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Old Thursday 9th June 2011, 12:11   #1
marklhawkes
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Canary Isles 2011 news & sightings

I'm off here for two weeks in early-September (it will be my third visit to the island, so not really a birding holiday), but in an attempt to collate all sightings together (especially with the summer holidays coming soon), I thought I'd start a thread early so everyone can post their reports and sightings so we can all share and enjoy.

I will post anything interesting I see here (but that won't be for a few months yet!).

One thing I would like to try and do though is spend some time seawatching - I haven't done much of this on the Canary Isles -anyone got any tips for good sites, weather patterns etc. As I will have a car for both weeks I hope to try and cover a number of sites that I've not been to before...

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Old Thursday 9th June 2011, 12:18   #2
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Originally Posted by marklhawkes View Post
I'm off here for two weeks in early-September (it will be my third visit to the island, so not really a birding holiday), but in an attempt to collate all sightings together (especially with the summer holidays coming soon), I thought I'd start a thread early so everyone can post their reports and sightings so we can all share and enjoy.

I will post anything interesting I see here (but that won't be for a few months yet!).

One thing I would like to try and do though is spend some time seawatching - I haven't done much of this on the Canary Isles -anyone got any tips for good sites, weather patterns etc. As I will have a car for both weeks I hope to try and cover a number of sites that I've not been to before...
How about the Canary Islands as a whole. I am visiting four of them in October so would be good to know.

I know it isn't answering Mark's question but when I stayed at Los Cancajos in La Palma you could watch Little Shearwaters from the balcony every evening...

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Old Thursday 9th June 2011, 12:29   #3
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I'm happy for it to cover all the islands, but I'm not sure how to change the title of the thread now....

Edit - I figured it out!!
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Old Thursday 9th June 2011, 15:42   #4
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http://wirralbirders.blogspot.com/20...1_archive.html

and:

http://wirralbirders.blogspot.com/se...&max-results=7

Scroll down to early July - we did a whistle stop 5 day birding trip last year covering Lanzarotte, Teneriffe & La Gomera.
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Old Friday 10th June 2011, 09:49   #5
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A mate has just come back from Teneriffe and got Laurel Pigeon at the site published in Clarke & Collins at Chanajiga near La Orotava by following the steep footpath that goues up the mountainside about 1 km fro mthe car park and scanning from the top of the ridge.

Mark- we got 20+ White-faced Storm Petrel from the ferry that runs between Lanzarotte (Ariciffe?) and Gran Canaria. The whole trip was planned around looking for this species.

Plenty of Cory's Shearwaters on trip from Los Christianos to La Gomera but only 1 Bulwers. Did get 2 Little Shears though and there are barbary Falcons on cliffs as yo uenter La Gomera harbour. See blog details posted above about site on La Gomera for Laurel Pigeon.
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Old Sunday 12th June 2011, 18:44   #6
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The new field guide to Macaronesia is now out. I have done a quick review on the Aves de Macaronesia thread on here.

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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 18:10   #7
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sightings Gran Canaria & Fuerteventura

Hi all,

I just came back from a family trip in the Canary Island

1st part was in Gran Canaria :

whale watching trip in Puerto Rico : I took 4 trip and that produced white-faced & Madeiran storm-petrel, barolo's shearwater, bulwer's petrel, cory's shearwater, loggerhead turtle, rough-toothed, atlantic spotted & bottlenose dolphin. For more information see here : http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=207705

Seawatching : about 3000-3500 cory's shearwater are passing Puerto Rico each evening

Puerto Rico parks : hoopoe, berthelot's pipit, canary island chiffchaff, sardinian warbler, canary and local race of blue tit

Oasis de Maspalomas : great spot! 1 ruddy shelduck (what is the status of this species on Gran Canaria?), 4 little egret, 30 ringed plover, 2 greenshank, 1 common sandpiper, 1 whimbrel, common waxbill,...

other sightings : bleu tit were seen in the village of Tauro (near Puerto Rico) and around the church of Ingenio. 2 barbary falcon were seen in the center of the Island (also lots of buzzard and kestrel)

2nd part ferry between Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura

I took the 6h trasmediterranea ferry from Las Palmas to Puerto Del Rosario : 15 (12 along the Fuerteventura south and east coast) bulwer's petrel, 2 loggerhead turtle and a pod of antlantic spotted dolphin.

