Portugal Wildlife

Wildlife Seen in, on, around and from Bulrush Pond

Bulrush Pond, a purpose-built wildlife breeding, feeding, drinking and bathing pond. is now completed. The first few plants have been introduced but this is not a good time of year for them to establish themselves. So additional planting will probably be required in a more appropriate season. Local wildlife is already showing great signs of interest.

The pond is 18 metres by 8 metres. It is hoped that we will be able to keep the pond full of water all year round by topping it up occasionally from a borehole. It is fully lined to prevent leakage so topping up will require the minimum amount of water.

Bulrush Pond - A pond designed for breeding Amphibians, Reptiles, Dragonflies and various aquatic water life. Plus drinking, bathing and feeding by Birds and Mammals.

All Photographs were taken by the website author on the reserve unless otherwise stated.

 

 

 

AMPHIBIANS

 

 

Spiny Toad

Bufo spinosus

Sapo comum

 

This species has only recently been split from the Common Toad - Bufo bufo

 

 

 

Iberian Water Frog

Pelophylax perezi

Rã verde
 

Iberian Water Frogs Mating (Amplexus).

 

 

Tadpole soon to be transformed into a Froglet. Probably an Iberian Water Frog.

Iberian Water Frog - this tiny froglet has just emerged from the tadpole stage in Bulrush Pond.

 

At night. Note webbing on hind foot.

 

 

Froglet that still has its tail. The tail will soon be 'absorbed' so it will become a proper froglet.

Tadpoles (at night) - most likely of Iberian Water Frog.

 

 

At night.

 

 

Iberian Water Frog at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPTILES

 

 

Iberian Pond Turtle

Mauremys leprosa leprosa

Cágado
 

The first Iberian Pond Turtle to arrive at Bulrush Pond (15/10/2019).

 

Iberian Psammodromus

Psammodromus manuelae

Lagartixo do mato

 

Male.

 

 

Viperine Snake

Natrix maura

Cobra de água viperina
 

Adult.

 

 

Juvenile.

Juvenile.

Juvenile.

 

 

Viperine Snake sunning itself while hunting Iberian Water Frogs.

Viperine Snake in Bulrush Pond at night.

Young Viperine Snake hunting Western Mosquito Fish at night.

 

 

Under water - at bottom on Bulrush Pond.

Small Juvenile hiding in rocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAMSELFLIES

 

 

Emerald Spreadwing

Lestes dryas

Lestes robusto
 

 

 

Migrant Spreadwing

Lestes barbarus

Lestes mourisco
 

 

 

Goblet-marked Damselfly

Erythromma lindenii

Libelinha do vaso grego

 

Male.

Male.

 

 

Mating Pair.

Mating.

 

 

 

 

Male Goblet-marked Damselfy resting on Water Lily Pad.

Mating pair.

Iberian Bluetail or Bluetailed Damselfly

Ischnura graellsii

Iscnura ibero magrebina
 

Male. Note: Blue 'tail-light' is restricted to S9.

Mating pair.

 

Male.

 

 

Mating pair.

Females can be various colours.

Female.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAGONFLIES

 

 

Blue Emperor

Anax imperator

Imperador azul; Tira-olhos imperador
 

Female ovipositing.

Male.

 

 

Female ovipositing.

 

 

Lesser Emperor

Anax parthenope

Tira-olhos menor
 

Not yet photographed at Bulrush Pond. This species of dragonfly flies very fast and seldom lands making it a difficult species to photograph.

 

 

Broad Scarlet or Scarlet Dragonfly

Crocothemis erythraea

Libélula escarlate
 

Male.

Male.

Male. Note reddish legs and large golden pterostigmas.

 

 

Newly hatched teneral Broad Scarlet - possibly a female.

Male.

Male.

 

 

 

 

Black Percher

Diplacodes lefebvrii

Libélula preta pequena
 

Male.

Male.

Male.

 

 

 

 

Male.

Male.

 

Epaulet Skimmer

Orthetrum chrysostigma

Ortétrum de faixa branca
 

Teneral male.

The white diagonal stripe on the thorax is the 'epaulet'.

Male.

 

 

Male.

 

 

Teneral Male. Abdomen not yet fully blue.

Teneral Male. Abdomen not yet fully blue.

 

Redveined Darter

Sympetrum fonscolombii

Libélula de nervuras vermelhas
 

Male.

Female.

Male.

 

 

Female - newly emerged.

