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Northern Fuerteventura 20-30 May 2018 (1 Viewer)

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Sorry to bump this up, just to advise visiting birders that the tropicbirds are only present from around early March (difficult to be more precise currently), and I guess as summer progresses into autumn, they migrate away. So they NOT present during winter months, I'm afraid.

Of course it remains to be seen if they keep on returning, it is hoped and expected that a few small groups will continue to return each spring as they 'appear' to be colonising at the same spots. Always difficult to predict with any certainty, but this colonisation appears to have taken place over a few years now, so 'should' continue. Again, long-hour vigils may be required on NW coast but if you are prepared to do that, there is a good chance you can connect.

Who knows if the Dwarf Bittern is still present, but either way that barranco is probably the best place to visit to see a good range of Fuerteventura's birds, except seabirds or bustards, Coursers and Sandgrouse.

You might want to check www.observation.org then go to 'Geography' to select or input 'Fuerteventura' to see latest sightings regards the Dwarf Bittern or anything else, though Tropicbird sightings appear to be censored as do not show up on there so don't necessarily be disheartened.
 
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chris chapleo

Well-known member
Thanks Wolfbirder for some really useful info. A crew of us were in the Canaries last May travelling between Islands via ferry. Saw almost all we wanted and had a great trip but the Bittern proved highly elusive and we dipped that! Also, much to my regret, I had to travel back 2 days before the others, who went on to connect with Tropicbirds. Long story short: I'm planning to go back and was looking at late Feb/ March but hard to find info on when they are around - your last post clarifies that is prob too early so might have to wait until later (assuming they do come back of course)
Cheers Chris
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Hi Chris

Yep it seems the Bittern was playing hardball around that time for most visiting birders.

Sorry in my ignorance I hadn't originally realised the tropicbirds weren't around all year.

However, I think they have been colonising over several years now, but obviously can't definitely say that they will return, or to the exact same place. But I bet there is a very good chance.

PM me via this site a week or two before you go, and I'll help you mate. Still may have to put in several hours looking at nothing else over the sea though.
 
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chris chapleo

Well-known member
Hi Chris

Yep it seems the Bittern was playing hardball around that time for most visiting birders.

Sorry in my ignorance I hadn't originally realised the tropicbirds weren't around all year.

However, I think they have been colonising over several years now, but obviously can't definitely say that they will return, or to the exact same place. But I bet there is a very good chance.

PM me via this site a week or two before you go, and I'll help you mate. Still may have to put in several hours looking at nothing else over the sea though.

Thanks Wolfbirder - will be in touch if/ when can sort something - staring at empty sea doesn't worry me - I've had some pretty dire sea watches at home over the years!!!!
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Apparently best time to see the Tropicbirds arriving at cliffs is roughly around the middle of the day, and not in the late afternoon or evening. According to Phil Gallagher's latest report on Cloudbirders, though he says little else.

But this would tie in with many obs of this species - Though I saw 3 at 5pm and then 1 at 11am the following day. So perhaps (?) roughly between 11-5pm, that being the main time people generally do not bird-watch due to heat, may be more likely to actually produce these birds.
Rather than checking early morning or evening.

Sorry to bump this thread back up, but this is important information for birders hoping to connect.
 
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Scridifer

Registered User
Supporter
Bulgaria
No Need to apologise Nick - most useful information indeed!

I have a feeling I will be too early next year but will certainly be having a look!

Many thanks,

Chris
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
No Need to apologise Nick - most useful information indeed!

I have a feeling I will be too early next year but will certainly be having a look!

Many thanks,

Chris

You never know Chris, best of luck. The Dwarf Bittern May even still be present though it’s bloody elusive :)-
 

Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
.........….Sorry to bump this thread back up, but this is important information for birders hoping to connect.

No need to apologize. Rather, it's good that it's possible to continue on such threads to allow direct comparisons. Otherwise, one would need to switch between different threads which would be awkward, indeed.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Cheers Robert, appreciated.