3rd part : Fuerteventura

Costa Calma / La Pared : I visited the site on 2 morning. On the first visit I arrived from La Pared. the track became bad so I spotted the car and walked : 1 distant houbara bustard in flight, 8+4 sandgrouse, a flock of 80 lesser short-toed lark, lots of spectacled warbler and southern grey shrike. Then we took what seems to be the best track, going from the eastern part of Costa Calma toward the opposite coast and we had 2 houbara busard close to the road at 10 a.m. The second visit was shorter and we only took the main track from Costa Calma and a few tracks to the left and right : again 1 houbara close to the road, 1 cream-coloured courser, 1+2 sandgrouse.

Catalina Garcia : a great spot with 60 ruddy shelduck, 15 little ringed plover, 5 greenshank, 20 black-winged stilt, several small flock of trumpeter finch, hoopoe, spectacled warbler, turtle dove and a total of min 44 sandgrouse in 11 flock coming to drink between 10h20 & 11h00!! That seems the best spot for the species on the island.

ruddy shelduck : 15 at Los Molinos

cory's shearwater : very very close from Caleta de Fustes each evening and 1 counted 3300 in 2 hours. Also seen everywhere along the coast during the day
egyptian vulture : seen at Salinas, Barranco de la Torre and Pozo Negro

canary island chat : seen at 5 place, Barranco de la Torre, Los Molinos, along the dirt road south of Pajara that go to Playa de Garcey & la solapa, La Atalayita but the best spot was Pozo Negro, there was a family just behind the beach restaurant (seen sitting on wall, dustbin, car,...). The male has a deformed bill

Blue tit : only one in Betancuria


FD
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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 18:18   #8
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I have just posted a New Thread and within a minute FD has added his sightings to this thread so copied to this one
Birding Late July on Fuerteventura
Just got back from a 2 week dudes holiday to Fuertaventura with the Mrs. Hired a car for 2 days and apart from one site for CC courser (where I failed) I went totally ‘blind’.
I realise the beginning of the year is the best birding time to visit the island. But thought I might pick up some of the birds at this time and as July was our 25th wedding Anniversary I didn’t have a choice.

Thinking it was going to be easy, to pick up the goodies on such a small island.
How wrong I was, the different desert type habitats were endless and accompanied by an intense heat haze, it was harder than the proverbial needle in a haystack to score.

I was based on the east coast at Caleta de Fuste. 5 miles south of the Airport. Here a regular flock of waders were encountered daily on the rocky shore, to the south of the sandy beach. The majority were Kentish Plover (49 max), also single ringed plover, turnstone, greenshank and dunlin as well as 3 whimbrel. Yellow legged gulls of all ages were on view all day. From 7pm everyday off shore, were 100’s of Cory’s some only a few hundred yards off shore, especially at low tide. Also around the resort were plenty of Spanish sparrow and collared dove. A small flock of Plain swift, that steadily increased throughout our holiday (15 max). A pair of Raven, two sightings of hoopoe, single great grey shrike and kestrel. Even walking into the open areas of semi scrub revealed nothing (possibly due to human disturbance).