Newly emerged Female fell onto pond surface and could not fly free as its wings had not finished drying. But it managed to climb onto a pond plant so that it could dry off and let its wings harden.

 

 

Female.

Larval skin left on water plant shoot after emergence of dragonfly (probably this species).

Newly emerged Female drying her wings.

 

 

Mating pair. In between bout of egg-laying in the Pond.

 

Common Darter

Sympetrum striolatum

Libélula comum
 

Common Darters Egg-laying in Bulrush Pond (October).

 

 

Violet Dropwing

Trithemis annulata

Libélula púrpura
 

Newly emerged Violet Dropwing - probably a male.

Newly emerged Teneral drying out while sitting on larval case.

Newly emerged Violet Dropwing sitting on its larval case. Probably a female.

 

 

Newly emerged Teneral drying out while sitting on its larval case.

Newly emerged Violet Dropwing sitting on its larval case. Probably a female.

 

 

Teneral - still drying.

Teneral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  BIRDS

 

 

Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis ibis

Carraceiro

Resident.

 

Grey Heron 

Ardea cinerea cinerea

Garça real

Resident.

Grey Heron soaring having just flown up from Bulrush Pond.

Grey Heron fishing after nightfall.

 

Redlegged Partridge

Alectoris rufa hispanica

Perdiz
Breeding Resident.

 

Little Ringed Plover

Charadrius dubius curonicus

Borrelho pequeno de coleira
Summer Visitor. (March to October).

Not yet photographed at Bulrush Pond.

 

 

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

Maçarico bique bique
Passage/Winter. (June to April).

Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Rola turca
Very common resident.

Common Barn Owl

Tyto alba alba

Coruja das torres
Breeding Resident.

 

 

Little Owl

Athene noctua vidalii

Mocho galego
Common Breeding Resident.

 

 

Common Swift

Apus apus apus

Andorinhão preto
Summer Resident.

 

Common Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis ispida

Guarda rios
Resident.

Male.

 

 

Common Kingfisher with Pumpkinseed.

Common Kingfisher swallowing Pumpkinseed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iberian Green Woodpecker

Picus sharpie

Peto real
Commonly heard and seen Breeding Resident.

Crested Lark

Galerida cristata pallida

Cotovia de poupa
Resident.

 

 

The warm buffy-orange underwing is characteristic of a Crested Lark. The similar-looking Thekla Lark has a greyish underwing).

With crest lowered.

 

 

Preening.

 

Woodlark

Lullula arborea pallida

Cotovia dos bosques
Breeding Resident.

 

Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica rustica

Andorinha das chaminés
Common Breeding Summer Resident.

Three fledgling Barn Swallows.

Fledgling Barn Swallow food begging.

Adult flying in to feed fledgling Barn Swallow.

 

 

Fledgling Barn Swallow.

 

 

Redrumped Swallow

Cecropis daurica rufula

Andorinha dáurica
Summer Breeding Resident.

 

 

 

Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis pratensis

Petinha dos prados
Winter visitor. Approximately October to April

 

 

Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cinerea cinerea

Alvéola cinzenta
Resident.

 

 

White Wagtail

Motacilla alba alba

Alvéola branca
Resident.

 

 

European Robin

Erithacus rubecula

Two sub-species can occur: E.r. melophilus and E.r. rubecula

Pisco de peito ruivo
Common Winter Visitor. Some may be resident.

 

 

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros gibraltariensis

Rabirruivo
Common Winter Visitor.

Male.

 

Common Redstart

Phoenicurus phoenicurus phoenicurus

Rabirruivo de testa branca
Migrant Visitor.

Male going into Winter plumage.

 

Eurasian Stonechat

Saxicola torquatus rubicola

Cartaxo
Common Breeding Resident.

Juvenile.

 

 

Common Blackbird

Turdus merula merula

Melro
Common Breeding Resident.

Male.

Juvenile.

Juvenile.

Zitting Cisticola (Fantailed Warbler)

Cisticola juncidis cisticola

Fuinha dos juncos
Breeding Resident.

 

Sardinian Warbler

Sylvia melanocephala melanocephala

Toutinegra dos valados
Breeding Resident.

 

Common Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita collybita

Felosinha

Abundant Winter Migrant (they over-winter). Approximately October to March.

 

Willow Warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus trochilus

Felosinha musical

Non-Breeding Migrant Visitor. Approximately March to May and July to October.

Juvenile.

Pied Flycatcher

Ficedula hypoleuca

Papa moscas
Autumn/Winter Migrant. Several sub-species could occur.

