Our September trip to Spain was cut short but we returned for one week in late October, mainly for the inaugural meeting of our development’s residents committee. Oh joy!
I did not go equipped with a decent Odo camera and we didn’t travel around but we did check on our local river running through Jalón once again, largely because Carol was interested in seeing the new species I’d found there in September. So, with just a single location relevant, this will be a very brief report.
Riu Jalon-Gorgos, 22nd & 23rd Oct [#1]
Brief my visit may have been but it was certainly productive. As well as again finding two of the recently discovered species from September, the Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) and the Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), so that Carol might see them, we added two more confirmed new boys.
The first of these came when we found an access point to the far side of the river which got us wandering along a reed-edged bank to a point where overlooking an otherwise hidden pool became possible. In the reeds we found one example of the Western Willow Emerald (Lestes viridis), only the second damselfly I’d seen here.
Once overlooking the pool, I spotted a hawker of some description hawking about up and down the stream. It was too far away for any flight shots but finally it settled in a confusion of tall stems. still too far away for a reasonable shot. In fact, I’d watched my footing and lost sight of it. I snapped the confusion of plant growth hopefully. Luckily, back at home base I actually found the beast in amongst all the stems, blurred but clear enough to know that it was a Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta). Another new one for the list. Just for fun, here’s my full frame shot. There’s a dragonfly in there somewhere – see if you can find it. 🙂
Back out on the main stream, I was amazed to see what was clearly a Demoiselle, first settle and then, just as I was trying to bring Carol’s camera to bear on it, flit past and disappear. I can’t swear to it but I think I spotted a coppery colour so I’m reasonably convinced that this was a Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis); certainly they are in this vicinity ‘cos we’ve seen them at Les Fonts d’Algar. The lateness of the season would also favour C. haemorrhoidalis over its congeners. I returned the next day to try and find it again but, alas, it did not appear. It’s going down as a suspect, though.
I have another unproven suspect to add, too. In another pool further upstream, I snapped a distant shot of a red Darter. It was an orange-red with a plain thorax side and quite yellow legs. It does not display the usual dark markings on the side of S2 & 3 that are typically, though not universally seen on the Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum). My suspicion, therefore, is that this is most likely a Southern Darter (S. meridionale).
So, an interesting trip but one with a couple of frustrations. Here’s my suspected tally from this visit.
- Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis (Copper Demoiselle) – ?
- Lestes viridis (Western Willow Spreadwing)
- Aeshna mixta (Migrant Hawker)
- Orthetrum chrysostigma (Epaulet Skimmer)
- Sympetrum meridionale (Southern Darter) – ?
- Sympetrum sinaiticum (Desert Darter)
- Trithemis annulata (Violet Dropwing)
- Trithemis kirbyi (Orange-winged Dropwing)