Day 1 with hire car 21st July
Headed north out of caleta de fuste . Getting away from the resort it became very apparent that this island was pretty barren and tree cover was at a premium.
Our first encounter with any birds was opposite the first petrol station at de rio cabras, here a massive flock of plain swift hunted. It is very difficult to pull over when seeing birds on any road, where the tarmac ends so does the flat surface and many an exhaust must have been left…so be aware!
Next stop was to be the first left turn past Puerto del rasario. This led to Guisgey where my first lifer Berthlots pipit was picked up by a series of recycling containers less than a mile down the road on the left. Here I also saw 2 egyptian vultures, ravens, and common buzzard. To the end of this road (3 miles ) is a track that climbs up the side of a mountain where at the beginning, I had a few Trumpeter finches and a large flock of Spanish sparrow. From here we made our way to Tindaya via a few dudey sites for the Mrs. The Tindaya plain on NW side of the island is a vast rocky /low scrub stony desert. Coming out of the village along the secondary road we headed NW towards the sea. We drove off road, down a few sand tracks (not really suitable in a non 4x4). The road is about 4 miles long and looks good for Houbara’s but no luck. Managed a flock 10 Black bellied sandgrouse in a dried out crop field towards the end of the road. Also a flock of 30 lesser short toed larks, a few spectacled warblers, lots of berthlots, hoopoe , gg shrikes. Next to Los Molinos reservoir (which was dry apart from a small stream) here 2 little egrets, berthlots and a calling stone curlew. Checked out more suitable looking habitat on route to Las Salinas, that is just south of our base. There we found nothing, so with a couple hours of light left we drove west for c5km trailblazing and took the first right turn. I pulled over after 100 yards next to a notice board that had a picture of an Egyptian vulture on it ( sign to Los Alares). Immediately I noticed a bird flitting about on boulders close…. by my 2nd lifer F/V stonechat. Following the bird onto a dirt track in the car I heard a wader call that I instantly recognised as black winged stilt. But in a dry field! I followed up the call and found a small pool with 10 birds in it consisting of 2 family groups with young not quite fledged, also here were 2 LRP’s. Just before we left a flock of 12 ruddy shelduck dropped in. We visited this site twice the following day where I got my 3rd lifer.

DAY 2(with hire car 22nd July)
Headed south from our base at CdeFuste. A brief stop at the Los Alares turn off, where all was as the previous evening. Back onto the FV-2, after a couple of miles the landscape became black with volcanic rock. Soon after was a raised lay-by, from here at least 6 Egyptian Vultures soared quite close to the road.
After a few fruitless searches in suitable habitat for the desert specialities, I was beginning to loose hope. I then by accident came across a sign for a nature reserve near La Pared. It was accessed from the road between Costa Calma and La Pared (a large wind farm is easily seen from the main road) – this is almost in the middle of the reserve. We drove slowly along some pretty dodgy tracks and ended up a good way into the ‘desert’. Managed to get two groups of Cream coloured courser’s totalling 13 birds (one with a half grown chick). Other birds seen included, spectacled warbler, lesser short toed larks, great grey shrike and the ubiquitous Berthlot’s pipit. The area definitely warrants a longer visit than the 3 hours we were there, mornings and a 4x4 would also have been beneficial.
Headed back to the ‘Los Alares’ site where I managed my 3rd lifer. This was my third visit to this spot and was to be the best. First encountered were 3 F/V stonechat 1 perched on the roof of a house. At least 12 Stilts, c200 Spanish sparrows, GG shrike, kestrel, plain swift, laughing dove, berthlot’s pipit and my lifer Barbary Partridge at least 10 flew out of a grassy field within 30 yards of the road.

All in all for a ‘dudes’ holiday I can’t complain with 3 new species and a pretty chilled out time as well.
John

Last edited by upstarts1979 : Thursday 4th August 2011 at 18:39.
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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 18:34   #9
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Quote:
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Oasis de Maspalomas : great spot! 1 ruddy shelduck (what is the status of this species on Gran Canaria?
Non-breeding but increasingly regular visitor seems to be the impression from the two field guides to the Canaries published in recent years.

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Old Thursday 4th August 2011, 19:05   #10
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Hi all,

Catalina Garcia : a great spot with 60 ruddy shelduck, 15 little ringed plover, 5 greenshank, 20 black-winged stilt, several small flock of trumpeter finch, hoopoe, spectacled warbler, turtle dove and a total of min 44 sandgrouse in 11 flock coming to drink between 10h20 & 11h00!! That seems the best spot for the species on the island.

FD
Hi FD where exactly is Catalina Garcia..can't find it on google earth or the map I used.
John
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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 00:27   #11
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Hi FD where exactly is Catalina Garcia..can't find it on google earth or the map I used.
John
A lagoon, good for ruddy shelduck etc. Female blue-winged teal there this spring.

Turn off east at 28°18'00"N, 14°01'33"W and follow the track south-east.
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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 11:40   #12
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A lagoon, good for ruddy shelduck etc. Female blue-winged teal there this spring.

