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Post Info TOPIC: Lanzarote (Canary Islands)


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RE: Lanzarote (Canary Islands)


Sightings from a recent non-birding Canary Islands cruise - the majority of which were in the port of Arrecife, Lanzarote.

Turnstone;  Whimbrel;  Ringed Plover;  Common Sandpiper;  Dunlin;  Sanderling;  Whiskered Tern  &  Little Egret.



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Hi Lez,
the secluded beach (beaches) are still there and still a bit of a walk to get to, we didnt go but I explored the area not far from it, volcanic arid scrub, looking for Bustards. Plenty of brown boobies at the hotel poolside tho, right near where we were with Lucas at the kids end!
wink

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Rob Creek wrote:

14th - 21st Sept.
Family holiday in the Papagayo area of Playa Blanca.

Nice hotel, few miles from main resort, situated next to the beach with cracking sea view from the balcony and seemingly barren volcanic plains and hills on the other side, the only greenery being a few trees in the hotel and surrounding properties gardens.
Hot weather virtually all week, and a lot of my time was spent playing and chilling in the pool with littl?n, so my birding was limited and local to the hotel.

- Yellow-legged Gull
Plenty around incl in the hotel, some drinking from the pool, a few even landing on the balcony. Many showing features lending themselves to atlantis Azores Gulls with facial and crown streaking and being slightly darker mantled, but probably safer to stick with michahellis for now.

- Berthelot?s Pipit (Lifer)
7 seen in the area incl a bird with deformed feet seen twice. Very approachable birds if you take your time. Easily picked out by call. They seem to prefer arid stony areas and drainage channels.

- Plain Swift (Lifer)
Quite a few Swifts around but a group of 6/7 birds caught my eye. They turned up over the hotel for very brief visits a few consecutive days for a few minutes at a time then departed as quickly as they arrived. Very fast flyers and slightly smaller than the other Swifts.

- Southern Grey Shrike (subspecies koenigi Lifer)
Turned up on Sunday, sat on a construction van outside the hotel and was still around on the Monday. Very approachable, fantastic bird to watch. It caught a couple of small lizards and unbelievably it tried for a Berthelot?s Pipit which escaped and what looked like a Lark of some kind, that escaped too!
Another individual seen near Arrecife Airport.

- African Blue Tit (teneriffae Lifer)
1 seen another heard in same garden but I just couldn?t get a good view for a photo. You could hear them from the roadside but part of the private garden was obscured so I was limited, suddenly one flew out over me and landed in another garden and the other went quiet so had obviously flown too.

- Trumpeter Finch (Lifer)
2 birds seen as flyovers but were initially with a group of Spanish Sparrows. I was walking along the edge of the barren scrub and the birds were dropping into a drainage gulley to drink from what little water was there. I could hear their unusual call but unfortunately they weren?t as friendly as the Sparrows and they flew off as I tried to get closer.

- Common Kestrel canariensis (Subspecies Lifer)
A few seen around the hotel and surrounds

- Alpine SwiftSeen daily over the hotel sometimes flying very close to you.
Common Swift seen too.

- Tree Pipit 1 in arid scrub with a Berthelot?s Pipit for company, unexpected.

- Pied Flycatcher again unexpected, 1 flew down onto the pavement with a Berthelot?s Pipit and eventually followed it into a drainage channel. I refound the Pipit but lost the Flycatcher.

- Cattle Egret common, fairly approachable, seen all areas - near hotel, airport, coast path, scrub

- Rock Dove few seen mainly near coastal rocks and the odd one on hotel roof. Purity looks good here with their clean neat plumage and small white bill cere.

- European Bee-eater 1 on wires near Arrecife Airport, unexpected.

- Woodchat Shrike 1 on top of shrubbery near the airport, again unexpected.

- Whimbrel 1 on the rocks below the coast path.

