Spain, Extremadura 3-5th June 2012

My friend Dave and I visited Extremadura as part of a two week trip across Spain and France in search of Dragonflies. A key reason for the trip was to obtain footage of some species that are extremely rare or extinct in the UK. In addition to this we searched for those Iberian and French species which were also available.

Rio Hurdano 

Along the road towards El Gasco. We visted here twice but our first visit was abandoned due to cold and overcast conditions.

Western Demoiselle (Calopteryx xanthostoma) 10
Blue-Eye (Erythromma lindenii) 20
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) 3
Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis) Common
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) 20
Western Clubtail (Gomphus pulchellus) 6
Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus) 2
Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) 20
Orange-spotted Emerald (Oxygastra curtisii) 1
Splendid Cruiser (Macromia splendens) 3
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) 1
Large Pincertail
Onychogomphus uncatus
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) 1
Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) 3
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) 5

We were possibly a little early for bigger numbers of Oxygastra and others have seen Boyeria irene and Gomphus graslinii here although we missed these. The highlight at this site was probably our first sightings of Splendid Cruiser Macromia splendens.

Parque de la Mujer
We visited this site twice. Our first visit was just as a random stop on the way back from the Rio Hurdano. Although only a small village pond, this site was very good for Dainty Damselfly.

Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) 1
Dainty Damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum) 10
Blue-Eye (Erythromma lindenii) 10
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) 2
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) 3
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) 4

Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) 6
Dainty Damselfly (Coenagrion scitulum) 20
Blue-Eye (Erythromma lindenii) 10
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) 2

Male Dainty Damselfly
Coenagrion scitulum

Our second visit was late afternoon and there were more Dainty Damselfies with many tandem pairs egg laying.

Embalse de Arrocampo 
A well known site for Long Skimmer that we visited twice. Also a good birding site where we had amongst other things, Savi's Warbler, Purple Gallinule and Black-shouldered Kite.

3/6/12 Mid Afternoon
Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) 15
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) 20
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) 1
Banded Groundling (Brachythemis impartita) 12

Iberian Bluetail
Iscnura graellsii

4/6/12 Early Morning
Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) Common
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly (Anax parthenope) 2
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) 2
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) 30

Male Banded Groundling
Brachythemis impartita

Male Long Skimmer
Orthetrum trinacria

Male Western Clubtail
Gomphus pulchellus

Secadero del Saute
Two fishing lakes visited only once held the following

Scarce Emerald Damselfly (Lestes dryas) 3
Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) 4
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly (Anax parthenope) 1
Western Clubtail (Gomphus pulchellus) 2
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) 6
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) 2

Garganta Pedro Chate
A river a couple of kilometres south of Secadero del Saute

Western Clubtail (Gomphus pulchellus) 1

La Serena
We stopped at a small stream whilst driving through the area and had the following on 5/6/12:

Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) 6
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) 6 (1 unusual blue individual )
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) 3

We based ourselves at Camping Monfrague in the Monfrague national park. This place is one of the most famous birding sites in Spain or indeed Europe.
Although not a birding trip we did find a little time to get some of the speciality birds including:

Spanish Imperial Eagle
Black Vulture
White-rumped Swift
Black Stork
Plus plenty of other great birds.

La Serena