Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Algarve, Portugal 18-26 July 2007

The Dragonflies and Damsleflies of the Algarve, Portugal 18-26 July 2007, M.J.McGill
Small Pincertail, Ribera de Boina
During a 8 day family trip to the Western Algarve based in Alvor I managed to spend some time searching for dragonflies and damselflies. Before the trip I tried various searches to source info on odonata in this area but did not come up with much. I hope this report helps any future searchers.

I visited a number of sites just using my hunches and studying maps, and by arming myself with Nikon Coolpix 995 and 4500 plus Leica 32x 62 scope and Swarovski binoculars. For dragonfly i.d the Swarovski scopes and bins are the closest focussing. By taking images of the subjects I tried to i.d them without capture, inevitably a few got away but I did very well using this method. Many of the ribeiras were completely dried up but I found a few sites that were very good with good water quality. Dijksrta and Lewingtons Dragonflies of Britain and Europe made all i.d possible.

Broad or Scarlet Darter, Ribera de Boina

20, 22 and 25 July 2007 I visited the small clear stream of Ribera de Boina. A short twenty minute debut at midday here was great as there were so many species on show. The subsequent visits were around 1400-1600 and 1500-1600 and the temperature was much hotter. Many species were sheltering in shade. The water quality appeared to be good as found Water Crowfoot and a Water Vole. I noted 2-3 Red-veined Darter, 3 Scarlet Darter, 30 Epaulet Skimmer, 4 Southern Skimmer, Small Pincertail, 40 Copper Demoiselle and the highlight was watching a Western Spectre (Dusk Hawker) hunting along the shady stream by quartering and looking under the banks for prey. This beast was too quick to get any images of. The productive stretch was between KM markers 53 and 55 on the N266 S of Barracao. I also got images of what appears to be a Scarce Chaser and a damselfly sp that I have yet to i.d.

Male Copper Demoiselle displaying, Ribera de Boina
I checked a few other sites, one was further downstream at the bridge. This road leads west from the N266 to Casas Velhas?. More Copper Demoiselle (20) and both Red-veined (2) and Broad Darters (10) were noted as well as a few Epaulet Skimmers. It is the first left when heading N on the N266 after the roundabout that also offers the exit for Silves N124.

Epaulet Skimmer, Ribera de Boina

Mating Epaulet Skimmers, Ribera de Boina
Southern Skimmer, Ribera de Boina

24 and 25 July 2007 The salt marshes and lagoon at the Abicada/Alvor area produced at least 10 and 20 Red-veined Darters on each visit.


Male Red-veined Darter, Abicada lagoon

25 July 2007 Only 30 minutes spent in the stream below the dam (Barragem de Arade) near Silves proved very productive. On arrival a hawker sp was on the wing but dissapeared by the time I parked. I found a male Emperor, 2-3 Small Red Damselfy, an Iberian Bluetail a few male Keeled Skimmers.

Iberian Bluetail, Barragem de Arade Male Keeled Skimmer, Barragem de Arade

26 July 2007 I visited the Quinta de Lago area and headed to a lake that I have birded at a few times before. I only had an hour before catching my flight home but managed to find a Black Pennant, Broad (Scarlet Darters), a hawker sp, Iberian Bluetail, a male Black-tailed Skimmer.

Black Pennant look for the large head, equals sign pterostigma and broad hindwing.

2 Comments:

Blogger ingrid said...

Hallo,

I am visiting the Algarve in two weeks time. I saw your blog and saw you visited the quinta do lago area You discribed al lake there. Can you tell me where I can find it? I am interested in Dragonflies. It would help me vey much where i can look for them

9:35 AM, July 17, 2010  
Blogger ingrid said...

Hallo,

I am visiting the Algarve in two weeks time. I saw your blog and saw you visited the quinta do lago area You discribed al lake there. Can you tell me where I can find it? I am interested in Dragonflies. It would help me vey much where i can look for them. Thanks very much.

Ingrid

9:37 AM, July 17, 2010  

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