- Turnstone small group in Playa Blanca Marina wandering in between everyone

A few other birds seen and deserve a special mention, mainly because I wasn?t sure how the species distribution and overlap pans out over here, never been to the Canaries before, and the other mentions because Im still in two minds whether or not I was seeing things

- I was hoping for Brown-necked Raven but images are inconclusive for this species and the birds I saw could just be Northern Raven. Call sounded good to me but still unsure.

- A Falcon came racing passed the hotel one morning chasing a Collared Dove, looked like a Barbary Falcon but it all happened quickly and you know when your mind plays tricks on you coz you get a rush? Peregrine, verdict still out on a safe identification???

- Collared Dove everywhere, I still don?t know how many were good candidates for African Collared Dove but some were smaller and cute looking with slightly darker mantles but whiter on the breast but how good this is for a good identification I?m not sure.

- Icterine WarblerA Lifer if so, I was convinced at the time. I was walking on the border of arid scrub and some apartment gardens. I could hear a bird calling in a bit of shrubbery at the end of a drainage channel. A kind of tuk tuk tuk call which threw me for a second or two, but then I got bins on some movement and out popped a Hippolais type Warbler, quite large and was mainly yellow fronted with greenish back but I didnt see it for long, it melted back into the bushes. I went back the day after to the same spot and it was there again, and again it was a brief view and the call that Im going by, may need help on that one?

- Lastly another possible Lifer, the sea watching was dismal with hardly a bird seen anywhere except a few Gulls and a Cattle Egret. I?d hoped for at least a Corys passing between us and Fuerteventura. But I did see 2 smallish white seabirds, albeit a bit distant, flying together low over the water, and my first thoughts were .. check for long tails and indeed they looked to have them, but I have no photographic evidence to back up what I think were probable Red-billed Tropicbirds. Despite trying for a photo, the heat haze and sea reflection just didnt allow me to get one, it has annoyed me as I have no proof except what I saw to back up my claim which sometimes has you doubting yourself.

Missed out on the Houbara Bustard, Barbary Partridge, Egyptian Vulture, Corys Shearwater, Canary Island Chiffchaff, and photo opportunities for the Trumpeter Finches, African Blue Tits, and the Icterine Warbler, still I can?t complain at the birds I did see.
Birding in the Canary Islands is often described as quality rather than quantity!


 Hi Rob, You get such a rush of excitement seeing lifers like that as I did in Portugal last year.

I remember visiting a secluded beach at Papagayo about 20 years ago & there were plenty of birds there - but they were all naked - turned out it was a nudist beach!

Wife wasn't best pleased though but me & mother-in-law loved it!



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Status: Offline
Posts: 3295
Date:

14th - 21st Sept.
Family holiday in the Papagayo area of Playa Blanca.

Nice hotel, few miles from main resort, situated next to the beach with cracking sea view from the balcony and seemingly barren volcanic plains and hills on the other side, the only greenery being a few trees in the hotel and surrounding properties gardens.
Hot weather virtually all week, and a lot of my time was spent playing and chilling in the pool with littl?n, so my birding was limited and local to the hotel.

- Yellow-legged Gull
Plenty around incl in the hotel, some drinking from the pool, a few even landing on the balcony. Many showing features lending themselves to atlantis Azores Gulls with facial and crown streaking and being slightly darker mantled, but probably safer to stick with michahellis for now.

- Berthelot?s Pipit (Lifer)
7 seen in the area incl a bird with deformed feet seen twice. Very approachable birds if you take your time. Easily picked out by call. They seem to prefer arid stony areas and drainage channels.

- Plain Swift (Lifer)
Quite a few Swifts around but a group of 6/7 birds caught my eye. They turned up over the hotel for very brief visits a few consecutive days for a few minutes at a time then departed as quickly as they arrived. Very fast flyers and slightly smaller than the other Swifts.

- Southern Grey Shrike (subspecies koenigi Lifer)
Turned up on Sunday, sat on a construction van outside the hotel and was still around on the Monday. Very approachable, fantastic bird to watch. It caught a couple of small lizards and unbelievably it tried for a Berthelot?s Pipit which escaped and what looked like a Lark of some kind, that escaped too!
Another individual seen near Arrecife Airport.

