The amount of water in the Jalón-Gorgos river looks quite healthy at the moment. There’s certainly more than there was when we were here back in June. There’s apparently been some unseasonal rain during August which I’m sure has refreshed the river. I was a little surprised to find that the water in the Pego-Oliva marsh looked a bit low, though, when I visited yesterday. However, that has sluices and may be actively managed so I shouldn’t draw conclusions from that. Back in June the water in the Gandia marsh was very low. I was keen to see how that was doing now.
I have difficulty remembering how to find the place but Sally Satnav got me there. The bottom line is that there wasn’t any more water there than Francine and I had seen in June. I was disappointed. On our very first visit, as well as a couple of small lakes, there was a water channel running beside the approach track and all the way through the “marsh” itself. It was large enough for us to have seen workmen dredging it. In June that water course was utterly dry. It remained utterly dry today.
Distressingly close by the marsh, somebody seems now to be running outdoor exercise classes. They sounded as it they were being run outdoors. The booming accompanying music was loud enough to be heard in Valencia, I should think. I certainly couldn’t get out of earshot of it at the marsh as I made my way around the two lakes, which did still contain water. It reminded me of the managed green spaces in Milton Keynes which do support wildlife but where you can’t escape the constant drone of traffic. I think I preferred the drone to the Booming disco music, though.
It took me a long time to spot any dragonflies. Activity wasn’t high but it was there, eventually. The most interesting thing that the first lake produced was this not completely mature male Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata). The usual gaudy pink colour of the abdomen was not fully formed, just enough to be recognisable.
The second lake looked even quieter at first but then I spotted a Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) cruising about above a reed bed at the edge of the lake. I spent some time amusing myself by trying to get a decent flight shot. Given the line ups I was only ever going to get the back end of the beast, looking as if it was flying away from me but get it I did.
I thought I’d had as much fun as Gandia marsh could supply so I started wandering back out beside the desiccated water channel, Half way along, my eye was caught by a dragonfly movement. Given the way it was perching (on top of a stem) and its general colouration, I assumed it to be a female Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombi). I am not short of RVD pictures but it had been a somewhat slow, slightly disappointing visit so I thought I’d have a little photographic play with this one, anyway. I am extremely glad that I did. It turned out to be my first ever female Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi). Great stuff, a female to go with my first ever male from the Jalón river a few days ago. I was particularly pleased with a head-on shot that I decided to take – just a little bit different.