As a self-confessed dragonfly obsessive, this was the main target of this trip to Spain. I had made e-contact with a specialist to find out where I might find dragonflies near our Jalon location and he came up with this, “which is supposedly good for Black Pennants”. Black Pennants (Selysiothemis nigra) cannot be seen in many places so I was naturally hooked.
With no other early morning engagements, we set off for Gandia. The journey was easier and shorter than I’d imagined. Moreover, there was an all but unused parking area just outside the entrance to the reserve. We parked and wandered in past a mechanical digger.
As we wandered down the entrance track, the digger passed us. We soon found a water channel and our first suspects, a Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) and a Scarlet Darter (Cocothemis erythraea).
Our next distraction was the digger which was excavating weed and an invasive Crayfish species from the drainage channel. We paused ntil the digger operator paused and beckoned us through. Our shoes got v. muddy from the material left on the path but at least they were managing the environment. Good for them!
We walked around a very well constructed boardwalk meandering through the reserve and found a few more species including the delightful, though common, in its range, Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) and our new friend the Epaulet Skimmer (Orhthetrum chrysostigma) but no sign of out target species, the Black Pennant. Their season is weakly defined so maybe they’d finished for this year?
I returned somewhat disappointed but not unhappy ‘cos the Epaulet Skimmer was already more than I’d expected.