- African Blue Tit (teneriffae Lifer)
1 seen another heard in same garden but I just couldn?t get a good view for a photo. You could hear them from the roadside but part of the private garden was obscured so I was limited, suddenly one flew out over me and landed in another garden and the other went quiet so had obviously flown too.

- Trumpeter Finch (Lifer)
2 birds seen as flyovers but were initially with a group of Spanish Sparrows. I was walking along the edge of the barren scrub and the birds were dropping into a drainage gulley to drink from what little water was there. I could hear their unusual call but unfortunately they weren?t as friendly as the Sparrows and they flew off as I tried to get closer.

- Common Kestrel canariensis (Subspecies Lifer)
A few seen around the hotel and surrounds

- Alpine SwiftSeen daily over the hotel sometimes flying very close to you.
Common Swift seen too.

- Tree Pipit 1 in arid scrub with a Berthelot?s Pipit for company, unexpected.

- Pied Flycatcher again unexpected, 1 flew down onto the pavement with a Berthelot?s Pipit and eventually followed it into a drainage channel. I refound the Pipit but lost the Flycatcher.

- Cattle Egret common, fairly approachable, seen all areas - near hotel, airport, coast path, scrub

- Rock Dove few seen mainly near coastal rocks and the odd one on hotel roof. Purity looks good here with their clean neat plumage and small white bill cere.

- European Bee-eater 1 on wires near Arrecife Airport, unexpected.

- Woodchat Shrike 1 on top of shrubbery near the airport, again unexpected.

- Whimbrel 1 on the rocks below the coast path.

- Turnstone small group in Playa Blanca Marina wandering in between everyone

A few other birds seen and deserve a special mention, mainly because I wasn?t sure how the species distribution and overlap pans out over here, never been to the Canaries before, and the other mentions because Im still in two minds whether or not I was seeing things

- I was hoping for Brown-necked Raven but images are inconclusive for this species and the birds I saw could just be Northern Raven. Call sounded good to me but still unsure.

- A Falcon came racing passed the hotel one morning chasing a Collared Dove, looked like a Barbary Falcon but it all happened quickly and you know when your mind plays tricks on you coz you get a rush? Peregrine, verdict still out on a safe identification???

- Collared Dove everywhere, I still don?t know how many were good candidates for African Collared Dove but some were smaller and cute looking with slightly darker mantles but whiter on the breast but how good this is for a good identification I?m not sure.

- Icterine WarblerA Lifer if so, I was convinced at the time. I was walking on the border of arid scrub and some apartment gardens. I could hear a bird calling in a bit of shrubbery at the end of a drainage channel. A kind of tuk tuk tuk call which threw me for a second or two, but then I got bins on some movement and out popped a Hippolais type Warbler, quite large and was mainly yellow fronted with greenish back but I didnt see it for long, it melted back into the bushes. I went back the day after to the same spot and it was there again, and again it was a brief view and the call that Im going by, may need help on that one?

- Lastly another possible Lifer, the sea watching was dismal with hardly a bird seen anywhere except a few Gulls and a Cattle Egret. I?d hoped for at least a Corys passing between us and Fuerteventura. But I did see 2 smallish white seabirds, albeit a bit distant, flying together low over the water, and my first thoughts were .. check for long tails and indeed they looked to have them, but I have no photographic evidence to back up what I think were probable Red-billed Tropicbirds. Despite trying for a photo, the heat haze and sea reflection just didnt allow me to get one, it has annoyed me as I have no proof except what I saw to back up my claim which sometimes has you doubting yourself.

Missed out on the Houbara Bustard, Barbary Partridge, Egyptian Vulture, Corys Shearwater, Canary Island Chiffchaff, and photo opportunities for the Trumpeter Finches, African Blue Tits, and the Icterine Warbler, still I can?t complain at the birds I did see.
Birding in the Canary Islands is often described as quality rather than quantity!


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