Longtailed Tit (Bushtit)

Aegithalos caudatus irbii

Chapim rabilongo
Resident.

 

European Crested Tit

Lophophanes cristatus weigoldi

Chapim de poupa
Resident.

Blue Tit

Cyanistes caeruleus ogliastrae

Chapim azul
Very Common Breeding Resident.

Juveniles bathing and drinking.

 

 

Great Tit

Parus major corsus

Chapim real
Common Breeding Resident.

 

Eurasian Nuthatch

Sitta europaea hispaniensis

Trepadeira azul
Common Breeding Resident.

 

Eurasian Golden Oriole

Oriolus oriolus

Papa figos
Summer Breeding Visitor. Occasionally seen and heard.

Female.

 

 

Such a difficult bird to see and photograph !

Iberian Grey Shrike

Lanius meridionalis meridionalis

Picanço real
Common Breeding Resident.

 

 

Woodchat Shrike

Lanius senator rutilans

Picanço barreteiro
Summer Breeding Migrant.

 

 

Eurasian Jay

Garrulus glandarius fasciatus

Gaio
Common Resident.

Iberian Azurewinged Magpie

Cyanopica cooki

Charneco
Very Common Breeding Resident.

Adult (right) and Juvenile (left) drinking.

 

 

 

 

Juvenile.

 

 

Spotless Starling

Sturnus unicolor

Estorninho preto
Very Common Breeding Resident.

 

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus domesticus

Pardal

Very Common Breeding Resident.

Male drinking.

Female with prey in bill.

Spanish Sparrow

Passer hispaniolensis hispaniolensis

Pardal espanhol
Resident.

 

European Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis parva

Pintassilgo

Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs coelebs

Tentilhão
Resident.

 

 

European Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis parva

Pintassilgo
Breeding Resident.

 

 

Common Linnet

Carduelis cannabina mediterranea

Pintarroxo
Breeding Resident.

Male drinking.

Female.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  MAMMALS

 

 

Iberian Hare

Lepus granatensis

Lebre ibérica
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iberian Hare in the foreground, European Rabbit in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

European Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus

Coelho bravo
 

 

 

Wood Mouse

Apodemus sylvaticus

Ratinho do campo ; Rato do campo
 

Wood Mouse about to drink at pond's edge.

 

 

Black Rat

Rattus rattus

Ratazana preta; Rata negra
 

 

 

Iberian Fox

Vulpes vulpes silacea

Raposa
 

 

 

Iberian Badger

Meles meles marianensis

Texugo
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
    OTHER WILDLIFE    

Water Beetle

Cybister lateralimarginalis

Escaravelho de água

 

 

 
    PLANTS It was not possible to obtain many indigenous pond plants for Bulrush Pond so many of those planted are garden pond ornamentals. But they nevertheless are useful in balancing the pond's ecosystem and provide lots of shade, cover and food for the various animals inhabiting in the pond.  
   

Aquatic Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus).

Marsh Marigold. (Caltha palustris).

Curled Pond Weed (Potamogeton crispus).

   

Water Mint (Mentha aquatica). With discarded larval case of dragonfly that has just metamorphosed.

 

Dwarf Papyrus (Cyperus haspans).

European Speedwell (Veronica beccabunga).

   

Pickerel Weed (Pontederia cordata).

Powdery Alligator-Flag (Thalia dealbata).

Horsetail (Equisetum sp.).

   

Water Lily flowers are a good source of nectar for insects such as this species of Hoverfly.

Water Bistort (Persicaria amphibia).

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

Building Bulrush Pond: A Rationale

Many amphibians on the wildlife reserve attempt to breed in temporary pools of water such as puddles, ditches, Winterbourne streams and so on. Frequently these dry out completely before the amphibians can successfully reach adulthood. Even the large Windmill Pond can dry out completely in a dry year if the river does not flow to refill it. The Hide Pond is really just a water trough and is primarily aimed at animals needing to drink or bathe. It is not ideal, nor designed for, breeding of wildlife. As a result it was decided to create a proper Wildlife Pond that would contain water all year round and be a perfect place for many aquatic or amphibious animals to breed. By creating this pond within our house's garden footprint we have been able to provide a reliable supply of water to top it up at dry times of the year. We are hoping that lots of wildlife such as Dragonflies, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals and Insects, such as water beetles, will utilise this precious water resource.

Established June 2019.

