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Tenerife, December 2020 (1 Viewer)

pandachris

Well-known member
We planned, after a reasonably successful trip to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in 2019 to give Tenerife a try this time. I realise that it might be a hopeless aspiration but we had some vouchers from cancelled flights earlier this year so we've booked a week in Tenerife from 8th December. We're not going to over-plan because the chance of disappointment is high, but we can leave things until the last minute.

The local specialities will be high on our agenda, as will a bit of cetacean spotting. Can anyone recommend good places to stay from where
1. we will be within a short drive of the good locations for the pigeons and
2. where we might do a bit of land-based cetacean spotting?

I'm assuming that will mean two locations, which is not a problem. General areas/towns/villages will be fine, or if anyone can recommend specific hotels/apartments that would also be good. Budget is not unlimited but should be reasonable (we've missed at least two trips outside the UK already this year and Spain in a month's time is probably hit-and-miss at the moment).

We'll rent a vehicle for the whole period.
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
We stayed in los gigantes a while back which seemed a nice place. We had an apartment that looked over the harbour and could see shearwaters etc from balcony. Whale watching boat left from harbour and pigeon sites weren't that far a drive either
 

pandachris

Well-known member
Cheers bbb. Can you remember the apartment name? A sea-view balcony might be handy for those mornings when somebody doesn't want to get up as early as me :)
 

Scridifer

Registered User
Supporter
Bulgaria
Managed to get our trip to Tenerife and Fuerteventura in earlier this year before Coronavirus struck! Trip report here. Any questions feel free to ask.

Chris
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
Cheers bbb. Can you remember the apartment name? A sea-view balcony might be handy for those mornings when somebody doesn't want to get up as early as me :)

Sorry mate not at all....was 10yrs ago :(
But there are plenty of them along the roads overlooking harbour
 

Barred Wobbler

Well-known member
Los Gigantes is a handy place to stay, we were there again in January 2019 for our third visit. Handy for Erjos Pond and the laurel forest nearby, also not too long a drive to Teide, Zona Recreativa de Chio and Las Lajas for blue chaffinch etc.
 

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pandachris

Well-known member
Thanks all. Useful info. I'm considering a couple of nights on La Gomera as well, as we're there for a full week. Worth it?
 

Steve Lister

Senior Birder, ex County Recorder, Garden Moths.
United Kingdom
If there is still the slow ferry to Gomera yes, definitely worth it as you will see birds and cetaceans from the ferry and Gomera is good for the pigeons.
 

Barred Wobbler

Well-known member
Gomera is a good spot, but beware the weather.

In January 2019, after looking out at the island in clear weather from our apartment for several days we booked a trip on the slow ferry, loads of spotted dolphins on the way across, but no larger whales on that day.

Unfortunately the wind had swung from west to northerly overnight and the island developed a cap of cloud. Hoping for the best we took a hire car from the port and headed uphill towards the laurel forests for the pigeons, only to find that the cloud-base was right on the tree-line and all the spots we stopped at were in thick cloud, even rain as we travelled westwards. We saw a few pigeons, but only distantly through thick fog. Dissappointed, we headed back for the afternoon return ferry.

As we left the harbour I looked back at the island and the cloud, while still over the island had lifted and the top of the mountain was clear!

North (or north-westerly) winds seem to lead to this cloud cap, so if you are flexible, keep an eye on the wind direction and weather forecast.

On Tenerife we saw distant laurel pigeons at La Grimona layby on the north of the island and annoyingly close passes of numerous Bolle's pigeons at the new wooden platform at Monte del Agua at Erjos. I say annoyingly close, because they appeared at bullet-like speed low overhead, close enough to hear their wings, but they were gone again, out of sight behind a wooded ridge before I could lift the camera. I'm still without a photo of Bolle's pigeon.
 

pandachris

Well-known member
Thanks both. I've visited Tenerife before (in the 1980s) so a 'new' island is quite tempting. We've seen Pacific Spotted Dolphins but not Atlantic, so that would be good.

Daft question - how can I tell which is the slow ferry? Is it a particular company? How long is 'slow'? We took the Lanzarote-Fuerteventura ferry last year. Prices for Tenerife to La Gomera seem considerably higher.
 

Barred Wobbler

Well-known member
Thanks both. I've visited Tenerife before (in the 1980s) so a 'new' island is quite tempting. We've seen Pacific Spotted Dolphins but not Atlantic, so that would be good.

Daft question - how can I tell which is the slow ferry? Is it a particular company? How long is 'slow'? We took the Lanzarote-Fuerteventura ferry last year. Prices for Tenerife to La Gomera seem considerably higher.

The 'slow' ferry (Naviera Armas) is the one that isn't the Fred Olsen or Seajets high speed 'cat'. The difference is easily discernible in the timetables, but I can't recall the details. The probable reason for the difference in price is that La Gomera is considerably further from Tenerife than Lanzarote is from Fuerteventura (24miles v 8.7 miles)
 
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pandachris

Well-known member
That seems a reasonable explanation. The Lanzarote-Fuerteventura crossing, using Naviera Armas, was certainly short. Virtually no birds either. I did see 2 or 3 Sei/Bryde's Whales on a short sea watch from the lighthouse overlooking the strait between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in 2018 so if we do decide to visit La Gomera we'll be looking closely. We've saved a lot of money on missed holidays so far this year so we've can afford to splash out a bit.

We've got flights booked for BCN in less than 4 weeks time. We've already changed that holiday from mainly festivals and human towers (which are not going to happen) with a bit of birding to mainly birding but with Spain still on the FCO advisory list recommending against non-essential travel even that is starting to look precarious and we're looking at Cornwall, Dorset and Norfolk as alternatives. Just over 100 days until our Tenerife flights so who knows what will happen in that time?
 

Barred Wobbler

Well-known member
That seems a reasonable explanation. The Lanzarote-Fuerteventura crossing, using Naviera Armas, was certainly short. Virtually no birds either. I did see 2 or 3 Sei/Bryde's Whales on a short sea watch from the lighthouse overlooking the strait between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in 2018 so if we do decide to visit La Gomera we'll be looking closely. We've saved a lot of money on missed holidays so far this year so we've can afford to splash out a bit.

We've got flights booked for BCN in less than 4 weeks time. We've already changed that holiday from mainly festivals and human towers (which are not going to happen) with a bit of birding to mainly birding but with Spain still on the FCO advisory list recommending against non-essential travel even that is starting to look precarious and we're looking at Cornwall, Dorset and Norfolk as alternatives. Just over 100 days until our Tenerife flights so who knows what will happen in that time?

Although we saw lots of dolphins, I don't recall seeing a single bird on he trip, maybe a YL Gull or two, and I was out on deck searching with bins the whole trip. That was the middle of January. Other times may produce better results.
 

pandachris

Well-known member
At least you saw some dolphins! It was nothing but YL Gulls on the Lanzarote-Fuerteventura crossing in December and not many of them.
 

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