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Anser Birding Fuerteventura 16-20 December 2008 trip report

We flew from Birimingham with Ryanair to the island and stayed in Pajara for the duration. The central location and genuine Fuerteventuran experience were well worth it, our accommodation was great, with restored buildings and decor in keeping with the island. The desert, palm trees and pueblos blancos were very reminiscent of Greg Lake’s, ‘I believe in Father Christmas’ music video. No building was noted, all construction has halted and the 50,000 workers have left the island, so I was told. This must be a good thing for the wildlife.

We were a group of five and everyone had great views of all the birds. A poll of best experiences came out with the 100′s of Black-bellied Sandgrouse coming to drink and Houbara Bustards on top but Cream-coloured Coursers were up there too. All sub-species of note are included in the list many of which are only found in the eastern Canaries. The flight home was delayed by 1.5 hours but we arrived back home in good time.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse MJM

Notable Sightings

Gannet, 5-7 offshore.
Cattle Egret, two and a singles seen on roundabouts etc on the Jandia Peninsula
Little Egret, one Catalina Garcia and in the Barranco de los Molinos
Grey Heron, one at Catalina Garcia and Tindaya.
Spoonbill, four at Catalina Garcia.
Ruddy Shelduck, 6 max at Catalina Garcia and 108 at Los Molinos Res.
Eurasian Wigeon, a female at Los Molinos Res.
Teal, c12 at Los Molinos and 6 at Salinas del Carmen
Ring-necked Duck, Jeremy Squire found a male on seaside rocks with the small flock of Teal.

Egyptian Vulture, seen from the car in a couple of places and showy birds were in the Barranco de la Molinos.
Sparrowhawk, one seen at Palmas de Rio Vegas, a migrant?
Buzzard (B.b. insularum), seen daily around the island.
Kestrel,(Falco tinnuculus dacotiae) seen daily.
Peregrine, one seen on pylons, Barranco de los Cabanos  Jandia Peninsula.
Barbary Falcon, a pair hunting pigeons above Toto.

Barbary Partridge, 9 seen at the FV20-FV2 roundabout, c7 Barranco de los Cabanos, c10 La Pared/Jandia, all were very nervous.
Moorhen, c10 Catalina Garcia.
Coot seen at Catalina Garcia, Los Molinos Res and mouth of the Barranco de los Molinos.
Houbara Bustard (C.u.fuerteventurae) , 5 seen very well on the Tindaya Plain.
Black-winged Stilt, seen at Catalina Garcia and Los Molinos Res.
Stone Curlew (B.o. insularum), one seen at La Pared/L Jandia
Cream-coloured Courser, three at La Pared on 17th and 19th, ten at Tindaya Plain on 18th, four at El Santo Lirio (FV 207) same day, 2 seen from the car at the FV2 North of Teguitar on 19th and finally two seen in flight near the Embalse de los Molinos/FV221 West of Tefia on 20th.
Little ringed Plover, up to eight in the Barranco below the dam at Los Molinos on 20th.
Ringed Plover, seen at the Embalse de los Molinos and Salinas del Carmen.
Kentish Plover, a few at Salinas del Carmen on 19th.
Grey Plover, one at Salinas del Carmen on 19th.
Sanderling, c12 at La Pared beach on 17th.
Little Stint/Semipalmated Sandpipers, three seen at the Embalse de los Molinos on 18th were reported as possible Semi-palmated Sandpipers. No images were taken as the birds were mobile and often into the sun and closer views not obtained as we thought we would flush all the birds.
Dunlin, three at Catalina Garcia on 17/19th.
Snipe, one at Catalina Garcia on 19th.
Spotted Redshank, three at Catalina Garcia on 19th with two on the 17th.
Greenshank, four at Catalina Garcia, five at Embalse de los Molinos and three in the Barranco. One at Salinas del Carmen.
Green Sandpiper, seen at Catalina Garcia and the Barranco/Embalse de los Molinos. One at Catalina Garcia.
Common Sandpiper, four at the Embalse de los Molinos.
Turnstone, five at Salinas del Carmen on 19th.
Yellow-legged Gull, common, seen daily.
Sandwich Tern, five at Salinas del Carmen and two Peurto del Rosario.
Collared Dove, common.
Monk Parakeet, flocks seen at Morro Jable.

Jeremy using fieldcraft to stalk some screechy parrots.

Hoopoe, seen in many localities.

Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens polatzeki), flocks of 40-100 seen at La Jandia, Barranco de los Molinos, Tindaya and one or two other sites.
Berthelot’s Pipit, common.

