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Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Santa Pola; 3 months mostly with no car (1 Viewer)

Jos Stratford

Eastern Exile
Europe
Pied Crow is an excellent find 👍

There are several records in the Canaries, some of which were known to have been escapes, but there are (or were, at least a couple of years ago) three present on Gran Canaria that are thought to have arrived on an oil rig that uad previously been moored off Mauritania.

I didn't look into this in any depth, there may or may not be records for Fuerteventura :)
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
Apparently the crow was also seen on Lanzarote (got the impression it was today or very recently). There will always be a question mark over origin.
 

James Lowther

Well-known member
As far as I can tell Pied Crow is missing from the official checklists for both the Canaries and Spain as a whole which suggests previous records have been considered escapes/ship-assisted etc
James
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
Final week in Corralejo and it still had some things up its sleeve. First of all a couple of moth species new to me. The first is rather large Green Drab. Sadly a very battered specimen with no green colouration found by the road and placed in cover. The second was one of the minute noctuids (macros a good deal smaller than a lot of micros). This Eublemma cochylioides (aka Pink-barred Eublemma) was attracted to the outside lights of our apartment stairs but sadly wasn't a pink coloured example.

On Monday we decided to climb the volcano. A fairly easy walk to the top and similar birds to my previous visit to the caldera. Linnets and Trumpeter Finches around the eastern rim where the Barbary Ground Squirrels are clearly used to being fed as they were very tame. A pair of adult Egyptian Vultures over close and a Hoopoe. Walking back noticed an emergence of large ants and then around 160 Yellow-legged Gulls feeding on the flying insects over the Natural Park.

Tuesday was my final early start across the dunes. While still quite dark I found 2 Stone-curlews close to town (completing the set of dry habitat birds for the park) and the rest of the 5 or so miles passed similarly to other visits. One Houbara seen in about the same area as the previous 3 sightings and good numbers of Mediterranean Short-toed Larks singing and displaying. A Fuerteventura Stonechat, 1 Egyptian Vulture, Spectacled Warbler, Great Grey Shrikes, Ravens and Berthelot's Pipits completed the picture. I returned via the Riu hotels on the coast. Perhaps as many as 5 Song Thrushes wintering there but rather disturbed that day and little else seen. The sea as usual unproductive but 2 Ruddy Shelduck flying south were new for me in Corralejo.

That evening saw an influx of Barn Swallows, House Martins and Plain Swifts, which had been scarce or absent for the previous few days. These were around on Wednesday as well. Spent most of that day around the town. A Barbary Falcon flew over twice, singing Common Chiffchaff and 7 Sandwich Terns (peak count for the stay).

Our final day was a little frustrating as the planned hire car to get us to the airport got cancelled due to a mix up with the local holiday the previous afternoon. If we'd had the car we might have been able to get to Caleta de Fuste, where a Red-billed Tropicbird had been seen loafing around with some Muscovies on the Tuesday. In the end we caught the bus to the airport but Corralejo had one more surprise. I went to check on the Ring-billed Gull (still present at Playa Corralejo) and caught sight of 12 Black-crowned Night-herons circling the disused water park area.

So I finished the 4 weeks on 55 species (including the Pied Crow). All of the Fuerteventura targets that most people come for showed within walking distance of Corralejo in the end and I got all 5 expected lifers for me on the island. I also added 17 species to my "nomadic" list taking it to 665.

I'll do an annotated checklist at some point but next it's on to Tenerife.
 

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Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
Friday, 4 February

My god Tenerife is green. So green! Four weeks in the desert has obviously dulled the relevant cones. It also seems packed with birds. This is all comparative of course. The short flight over yesterday was uneventful and the first couple of birds after picking up the car were Blackbirds, a trip tick!

Today was about getting settled into our home for the next four weeks and stocking up on supplies but I did get out a bit this morning and immediately jammed in on a pod of cetaceans moving north past Bajamar. Unfortunately I was some way from the the coast but had time to run back to the apartment for the scope and get pretty good views. Views at the shoreline would have been amazing! These were quite large, very slow moving animals, surfacing frequently with a bulbous melon and slight blow. The dorsal was large, long and impressively erect (no tittering at the back) with only a slightly decurved rear. Overall dark-looking but hints of grey seen. Having had extremely good views of Risso's Dolphin in Cornwall last year I'd have had no hesitation in saying these were the same species, however I note that they are maybe not that common in these waters. I made a short, hopeless attempt at getting some footage but the range was against me. Any comments very gratefully received.