Indeed it seems like a lazy start to the day, get there by about 10.30am and sit it out for several hours.
Not easy to connect, but hey what's half a day to three-quarters of a day in twitching terms, to see a fantastic bird?
You can also look inland for bustards whilst overlooking magnificent coastal scenery. But don't expect much else on the sea.
 

miami

Well-known member
Unfortunately the Tropicbirds didnt return nto breed this year so ive been told by a local birder i know.. One was seen on the 28th March, but that was it. Uless theyve moved to a more remote part of the island that is.. The man who ringed them did so whilst they were still on eggs after being told to leave them alone. This coupled with endless parties of birders plotted up for hours on end directly above the colony really spooked them.. PS.. ive spent 11 wks there between jan and may there this year, and didnt pick any up from my sea watches ion that part of the coast.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Thanks for the sad update Miami.
A few have seen lone birds in March as far as I am aware, but whether they have bred should have become clear by now.

There is a reasonably well-used public footpath along that coast, and when I was there a fisherman was down on the rocks directly underneath their spot, with his 4 x 4 parked up on the cliff-face. Didn't seem to deter them last year. Not sure how the hell he got down though.

Personally, I think if anything, it was the former much-criticised action that might have had any effect. But, as you say, if there are indeed hordes of birders visiting, you are right that can have a detrimental effect too.
 
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RobinD

Well-known member
Apparently best time to see the Tropicbirds arriving at cliffs is roughly around the middle of the day, and not in the late afternoon or evening. According to Phil Gallagher's latest report on Cloudbirders, though he says little else.

But this would tie in with many obs of this species - Though I saw 3 at 5pm and then 1 at 11am the following day. So perhaps (?) roughly between 11-5pm, that being the main time people generally do not bird-watch due to heat, may be more likely to actually produce these birds.
Rather than checking early morning or evening.

Sorry to bump this thread back up, but this is important information for birders hoping to connect.

Hi Nick, I've been meaning to post an update after our visit.

The report you mention: https://www.cloudbirders.com/tripreport/repository/CALLAGHER_Fuerteventura_03_2019.pdf is from my trip. The advice to try for Tropicbirds during the middle of the day came from Edouardo Garcia del Rey of SOC - he was spot on (as was your help B :) )
A successful trip to a fascinating island - Almost all targets seen, although several were hard to track down so several lifers for me. We were frustrated by the Dwarf Bittern, it was seen before, during and after our visit and we covered the site extensively with the five of us at different places along the barranco. None of us minded missing it though - the barranco offered wonderful birding regardless.

It was a shame we had about half a year's worth of rain on our last two days - that was time allocated for butterflies and the introduced Gran Canaria Giant Lizard so we missed a few things. A good trip always leaves you wanting more...
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Hi Nick, I've been meaning to post an update after our visit.

The report you mention: https://www.cloudbirders.com/tripreport/repository/CALLAGHER_Fuerteventura_03_2019.pdf is from my trip. The advice to try for Tropicbirds during the middle of the day came from Edouardo Garcia del Rey of SOC - he was spot on (as was your help B :) )
A successful trip to a fascinating island - Almost all targets seen, although several were hard to track down so several lifers for me. We were frustrated by the Dwarf Bittern, it was seen before, during and after our visit and we covered the site extensively with the five of us at different places along the barranco. None of us minded missing it though - the barranco offered wonderful birding regardless.

It was a shame we had about half a year's worth of rain on our last two days - that was time allocated for butterflies and the introduced Gran Canaria Giant Lizard so we missed a few things. A good trip always leaves you wanting more...

So pleased you connected, with what undoubtedly was the star bird of my trip (way better than the bittern). They are just fabulous (the tropicbirds).

I feel terrible now if my info (already put in the public domain) has in any way led to them not breeding there this year. I always want to help birders I know are genuine just like me, but perhaps I am a bit naïve at times.

I saw the bittern but didn't (if that makes sense)..........views were extremely brief but distant and clear. I spent about 10 hours there over 4 days. But was not that bothered, as you say there are other great birds in the barranco.
 
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