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Conil De La Frontera

Home Forums Field Trips & Conservation Conil De La Frontera

This topic contains 12 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Matt 8 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #300278

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Just got back from a very enjoyable but all-too-brief trip. Conil de la Frontera is a small town on the Costa de la Luz in the Cadiz province of Andalucia, and is a popular holiday destination for the Spanish (although nothing like on the scale of the Costa del Sol). The whole coast is relatively undeveloped and there are no hotel complexes or golf courses blotting the landscape. Here I was hoping to find a population of Aphanius baeticus that inhabits the Rio Salado, a saline river running alongside the town.

    First place we stopped; I could see largish fish in the deeper water but had only brought a small landing net so no chance of reaching them. Notice all the white specks on the exposed bit of mud.

    These are European fiddler crabs, Uca tangeri. The males are the ones with the huge white claw:

    Their burrows:

    Attached files

    #314471

    Matt
    Keymaster

    I walked upriver a bit. Odd place as the water flows away from the ocean…

    Around the bend and this spot looked a more likely Aphanius habitat (less water flow and more marginal vegetation) but after 45 empty-handed minutes I gave up. There were plenty of larger, very fast-moving fish here but I failed to catch a single one! The video gives something of an idea. Sorry about the quality I was working with very limited i.e. broken technology…

    Swallowtail butterfly, Papilio machaon:

    Snails on the head of a sunflower:

    We spent another half an hour watching the crabs then went to the beach:

    Attached files

    #314472

    Matt
    Keymaster

    I soon got bored of lying about and went to check out the estuary of the Rio Salado; here I am stood in the middle of it. In summer the estuary is nothing but a small channel but in winter extends to form a shallow lagoon.

    I walked over the nearby dunes and found this lagoon but it only supported a few fiddler crabs and some gulls:

    Behind the dunes the floodplain is being used to graze cattle. Each one had a supporting team of little egrets which I assume were feeding on worms etc. kicked up by the walking entrecotes:

    In the cows’ field was this pool but no fish inside.

    …so I walked back to the estuary and skirted the river bank a little upstream; very soft mud underfoot and there were hundreds of fiddler crabs all along the margin. I reached a barbed wire fence after a few hundred metres, crawled under it and found this little tributary:

    Plenty more fiddlers here but again no Aphanius so I decided to net a crab. Also caught some very cute Pomatoschistus sp. gobies but believe me the photos aren’t worth sharing…

    It’s fair to say the wee guy didn’t really appreciate being captured or photographed:

    My girlfriend then began to mutter darkly about ‘quality time’ and ‘normal boys’ so we retired for showers followed by:

    Attached files

    #314473

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Next morning we were up early as I wanted to visit the Rio de la Vega at Tarifa on the way home. This is the spot I’ve visited twice previously and is now starting to dry up again as part of its seasonal cycle:

    The water was very clear and absolutely teeming with A. baeticus and Cobitis paludica.

    These young Cobitis could be observed in their hundreds around the edge of the pool.

    Well that’s it! Hope there aren’t too many pics.

    Attached files

    #314479

    Bluedave
    Participant

    Great thread mate – not enough pics though

    #314483

    mickthefish
    Participant

    hows about bringing some Cobitis over when you come visiting matey.

    #314485

    Mark Duffill
    Participant

    Great report Matt /wink.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”;)” border=”0″ alt=”wink.gif” />

    #314486

    Chris Green
    Participant

    Wow.. Some amazing shots and I agree about the Loaches.

    #314492

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Hahaha I thought you lads might like the Cobitis. /tongue.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:p” border=”0″ alt=”tongue.gif” />

    #314493

    keith565
    Participant

    wow, great pics Matt. beautiful scenery.

    #314505

    thelizzious
    Member

    Thanks Matt, I enjoyed this “fieldtrip” of yours very much.

    #314509

    oaken
    Participant

    Nice pics as always

    #314528

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Cheers all.

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