Otherwise I established that our surroundings were infested with Atlantic Canaries and Canary Island Chiffchaffs (first lifer here) and there were a good few Blackbirds, Blackcaps and Robins about. A pair of Barbary Falcons patrolled the edge of the hillside, 3 Kestrels were displaying and 5 Cattle Egrets fed nearby watched from the balcony. Small Whites and Canary Speckled Woods are abundant and I had a single Plain Tiger.

Exploration proper of this off the beaten track NW corner of the island starts tomorrow but I'm sorely tempted to give the sea a thrashing as a priority.
 

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Owene

Well-known member
Wales
I was going to suggest pilot whale but the long dorsal you mentioned might count against it

It looks amazing. We’re in the touristy south in two weeks but hopefully some of those butterfly and bird species will be around
 

KenM

Well-known member
You seem to be having a “cetacean” of a time there Brian, FTV was certainly rewarding for you as was for me!
You mentioned RBTropic with Muscovies at Caleta de Fuste on the Tuesday!!
Where exactly was it seen if known?

Cheers 👍
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
I was going to suggest pilot whale but the long dorsal you mentioned might count against it
It looks amazing. We’re in the touristy south in two weeks but hopefully some of those butterfly and bird species will be around
Yep. Seen Pilot Whales in Biscay a few times. What I was expecting but these were nothing like. The almost orca-like dorsal was very distinctive.
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
You seem to be having a “cetacean” of a time there Brian, FTV was certainly rewarding for you as was for me!
You mentioned RBTropic with Muscovies at Caleta de Fuste on the Tuesday!!
Where exactly was it seen if known?

Cheers 👍
Not sure but also seen visiting golf course nearby too apparently.
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
You seem to be having a “cetacean” of a time there Brian, FTV was certainly rewarding for you as was for me!
You mentioned RBTropic with Muscovies at Caleta de Fuste on the Tuesday!!
Where exactly was it seen if known?

Cheers 👍
There's this utterly ridiculous photo if you haven't already seen it elsewhere.
 

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KenM

Well-known member
I’m blown away Brian!
Has been my target bird on FTV for many a year, and I know exactly where that was taken, can’t wait to get back…thanks for the image.😮👍
 

KenM

Well-known member
As a very famous General MacArthur once said Brian…..I will return!….mind you, I said that about the Dwarf Bittern and succeeded in dipping each time.😩👍
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
Finally got around to doing the list for Fuerteventura. I'll do a summary of the first week or so on Tenerife when I get chance.

55 species of bird seen in the four weeks. All but 5 (in italics) seen without the use of a vehicle. Lifers in bold.

PNC = Parque Natural de Corralejo
PTC = Punta de Tivas, Corralejo
GPC = Grandes Playa, Corralejo
WPC = Water Park, Corralejo
VBC = Volcano de Bayuyo, Corralejo
ELM = Embalse de los Molinos
BRC = Barranco del Rio Cabras
BET = Betancuria
FDT = Faro De Toston, El Cotillo

