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Canary Islands Conundrums - Fuerteventura and Tenerife 25-31 March 2022 (1 Viewer)

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Nice report, sounds like you had a good time!

Cool video of the Tropicbird as well, I bet it was a bizarre sight at an urban pond.
Thanks Bitis, yeah definitely seems weird that it has chosen this location to roost. Clearly not put off by human activity.
 

James Lowther

Well-known member
Could anyone with a better knowledge of eBird let me know what is the seasonality of Barolo Shearwater at Charco del Viento? Spring to autumn or all year round ?
Thanks
James
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Assessment of E-bird Little/Barolo Shearwater movements from 'Charco del Viento', near San Juan de Ramblas: -

15/3/19 - 3 seen between 0400-0700, no Manx
4/8/21 - 3 individuals frequently lost behind waves between 1930-2000, no Manx
29/8/21 - 1 between 1900-2030, no Manx
4/9/21 - x number reported between 1300-1430, also x number of Manx (X means seen but doesnt tell you about number)
11/9/21 - x number between 1300-1430, also x number of Manx
18/9/21 - x number between 1300-1430, also x number of Manx
3/2/22 - 2 seen between 1905-1915, 0 Manx
4/2/22 - 6 seen between 1811-1900, plus 1 Manx
23/2/22 - 5 all but 1 east, all within 500m between 1700-1825, no Manx
23/2/22 - 3 east all within 200m between 1825-1900, no Manx
24/2/22 - 8 all but 1 east, 15 different sightings (suggesting birds may be seen more than once) between 1750-1830, no Manx
2/3/22 - 7 all flying east between 1720-1840, no Manx
27/3/22 - 1 east between 1600-1730, 1 Manx
30/3/22 - 5 east between 1800-1930, 5 Manx

Christopher Moning reported the Feb 22 sightings, and also sound recorded birds passing between midnight and 7.30am 25/2/22 - 3/3/22.

1 mile east of Charco del Viento, from El Puntas de las Aguas, Luke Nash Norfolk birder (Norfolk recorder?) reported birds also passing east in early July 2014, so it seems this is not a new phenomenon and also it seems they can be seen in July too. He reported up to 8 sightings on 3/7 1730-1915, up to 8 on 5/7 1645-2100, up to 6 on 6/7 1740-2050, and up to 5 birds on 8/7 1615-2110. His notes from E-bird are as follows: -

"Each evening as we sat on the villa balcony (at El Punton de Las Aguas, 1.5 miles east of Charco del Viento), MN would find Barolo Shearwaters passing or feeding offshore from the balcony through the telescope. Below follows a sightings log along with a general description:

3rd July 2014
8+ sightings 1730-1915. At the time thought to be one bird but could well have involved several. At c.1900 one landed on the sea for roughly 10 minutes, and bathed and preened whilst sat on the sea.

5th July
Weather calm and sunny with light to medium east winds. First sighting was one going east at 1645, with the same or another passing back west shortly after. This bird landed on the sea, joining two others already sat on the sea. c.4 more sightings to 1815. Two birds together (probably same as earlier two) sat on the sea in the same vicinity as two of the earlier birds (around a yellow fishing buoy). 2005, two birds distantly west. 2025 two birds distantly west. 2100 one distantly west. Number impossible to ascertain but definitely three, probably four, possibly as high as eight.

6th July
Weather calm and sunny with east to east-north-east winds. One seen flying east at 1740 and landing near yellow buoys. Same bird seen 1755, second bird seen in same view behind first. One of same presumed to relate to three sightings 1810-1830 before flying east and lost to view. One very distant bird presumed to be a Barolo heading east 1910, with same or another passing at range back west four minutes later. Three west 2040, 1 west 2050. Likely four or five birds involved with these records but could be as high as six.

8th July
Distinctly larger swell than previous days. One at 1615 on long flight east. Same or another 1705 in similar vein to 1615 sighting. One circling out to east and possibly landing on sea 1855. Two east at 1900 with one possibly landing on the sea and another continuing. One west at 1905. Two east at 1910 – one landing on the sea closer inshore and another passing further out before coming back west. One very close inshore east at 1930, watched continuously for 20 minutes, starting just west of straight out and ending up well away to east. Close again 2000-2015. 2020 one west further out and landed on sea. 2045 one west. 2109 one west. Likely four or five birds involved again.

9th July
At least two birds lingering offshore, with one west distantly and another closer inshore west. The birds were seen on this day by Chris Batty, another experienced birder from the UK.

These sightings were published to BirdForum in July 2014, and subsequently at least four birders connected with Barolo Shearwater from in and around Las Aguas between 2015 and 2017.