Turn off east at 28°18'00"N, 14°01'33"W and follow the track south-east.
mate just added to my map...I drove quite close to that site. Oh well that will teach me not to research before I go somewhere. I usually do, but thought just buying a map would be enough on such a small island.
Map - Fuertaventura RAI 1:100,000
Still only need the Bustard and Barbary Falcon, must go back earlier in the year such a nice place.
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Old Friday 5th August 2011, 11:47   #13
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Catalina Garcia is a great place. If I returned to Fuerteventura I would make sure we were based as close as possible!

My experiences there, from April:
http://www.surfbirds.com/blog/peterm...+Migrants.html
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Old Wednesday 24th August 2011, 17:08   #14
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From the other channel, and hopefully of interest... sounds like it could be a good trip.

http://surfbirds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9295
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Old Wednesday 24th August 2011, 23:57   #15
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From the other channel, and hopefully of interest... sounds like it could be a good trip.

http://surfbirds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9295
Unfortunately it's already fully booked.
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Old Wednesday 7th September 2011, 12:03   #16
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Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Los Molinos Reservoir this morning, also 2 Ruff, 6 Green Sandpipers, 7 Common Sandpipers and 75+ Ruddy Shelducks plus usual resident species
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Old Friday 9th September 2011, 11:47   #17
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Seawatching this morning from El Cotillo lighthouse 07.30-10.00:

Long-tailed Skua, 3 separate adults south
Arctic Skua 2 juveniles south
Skua species 4 south, all distant (at least 2 of which might have been Long-tailed's)
Great Shearwater 1 south at 9am close in
Probable Macaronesian Shearwater 1 south
Black Tern 1 south
Common Tern 5 south
Manx Shearwater 35+
Cory's Shearwater 150+

Not a bad result as the winds were quite light this morning.

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Old Saturday 10th September 2011, 09:22   #18
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Adult Spoonbill this morning in small bay just west of Corralejo town with 3 Little Egrets
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Old Saturday 10th September 2011, 09:34   #19
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Sounds like a good trip so far Mark, particularly the Buff-breast, when do you leave? When I went to Fuerteventura a couple of the Spoonbills were colour ringed but too far away to read.

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Old Saturday 10th September 2011, 15:55   #20
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Sounds like a good trip so far Mark, particularly the Buff-breast, when do you leave? When I went to Fuerteventura a couple of the Spoonbills were colour ringed but too far away to read.

Stephen
On the island until 19th, although it's too hot for birding after midday!! Haven't been back to Los Molinos yet to see if Buff breasted is still there, but two arrived on Lanzarote soon after mine. http://www.surfbirds.com/blog/birdinglanzarote

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Old Saturday 10th September 2011, 19:30   #21
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From the other channel, and hopefully of interest... sounds like it could be a good trip.

http://surfbirds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9295
It seems it was good; they found a Black-bellied Storm Petrel!

[edit: initial sighting on: http://www.reservoirbirds.com]

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Old Sunday 11th September 2011, 18:13   #22
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Highlight from this morning at Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura:

CITRINE WAGTAIL juvenile photographed around dry area at west end. This species is not mentioned in Tony Clarke's book which was published in 1996. Does anyone know the status of this species in the Canaries and Fuerteventura?

SQUACCO HERON adult.... this is listed as "accidental" in Clarke. Is this still true?

Barbary Falcon juvenile over, plus 2 Egyptian Vultures over too.
Black bellied Sandgrouse 7+
Curlew Sandpiper 2, Greenshank 4+, Ruff 2, Redshank 1, Black winged Stilt 15+, LRP 20+, Dunlin 1
Pied Flycatcher 1, plus many Trumpeters Finches and Lesser Short toed Larks
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Old Sunday 11th September 2011, 18:23   #23
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Mark,

According to the latest field guide published this year:

- Citrine Wagtail has been recorded from Tenerife and Lanzarote

- Squacco Heron is a passage migrant recorded on all islands other than El Hierro

Stephen
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Old Sunday 11th September 2011, 19:59   #24
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Many thanks Stephen. Very interesting.
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Old Sunday 11th September 2011, 20:19   #25
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It seems it was good; they found a Black-bellied Storm Petrel!

[edit: initial sighting on: http://www.reservoirbirds.com]
And 3 South Polar Skuas...
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