in the ditches and along the path sides at the Pego-Oliva Marshland Reserve a few kilometres away. One individual actually crawled across the path right in front of us with a small eel clamped in it’s jaws.

The flooded rice paddies on the reserve also attracted large flocks of Glossy Ibis and Great White, Cattle and Little Egrets. Osprey, Booted Eagle and Marsh Harrier were often seen.

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Pego-Oliva Marshland Reserve

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Viperine Snake (Natrix Maura) with eel.

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A congregation of Glossy Ibises.

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Glossy Ibis and Little Egret.

Other sightings worth mentioning have included several Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in courtship flight among the sand dunes. Also a glut of Common Yellow Scorpions (Buthus Occitanus) turned up one after another under rocks and stones.
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Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

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Common Yellow Scorpion (Buthus Occitanus)

At the end of November our time in Valencia province has come to an end. We have now moved in land and 500 kms south to take up a house sit in Cordoba province. The house is isolated, surrounded by olive groves with pretty good views from the garden towards the snowy mountains of the Sierra Nevada range. The weather so far has been warmer than expected. The only reptile turned up to date is a single Iberian Worm Lizard (Blanus cinereus)

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Anything that turns up in the next two months I will tack on to the end of this post. Thanks for looking.
Ray Hamilton
 
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country: England

Re: Spain - Andalucia and beyond.

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:57 pm

Nice series! Should be Danaus chrysippus, imho, though.
Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: Spain - Andalucia and beyond.

Postby Ray Hamilton » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:09 am

Thanks for the butterfly ID Jeroen.

It always played on my mind that the butterflies I had seen didn't seem to have the dark lines of Danaus plexippus. I thought they may have been a bit weather beaten - end of the season look, but now I know why.
Ray Hamilton
 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:43 pm
Hometown: Bournemouth
country: England

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