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Anything but Barolo's (1 Viewer)

opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
Let's be honest to ourselves: La Palma is not the greatest birding destination. The lack of variety of species is almost fascinating in itself! I hoped a little that it is actually the second Corvo, only nobody ever looks there in October, so we dont to know. Well, we still don't know because I searched only a few small areas, but I can tell you that I found nothing of interest.

Well, I have seen about 40 Muscovy Ducks, which are cat C in Canaries, but they were around this pond, in the backyard of a campsite, behind a fence - sure a few of them were wandering around, but I have enough self-esteem not to tick that.

So let's talk about the ferry. I have taken it 5 or 6 times by now (I can't remember if I flew in the first time or not and can't be bothered to look it up). Almost any trip brought something exciting - even the endless wall of Cory's was exciting as it were probably my first Cory's back in 2016. Apart of that I saw, during different passages Bulwer's, Boyd's, Leach's and today Great Shearwater; all of these except for Leach's were lifers - yes I have seen another Bulwer's later from a different inter-island ferry, but quite badly. Also Risso's Dolphin, possibly Striped Dolphin, Pilot Whales, flying fishes, Loggerhead Turtle ... It's true I haven't taken any other ferry so many times, but this is for sure my most productive ferry line. But I  still haven't seen a Barolo's, it's getting ridiculous!

Yes the slow ferries are miles better - on an Armas ship you can stand on top open deck and have a commanding view of the ocean, but in absence of them, the Fred Olsen silly sprinters also work, in particular if you decisively claim the one useable place to watch and never leave it. The only downside is the smokers who are gonna give you a sensory experience. I think people who can't go two hours without a cig should just stay home and stop bothering others.

Tomorrow I have an entire free day in Tenerife, but I am staying in Santa Cruz on the account of having a 7 am flight from TFN on Monday. I was always thinking that Tenerife was good for rarities but there hasn't been anything reported for a long while. Well, maybe there  is something, only I don't know it, because rarity reporting in Spain is a disaster since the "Rare Birds in Spain" stopped being updated regularly - I don't blame the guy, I think it was a one man show, it's just shame that there doesn't seem to really be anything else...

Good ideas where to go tomorrow to find something on my own wouldn't go amiss - if I can't figure it out, I am probably gonna go to La Laguna for the Skinks :)
 

jogresh

Bimble and patch
One option would be the TF-12, i've had the (White Tailed) Laurel Pigeon along there (Mirador Pico del Ingles). That said, i think you've seen both the pigeon spp.
However, if you haven't been, it's pretty spectacular - at one point the road is only slightly narrower than the knife edge arete that it is situated on.
 
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opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
I should have noted that by now I have seen most of the land endemics many times (I am saying most because I only saw GC Blue Chaff once). Funnily enough I have been to several parts of the TF12 crest road and never found anything of note there :) That would have been great suggestion otherwise though as I don't have a car but I have already been there by bus, so it's obviously doable.

I was thinking more about vagrant spots - on Fuerteventura for example, there is a park that at one point had several YBWs, OB pipit and Little Bunting (from which I saw just one YBW back then), is there someplace like that here? :)
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Can't help on migrant spots, but have you targeted all the endemic subspecies and 'possible' La Palma subspecies?

Can't recall what may be possible, and probably not as exciting ... ;-)
 

opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
First of all I am on Tenerife now, that was really the point of taking the ferry :) But I think I actually do not have the Robin, which may in fact be soon split? But it's questionable whether I have the energy to go look for a Robin :)
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
First of all I am on Tenerife now, that was really the point of taking the ferry :) But I think I actually do not have the Robin, which may in fact be soon split? But it's questionable whether I have the energy to go look for a Robin :)
Oops, yes, misread that as the other way around ;-)

Point still stands though. Get the superbus by public transport if you can ... or maybe not. There was a thread on here where various things up to Sparrowhawk and Woodcock are interesting subspecies, aside the more expected island races of GSW and Blue Chaffinch etc. But without a car ...
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Good chance of Barolo's from the car park at Charco del Viento (28.400374, -16.673001), or from the sheltered path immediately below it between 5-7pm. Look for a few yellow boys away to the right, when they come past they seem to like settling near there for a short time, splashing about a bit.