White Wagtail, a few seen.
Robin, one or two seen.
Canary Islands Chat, seen commonly on the plains and riverbeds.

Fieldfare, one at La Pared on 17th.
Redwing, one at Pajara on 20th.
Song Thrush, a few seen.
Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata orbitalis), common in riverbeds and on the plains.
Blackcap, seen/heard at La Lajita and Pajara.
Chiffchaff (yellowish plumage, race not assigned), two at La Pared on 17th.
Blue Tit (P.C.degener), seen well Barranco de los Cabanos on 19th with one or two brief views of others.
Great Grey Shrike (L.e.koenigi), common.
Raven, common.
Spanish Sparrow, common.
Linnet, small flocks noted at various localities.
Trumpeter Finch, seen in many localities in flocks of up to 50.

Other wildlife

Rabbit, 2 seen
Barbary Ground Squirrel, seen on La Jandia and common near Palmas de Rio Vegas where they are hand tame.
Algerian Hedgehog, flattened individuals seen on the road.
Skink sp, seen at the dam at Embalse de los Molinos.

Martin J McGill
27 December 2008

Filed under: Trip Reports


at 9:34 pm

1-31 December 2008 wildlife sightings and blog

27-31 December 2008 I ventured out to do a little birding, a few hours over in the Forest on 27th with the 14 Waxwings, a Willow Tit and 2 Crossbills being the highlights and a morning out with Neil Smart and Bob Radford on 30th to the CWP to have a look at an Ian Ralphs find..a Slavonian Grebe on 114, the first for many years in Glos. We also noted 9 Smew, 125+ RCP on 44, 6 on 114 and 5 on another pit. Chiffchaff along the Thames and 13+Goosander. The year finished with a male Black Redstart at Sharpness and a Dipper at Damery.

24-26 December 2008 Still no birding due to illness for me. Waxwings are in the Forest of Dean and the cold weather with Easterly airflow should see more wintering birds arrive locally.

21-23 December 2008 I have been laid low with a bad cold, I did see a male Blackcap in Whitminster yesterday and Jeremy Squire reports 2 Glaucous Gulls at Longney Crib this afternoon.

Fuerteventura Chat MJMcGill

16-20 December 2008 On the Anser trip to Fuerteventura, the gallery has been updated and should be accesssible soon.

Monarch, La Lajita, Fuerteventura MJMcGill

15 December 2008 I flushed a Woodcock this lunchtime from the Decoy Wood near the Willow Plantation today whilst filling the feeders, the first of the year for WWT. It seems to be a good year for numbers with many being seen locally.

13-14 December 2008 No birding over my days off from WWT, the poor weather made me cancel the half day out on Saturday. Back at WWT Slimbridge and is was great to see the large numbers back on the reserve thanks to milder weather and much needed rain. Highlights during Low tide and WeBS counts included 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Ruff, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Water Pipit, 2 Rock Pipit, 151 E White-fronted Geese, 5 continental/Euro or Icelandic Greylag, 89 Bewick’s Swan, 3700 Lapwing and 1000 Dunlin. A good 2-0 win for BRFC over Tranmere on Saturday was enjoyed by myself, Joe and Jeremy Squire, too dark to go birding!

8-12 December 2008 The cold weather continues, ice and sub zero temperatures are playing their part in determining bird numbers locally. The most productive birding at work has been around the feeding stations with the Kingfisher hide giving views of the E White-fronted Geese too. Short-eared and Barn Owls continue to be seen around the reserve and I have seen Water Pipit a couple of times in flight. Any ice free lake or pond is holding large numbers of duck. I am still seeing Chiffchaffs around the WWT reserve, a Siberian Chiffchaff was seen in the car park on Wednesday.

Chiffchaff at WWT Slimbridge MJMcGill Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ28

All three British Swans, Mute, Bewick’s and Whooper in the mouth of the Swan Pipe, Rushy, WWT Slimbridge MJM Nikon Coolpix/Swarovski 65 30x WA

7 December 2008 A Whooper Swan flew in to the Rushy this morning (S Heaven) and stayed around for the feed. It returned at 1615. Another highlight was the hunting Barn Owl at the Holden Tower at 0845 this morning, it was out again this afternoon. I did also note Water Pipit twice in flight today.

6 December 2008 A quick look at Frampton Court Lake to meet with Graham Clarkson and his college group gave up a male Red-crested Pochard and two Egyptian Geese. A couple of Greater Scaup were also present.

5 December 2008 Only a brief look from Sharpness Pier for me today but at least a Little Egret flew South.

1-4 December 2008 Some birding back at WWT, see the website for details.

Filed under: Birdwatching Diary


at 10:44 pm