Saturday, June 27, 2009

A year ago this week

Dice snake Natrix tessellata, common along the waterways of southern Turkey, in a similar niche to our grass snake. I paid for catching this one though, like grass snakes they exude a powerful smelling substance from their cloacas... It took a two days of pine resin and scrubbing to free my hands of the smell!

Lestes barbarus - always good to see

Onychogomphus forcipatus - a splendid gomphid present in good numbers during our stay in southern Turkey

Gomphus schneideri - another great gomphid, slightly more local than the species above but often common where found

This time last year I was searching southern Turkey for dragonflies...

27/6/08 Esenköy and the Urluca River

The last day arrived and after shopping for our lunch, Turkish Delight and ‘evil eyes’ we headed off. Our first stop was a small stream just outside Esenköy. It was still early and not much seemed to be happening until Roy found a small group of Lestes barbarus – a welcome addition to the trip-list. We spent sometime with these damsels. Also here a single Caliaeschna batted past.

Driving on we tackled the hill climb up to the Urluca River. We spent the rest of the day here. Diversity was low but several species were found in very good numbers. The dense drifts of Platycnemis and banks of Caleopteryx splendens were especially noteworthy. We also found our first Sympetrum fonscolombii and enjoyed many Onychogomphus forcipatus and smaller numbers of Gomphus schneideri. Emperors patrolled the river and Libellula depressa were frequently encountered. After lunch we went upstream a way finding many teneral gomphids and a large dice snake. Birds were very noticeable up here and we enjoyed excellent views of black-headed, cirl and corn bunting.

Leaving the river we worked a long roadside drain and found Ischnura elegans and pumilio and small numbers of Coenagrion puella. By this time the day had once again disappeared and we headed back to the hotel. En route Hassan kindly invited us in to his house and we took tea and fruit with his family. After enjoying our first Turkish çay and Hassan’s hospitality we headed back to base to pack our bags, call the log and try and get some sleep before we had to transfer to the airport.

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