For Photos of the Pond Construction see linke below:

Construction of Bulrush Pond

Wildlife Seen and Heard at Bulrush Pond
    AMPHIBIANS    
1   Spiny Toad Bufo spinosus Sapo comum
2   Iberian Water Frog Pelodytes perezi Rã verde
         
    REPTILES    
1   Iberian Pond Turtle Mauremys leprosa leprosa Cágado
2   Iberian Psammodromus Psammodromus manuelae Lagartixo do mato
3   Viperine Snake Natrix maura Cobra de água viperina
         
    DAMSELFLIES    
1   Emerald Spreadwing Lestes dryas Lestes robusto
2   Migrant Spreadwing Lestes barbarus Lestes mourisco
3   Goblet-marked Damselfly Erythromma lindenii Libelinha do vaso grego
4   Iberian Bluetail or Bluetailed Damselfly Ischnura graellsii Iscnura ibero magrebina; Libelinha de Graells
   
    DRAGONFLIES    
1   Blue Emperor Anax imperator Imperador azul; Tira-olhos imperador
2   Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope Tira-olhos menor
3   Broad Scarlet or Scarlet Dragonfly Crocothemis erythraea Libélula escarlate
4   Black Percher Diplacodes lefebvrii Libélula preta pequena
5   Epaulet Skimmer Orthetrum chrysostigma Ortétrum de faixa branca
6   Redveined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii Libélula de nervuras vermelhas
7   Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum Libélula comum
8   Violet Dropwing Trithemis annulata Libélula púrpura
         
    BIRDS    
1   Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis ibis Carraceiro
2   Grey Heron Ardea cinerea cinerea Garça real
3   Redlegged Partridge Alectoris rufa hispanica Perdiz
4   Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius curonicus Borrelho pequeno de coleira
5   Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Maçarico bique bique
6   Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto Rola turca
7   Common Barn Owl Tyto alba alba Coruja das torres
8   Little Owl Athene noctua vidalii Mocho galego
9   Common Swift Apus apus apus Andorinhão preto
10   Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis ispida Guarda rios
11   Iberian Green Woodpecker Picus sharpei Peto real
12   Crested Lark Galerida cristata pallida Cotovia de poupa
13   Woodlark Lullula arborea pallida Cotovia dos bosques
14   Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica rustica Andorinha das chaminés
15   Redrumped Swallow Cecropis daurica rufula Andorinha dáurica
16   Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis pratensis Petinha dos prados
17   Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea cinerea Alvéola cinzenta
18   White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba Alvéola branca
19   European Robin Erithacus rubecula Pisco de peito ruivo
20   Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros gibraltariensis Rabirruivo
21   Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus phoenicurus Rabirruivo de testa branca
22   Eurasian Stonechat Saxicola torquatus rubicola Cartaxo
23   Common Blackbird Turdus merula merula Melro
24   Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis cisticola Fuinha dos juncos
25   Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala melanocephala Toutinegra dos valados
26   Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita collybita Felosinha
27   Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus trochilus Felosinha musical
28   Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca iberiae Papa moscas
29   Longtailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus irbii Chapim rabilongo
30   European Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus weigoldi Chapim de poupa
31   Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus ogliastrae Chapim azul
32   Great Tit Parus major corsus Chapim real
33   Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea hispaniensis Trepadeira azul
34   Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus Papa figos
35   Iberian Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis meridionalis Picanço real
36   Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator rutilans Picanço barreteiro
37   Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius fasciatus Gaio
38   Iberian Azurewinged Magpie Cyanopica cooki Charneco
39   Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor Estorninho preto
40   House Sparrow Passer domesticus domesticus Pardal
41   Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis hispaniolensis Pardal espanhol
42   Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs coelebs Tentilhão
43   European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis parva Pintassilgo
44   Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina mediterranea Pintarroxo
45   Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra calandra Trigueirão
         
    MAMMALS    
1   Iberian Hare Lepus granatensis Lebre ibérica
2   European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus algirus Coelho bravo
3   Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus Rato do campo
4   Black Rat Rattus rattus Rato preto; Ratazana preta
5   Iberian Fox Vulpes vulpes silacea Raposa
6   Iberian Badger Meles meles marianensis Texugo
         
    OTHER WILDLIFE    
1   Water Beetle Cybister lateralimarginalis Escaravelho de água
         
69   <--- Total Number of Species Recorded    

Bulrush Pond: 22nd June 2019 - One Year after construction completed.

Bulrush Pond: 14th June 2019 - Just after construction finished.

 

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