Ruddy Shelduck 25 at ELM, 21/1; 4 at ERC, 23/1. 2 south past GPC, 1/2
Barbary Partridge Seen 3 times at PNC (up to 10); 7 at El Cotillo, 22 Jan; 2 at Cueva del LLano, 23/1
Feral Pigeon
Collared Dove Common
Black-bellied Sandgrouse 3 over road at Tao near ELM, 21/1; heard in PNC, 28/1
Houbara Bustard 4 sightings of up to 3 birds in PNC
Plain Swift Occasional in Corralejo. Usually <4 but 10 on 27/1 after none for 17 days
Stone-curlew 2 at FDT, 23/1; 2 Tindaya Plains, 24/1; 2 at PNC; 1/2
Black-winged Stilt 4 at BRC, 23/1
Grey Plover Up to 9 at PTC
Kentish Plover Up to 15 at PTC
Common Ringed Plover Up to 65 at PTC
Little Ringed Plover 2 at ELM, 21/1; 1 at BRC, 23/1
Whimbrel Common along rocky shore. Up to 15 at PTC; also at GPC
Bar-tailed Godwit 3-4 at PTC from 11-16/1
Ruddy Turnstone Corralejo. Max 24 on 7/1
Sanderling Corralejo. Max 21 on 7/1
Dunlin 2-3 seen on three dates at PTC
Common Sandpiper Common along rocky shore; peak count 5
Green Sandpiper 1 at BRC on 23/1
Common Greenshank 1 at ELM on 21/1
Cream-coloured Courser 5 at the north end of PNC on 28/1
Ring-billed Gull First-winter from 18/1-3/2 at Playa Corralejo
Yellow-legged Gull Common
Sandwich Tern Regular around Corralejo; max 7
Northern Gannet 2 south at GPC on 20/1
Grey Heron Singles at Corralejo 11/1 & 21/1, BET on 21/1 and BRC on 23/1
Little Egret Up to 3 at Corralejo
Cattle Egret Up to 6 at WPC and 2 at El Charco de Bristol, Corralejo
Black-crowned Night-Heron 12 circled WPC early on 3/2
Glossy Ibis 1 flew south over Corralejo on 27/1
Eurasian Spoonbill 3 at PTC on 11/1; Dutch colour ringed bird "NAJA" on four dates
Egyptian Vulture 2 twice over PNC; up to 4 at VBC; 7 at Ajuy; 4 at BRC
Common Buzzard 1 at VBC on 9/1; 2 at BET on 21-22/1; 2 at ELM on 21/1; 2 at BRC on 23/1
Eurasian Hoopoe Occasional sightings many places; 3 at PNC on 13/1
Common Kestrel Infrequent. Pair in Corralejo; singles at BET and La Oliva
Barbary Falcon 1 over Corralejo on 9/1 and 2/3
Great Grey Shrike Common. Sometimes in gardens. Max 5 at PNC
Pied Crow 1 flew south over Corralejo 30/1
Common Raven Very common. Max 28 at PNC on 18/1
African Blue Tit Up to 4 at BET; 1 at BRC on 23/1
Mediterranean Short-toed Lark Common in PNC (max 37); also seen El Cotillo, BRC and Tindaya
Barn Swallow Present throughout but not daily. Max 20 on 14/1
Common House Martin On 8 dates. Max 10 on 10/1
Common Chiffchaff Singles in Corralejo and BET
Sardinian Warbler 3 at BET on 21-22/1; 1 Ajuy on 23/1
Spectacled Warbler Quite common around Corralejo, sometimes in town. Also at Cueva del Llano
Song Thrush Up to 4 in hotel grounds at GPC; 4 at BET on 21/1
Fuerteventura Stonechat Pairs at VBC and PNC; 1 at Ajuy on 23/1; 2 at ELM on 21/1; 1 at BRC on 23/1
Spanish Sparrow Fairly common in towns; max 25 at BET on 21/1
Pied Wagtail/White Wagtail 1 in Corralejo on 10/1; 3 at GPC on 20/1
Berthelot's Pipit Common in suitable habitat; max 14 at PNC on 13/1
Trumpeter Finch At VBC 6 on 11/1, 8 on 31/1; at PNC 30 on 13/1, 10 on 28/1; 30 at FDT on 23/1;
Common Linnet Seen at PNC, GPC and VBC; max 30 on 18/1
Atlantic Canary 2 at BET on 22/1

Other wildlife:

Barbary Ground Squirrel common and tame in places, esp. VBC and Ajuy
European Rabbit seen a few times in PNC and lots of signs
North African Hedgehog 2, deceased
Canarian Shrew presumed signs

Geranium Bronze
Plain Tiger
Monarch
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
Clouded Yellow
Large White
Small White
Hummingbird Hawk-moth
Pink-barred Eublemma (Eublemma cochylioides)
Green Drab

Vagrant Emperor
Blue Emperor

Potter Wasp (Delta Dimidiatepenne)
 

Rob Smallwood

Well-known member
Great effort. I'm on 42, with 2 of those car assisted with a day to go but won't be doing that much birding so expect little change.

Your local knowledge of Corralejo has been a great help, so thanks!
 

Brian Stone

A Stone chatting
Great effort. I'm on 42, with 2 of those car assisted with a day to go but won't be doing that much birding so expect little change.

Your local knowledge of Corralejo has been a great help, so thanks!
Looking forward to seeing your list. Is the Ring-billed Gull still present? According to Macaronesian Birds there are no previous records for Fuerteventura, which I find a little hard to believe.
 

Rob Smallwood

Well-known member
Very much so, its protecting the small beach by the stone jetty, very aggressive towards the Yellow-legged Gulls.
No surprises on my list yet!
 

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