I love attempting to photograph dragonflies, otherwise known as cavalinho-das-bruxas (horse-of-witches), and it would seem when I compare last week’s photographs with those in my first dragonfly post, I am getting better at it. Just look of that one in flight! I am though still struggling with identification. I think two of these are of a Blue Hawker, and the third is Red-veined Darter.
Dragonflies were not the only things we spotted in the water reeds, there were also numerous birds, including the Purple Swamphen (also known as the Sultana Bird), the Glossy Ibis, a Great Crested Grebe and a Dabchick (Little Grebe).
We saw all of these at Ludo and Lagoa de São Lourenço. It remains one of our favourite birding walks despite the increased walkers, cyclists and joggers, and the appalling reed bed management. They are regularly cutting back the reeds on the southernmost edge reducing the amount of cover for the birdlife. Whilst I appreciate that cutting and removing areas of reed on a rotational basis is a necessary part of reed bed management I don’t think that is what is happening here. As the only area they have worked on is by a very popular footpath.
I think the cutting is all about maintaining the view. The problem is by failing to keep a robust barrier between humans and wildlife, birds are less likely to breed here or even winter, particularly the elusive ones such as the Little Bittern. And one of the more recent selling points for this lagoon for tourists has been the bird life, hence the enormous hide which is now a conspicuous white elephant. Hopefully though I am wrong and what I think is appalling reed bed management is instead the cutting edge of wildlife and reed bed conservation!
Some great pics of some lovely birds (and dragonfly!). We used to have similar issues with reed cutting at the local reserve in Spain – you’d think that it would make more sense not to cut them all at once but stagger it to leave some cover all the time wouldn’t you? I think a lot of it comes down to labour costs though.
Thanks Theresa. Interesting happens at reserve, and labour costs sound a very reasonable explanation for there. Can’t be that here though as one of the most expensive golf courses in the Algarve!!
Ah, so they cut them down so golfers can get into the water to retrieve mis-hit balls then?! lol
I have never been able to get a decent photo of a dragonfly. Yours are gorgeous – well done.
Thank you, taken a while to get there and still lots end up on the cutting room floor!
You do come up with some fascinating information, Becky. 🙂 🙂 I’ve been amazed at the number of dragonflies around the beach this year. My naming system doesn’t extend beyond ‘red one’, ‘blue one’… You are seducing me into paying more attention to birds, though.
Keeps me out of mischief 😉 and yay on the birds. We’ll make a border of you yet!!
Pretty pink edges? 🙂 🙂
Was thinking more Algarvian blue, but I can see you in pink too!
Blue, of course! 🙂 🙂
I suspect you’re right, putting human needs first instead of natures.
All too common these days 😕
Great photos and I love the Sultana Bird, although with a name like that I expected it to be black and very small 🙂
Thank you, think it’s a very plump sultana!!!
Dragonfly photography is tricky but rewarding when you get that shot. I am not sure of the reed cutting. Maybe there’s a local craft? You are right, not much cover for bird watching or for the birds to do their thing 🙂
So rewarding 😁
and unfortunately unlikely to be for crafts as lake owned by golf courses and there are miles of rivers not far away with reeds which could be cut!!
That’s it. Small ball mentality
Perfect description 😆
Thank you 😀
Witches horses is a fab name!
And not only witch horses, but sultana birds too. Lovely post, Becky.
Thanks Tish 😁 I do love Sultana Birds, or blue chickens as I’ve heard some call them!
Witches horses, eh?
It’s a brilliant name isn’t it, and I’d much prefer to fly on one of these than a broomstick!!
Comments are closed.