Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lanzarote - En busca de nuevas aves!!

I have been researching various reports from birders that have visited Lanzarote and compiled a list of regular species sightings on a map. I hired a car for the day and set about the task of traversing the Island in search of a few lifers.
(Kentish Plover)
First stop was at Salinas de Janubio which is a salt works which borders a lagoon. The works are still operational and are home to various waders including the Kentish Plover which is a lifer for me. On arrival at the works the salt pans closest to the entrance were mainly dry with a few Black winged Stilt and a couple of Redshank present.
(Black winged Stilt)
I approached a worker on the site and asked if I could enter the site to photograph the birds. My Spanish must be improving because access was granted and I wandered down to the pans closest to the lagoon. This area was where the majority of the waders were with circa 35 Kentish Plover along with Ringed Plover, Dunlin lining small dividing walls along the pan. A couple of Greenshank was seen on the lagoon edge. I scanned the lagoon and saw a group of Black Necked Grebe and a couple of Yellow legged Gull was also noted.
(Ringed Plover)
With part one of my island tour complete I moved on Playa Quemada in search of Trumpeter Finch. I have seen this species in the UK so this was a brief search of this area before moving on to the next site.

(Pallid Swift)
My next stop was Teguise Golf Club where I obtained permission from the course owners to walk the paths. As I walked out of the Club house I noted a few Pallid swift swooping over a small pool and by a small miracle managed to get some shots of one bird.
(Barbary Partridge)
I walked to the rough ground at the back of the golf course in search of my target species Barbary Partridge. Along the way I noted a pair of Sardinian Warbler who would just not stay still long enough to take any pictures. Whilst checking the fence line I flushed two Barbary Partridge and then had a pair walk across the path in front of me as I returned to the Club house.
I then travelled up to Haria where a track near a hairpin bend had been identified as a good area for Canary and Spectacled warbler. I had not walked more than 30m along the track when I heard a singing Canary which obligingly sat on top of a bush. This was followed shortly afterwards by a Spectacled Warbler.
(Spectacled Warbler)
I took the narrow winding road to Tabayesco  but was unable to find African Blue Tit but there were not that many places to stop en route.

During my tour of the island I had always kept an eye on the skies in the hope of seeing a Barbary Falcon.  The far North area of the island at Mirador del Rio was to be my next stop. This is a tourist area which has a small entry fee which gives excellent views of La Graciosa. Unfortunately my last target bird did not make an appearance here or during my drive back to Club La Santa.