Features
- Flight style. Fluttering flight very unlike that of Manx (P. puffinus), low to sea, turning and landing. Flights often short, repeatedly dropping onto the sea, observed on 8th July to plunge headfirst underwater at times, head held up in flight.
o Long flight on 6th July: head was less up; flight pattern constituted long periods of fluttering with comparatively short glides, banking around waves in a very petrel-like manner.
o Long flight on 8th July: lots of gliding on deeply bowed wings, little bursts of fluttering and following waves, completely different to the Manx seen that evening.


    • General structure: small size, noticeably much smaller than Manx, tiny compared to Cory’s; short stubby wings, fanned tail.
    • Plumage
o Face – very white and pale, noticeable in good light on virtually all birds.
o Secondaries – often silvery in good light even at distance, though was less obvious on certain birds (notably one on the 8th where the secondaries only look silvery occasionally)
o Underwings – on the 8th, the borders to the underwing on one of the birds were observed to be not as especially narrow as first thought, but given the abundant evidence in flight style and other plumage details compared to the Manx present at the same time this did not cause MN to doubt the identification."


These are clearly the same birds that pass Charco del Viento.

Additionally, there are E-bird reports of a 2 birds further west from La Caleta Punta Mujeres from 6/9/11, 6 birds late morning from Faro de Buenavista del Norte on 4/1/22, from Punta Fraille 25/11/15, and from the hard-to-access Punta de Teno 1/4/99, 5/10/09, 9/2/17, and 23/4/18.

It was considered that they bred on the Roque of Garachico, but only 1 seen from Garachico (the rock is viewable as in my photo). But the fact they seem to primarily and clearly head east late afternoon or early evening past Charco del Viento suggests they are heading somewhere else.

I can only give advice based on my 2-3 visits, but once I concentrated on near-distance (within 100m-300m), I started picking up individual birds. This was despite the wind on 30/3 being off-shore and where hence most Cory's were, which can mislead observers. Despite this, 10 small-shearwaters passed west to east about 200m off shore, especially from 1830-1930. I suspect they do this routinely.

Hope this helps. In summary, it may be that they are viewable most of the year round a couple of hours before dusk, Charco del Viento is the easiest and most accessible pertruding peninsula to view from. Luke Nash I believe, had a great view from a private balcony, but otherwise viewing from San Juan de la Ramblas is difficult.
 
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James Lowther

Well-known member
Thanks a lot Nick that’s fantastic.
Spanish birds breeding atlas says the following (courtesy google translate)
“The species breeds in winter, so during this season it is found in Canary waters, apparently showing a preference for the northern slope of the archipelago, up to the Selvagens Islands. From the month of June and until the month of November, when the regular fattening of the chicken is no longer a limitation, some specimens move away from the Canary Islands towards even more oceanic areas, crossing the Atlantic in some cases. However, in general it can be considered a sedentary species, which even continues to visit the colony outside the breeding season, sporadically.”
Which seems to suggest year round occurrence making the pattern of reports on eBird (none October to January) a bit hard to understand as presumably plenty of birders around...
All the best,
James
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Thanks a lot Nick that’s fantastic.
Spanish birds breeding atlas says the following (courtesy google translate)
“The species breeds in winter, so during this season it is found in Canary waters, apparently showing a preference for the northern slope of the archipelago, up to the Selvagens Islands. From the month of June and until the month of November, when the regular fattening of the chicken is no longer a limitation, some specimens move away from the Canary Islands towards even more oceanic areas, crossing the Atlantic in some cases. However, in general it can be considered a sedentary species, which even continues to visit the colony outside the breeding season, sporadically.”
Which seems to suggest year round occurrence making the pattern of reports on eBird (none October to January) a bit hard to understand as presumably plenty of birders around...
All the best,
James
I wonder if people are just not checking during those months James?

I also checked www.observation.org, which is the alternative bird reporting website to E-bird, for sightings off the northern-western Tenerife coast, and quite close to Charco del Viento, at the headland at the village of Icod (at the end of Camino del Punta) someone had 3 west at 1903, 1952, and 2006 on 26 Sept 2021.

Also, approx 15-20 miles further west, sightings off Les Cruces (about a mile or two west of Garachico) during 2017 seem to have been a bit weird as people were reporting them overhead (heading inland)...............on 10/9/17, 2 were overhead going south at 1845, 2 overhead at 1904, 3 overhead at 1922, 4 overhead at 1930, 1 overhead at 1940. Someone else had 4 going east from there at 2019 hours on 5/6/17.

From the hard to access Punta del Teno someone had 5 birds between 1703-1730 on 24 February 2017.

Finally, on 16 March 2016 someone had 9 birds (8 east/1 west) from the headland north of Buenavista de Norte between 1630-1800 at a range varying from 300 metres to 800 metres.

So they are certainly around between February to October it seems, at least, with prime time between 1700-2000. Wish I had stayed later most nights I was there, but as always it seems sometimes you learn after the event :)-.

I’ll shut up now 😆
 
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