Of course I cannot guarantee, but this location has delivered for quite a few birders. Often the birds that pass are only 200-300 metres out and flying individually, from left to right. E-bird reports highlight this hotspot Jan. I had several, others just 1-3 birds. I generally found these with my 10x50 binoculars because if you are scoping you can only have a certain depth of field. Then switch to scope once seen. Beware of Manxies too though.

Quite a way from Santa Cruz though :)-. Cicar car hire possible at port at Santa Cruz.

'Superbus' Robin are not easy but I had a couple below or around the bridge at Barranco de Ruiz a couple of miles from Charco del Viento. Distinctively different from nominate form not just in appearance, especially the song. Access to both points easily missed on fast dual carriageway.
 
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opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
That's an interesting site. I am not gonna go there today, but for future reference :) I have watched several afternoons from some sites further west along the coast but never there I think.

I have visited a really nice park in SC in the morning that had a bird that rised my blood pressure until it got out of a very dark shadow and I saw it was a female Blackcap :) And now I am going to Pico del Ingles and then hike down to Punta del Hidalgo - there should be Skinks along the way and maybe some waders at the end.
 

opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
The hike down from Pico del Ingles to Punta del Hidalgo is one of the greatest day hikes of generalized Europe IMO. I have been at both ends before, but the trail that connects them is something else. I have heard quite a lot of birds, including several I think that were superbus Robins, but even making recordings was difficult (because there was a lot of traffic on nearby roads) and I haven't seen any Robins - and I mostly haven't seen any other of the singing birds apart of CI Chiffchaffs (which do not hide that much), and one African Blue Tit. I also saw a few Canaries, Berteholt's Pipirs and the local ssp. of Chaffinch - and Bolle's Pigeons, probably my best observation, where I saw them for a long time around the trail, pretty nice! But a lot of the birdsong in the laurel forest remains a mystery for me. Also Plain Tiger Butterflies were numerous - a stunning species, which surprised me mainly by the fact that I already have it from Oman, which I don't remember at all.

In general, my feeling from the nature here is a mix of enjoyment and ... waste? There is just such a wonderful jungle here, which really looks like mountain jungles of the tropics in many places - and almost nothing of note lives in it!!! It would have been so much fun if there were some squirrels, poison dart frogs, simply anything that is usually found in habitats that look like this. But it's still really enjoyable to walk through, especially compared to central Europe in November ...

I have quickly found that the quest for Skinks would be harder than I imagined, due to a significant ... background from the Tenerife Lizards. There were just SO many of them, at least hundreds if not thousands - I was walking down the path, which is quite busy, yet there was always movement around it as the hordes of lizards were hiding from me - they can't catch a break, because there is a hiker every minute, yet they are still there because there are so many of them!

At the coast I tried to seawatch for a bit, but there were just so many Cory's (again, backround!) that finding anything else looked quite tricky. Only a handful of shorebirds - not surprisingly considering the large numbers of shorehumans in the area. Overall I was glad I did not have a car for this - first of all logistically it wouldn't have made sense anyway, I ended up 1000 meters lower in altitude than where I started (and I was still drenched in sweat, no way I am ever doing this uphill in this weather) and the roads in the upper Anaga were too crowded by cars anyway - if you ever go there on a weekend, do yourself a favor and take the bus. On weekends, 273 goes straight to Pico del Ingles (apparently only on weekends though).
 

opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
Did you check out Robert Burton's blog before / during your La Palma stay?

Oh I forgot this still continues, good work with the updates to him! I haven't checked it, but I see now there was no harm as there was nothing of note. But I will keep it in mind for next trips, which will almost certainly happen, considering how much work on site is ahead of us.
 

opisska

rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
I wrote down a list of birds - I have been out birding only for a few days during the week, but both on La Palma and Tenerife and in relatively varied habitats + the two ferries (but not specifically looking for many species) - still only 33 species, quite fascinatingly low - especially compared to how good of a feeling I has about the experience!
 

Allen S. Moore

Well-known member
Isle of Man
First of all I am on Tenerife now, that was really the point of taking the ferry :) But I think I actually do not have the Robin, which may in fact be soon split? But it's questionable whether I have the energy to go look for a Robin :)
How did you get on where you were on La Palma? I have been to the island 12 times, and most of my sightings of Robin there have been higher up in Barranco del Agua near Los Sauces, especially from by the HEP Station to and including Centro de Visitantes Los Tilos and high above at Mirador de las Barandas.
 

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