Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On The Beach Fuerteventura

Another Bird Blog is doing its best to get back to normal with a visit to the feeding station in the hope of a spot of ringing soon. The usual birds were around the site including 2 Kestrels, 14 Corn Bunting, 1 Little Owl and 50+ Tree Sparrows, but after my absense for 2 weeks and little topping up of the feeders, there wasn't too much activity around them. Nonetheless, 10+ Reed Bunting, 6/8 Goldfinch, 10+ Chaffinch bodes well for later in the week when the wind eventually subsides.

No such problems with the weather in Fuerteventura where the light for photography was often perfect, so for today’s post there are images from the recent holiday of 12th-26th January. 

Beach walks proved a good way to work off breakfast and although birds were fairly scarce in the face of processions of tourists exercising their often flaccid limbs, there was always something to marvel at. Read on and remember to "click the pics" for a close encounter.

On The Beach Fuereventura

Costa Calma is a large bay approximately 1.5 km long. Southwards it is possible to walk along the beach to Morro Jable for approximately 21 km. The stretch of beach from Costa Calm and then south to Jandia is reckoned to be amongst the most beautiful in the world, with large swathes of pristine sand exposed at times of low tide where just the occasional black rocks extend into the beach. It’s at such locations that you realise how the scurrying Sanderling probably obtained its name with the often employed “clockwork toy” description springing to mind. Kentish Plovers could usually be found running across the sand, with dozens of Sandwich Terns loitering on the distant tideline or feeding offshore where a Gannet or two might also be seen. 

Sanderling

On The Beach Fuerteventura

Kentish Plover

Sandwich Tern

 Sandwich Tern

The retreating tides leave pools of clear salt water where the occasional fish and smaller items are left behind for the scavengers and opportunists, mainly herons and egrets. Being accustomed to passing tourists the birds aren’t too concerned when people stop for snapshots, and if someone gets a little close the birds just fly a few yards out of harm’s way. 

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

The perfect sand beaches are not the result of sand being blown across from the Sahara Desert (as some Guidebooks claim) but are in fact composed of broken shells and other remains from marine organisms. Fuerteventura can get very windy, though normally it is possible to find a sheltered beach somewhere along the east coast 

On The Beach Fuerteventura

Grey Herons aren’t too common, with just occasional birds seen. 

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

There’s a word of warning to the squeamish and to bird watchers carrying binoculars and cameras. Nude sunbathing is very popular on Fuerteventura, some might even say legendary, so if those Sanderlings are running along under people’s feet, take care where you point the camera and that any blowing sand doesn’t stick to moving parts. 

Sanderling

On The Beach Fuerteventura

More bare facts and related bird news from Another Bird Blog fairly soon. Today we are linking with Stewart in Australia who knows a thing or two about sandy beaches.

24 comments:

grammie g said...

Hey Phil... Wow I see you got a shot of the feathereless love birds..are there many there ??? ; )
These are stunning photos of the bird life there, and amazing beaches ...and I have to say I am total jealous of your trip to a sunny warm place, especially since I have wanted to see the love bird for some time!!
Get to the bird ringing!!
Grace here in the cold snowy state Of Maine ..or is that "mind" ;

Frank said...

Excellent series from the beach Phil ... what a change from our drab, wet winter days.

TexWisGirl said...

too cute on the censoring. :)

fascinated by the little egret! so pretty!

Wally Jones said...

How did you resist the urge to set up mist nets for so long? :)

Looks like a wonderful place to relax. Great quality photos, as usual!

The Kentish Plover looks quite small?

Carletta said...

Wonderful bird captures you've shared!
I have to say the beach shots are lovely - picture postcard images that make me want to go the beach. You had a lovely place for birdwatching.
I'm smiling at Grammie G's 'featherless love birds'. :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Amazing birds, wonderful pictures of birds and other 'wild'life...How lovely for you to be where it's warm and sunny at this time of year. (I've been away for a while and for just a second there I was a bit confused -- thought things in the UK had really changed overnight!)

The Little Egret sequence was my favorite...it looks so dainty, feeling his way into the water!

Isidro Ortiz said...

Estupendas serie Phil,la de la Garza comun me gustan mucho.Un abrazo

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh My, you did get some bare facts to share;') Glad you are back and from the looks of it, you and Sue had a delightful getaway. The beaches looks so welcoming and the Egret images were my faves of this post...wonderful. OK, all of the birds shared were all splendid. Happy week Phil~

mick said...

Ah! That beach looks like a place I would find very comfortable! Great photos of all the birds - especially the Sanderlings - which I see here but seldom get close to.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the sanderlings, Phil, and the beaches are gorgeous. However, some of us have flaccid muscles, and might get our poor little feelers hurt by your dismissive attitude toward us. LOL
I would just love to be able to walk 21 miles along a beach. How wonderful!
I'm glad you had a good time at Fuerteventura.
K

Amanda said...

Great photos! Love the Kentish Plover and the Little Egret.

HansHB said...

Lovely photos and a perfect post for WBW!

Rohrerbot said...

Hilarious! I remember this bit about where I lived in Cape Verde. It was a popular nude destination for swimmers,etc.....and then there were the birds. It always made for interesting birding:) Love all your shots....gorgeous beach. Gorgeous birds. This is one epic trek you had.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I have never seen a grey heron. So pretty, as are all the birds. The little egret sort of looks like our snowy egret with the size and yellow feet. Great shots! :)

eileeninmd said...

Lovely series of birds. The Little Egret is beautiful! And I love the Plover and the cute Sanderling. Wonderful photos from your trip. Are the "featherless" lovebirds a lifer for you? Great post!

Russell Jenkins said...

I was almost envious and craving a long walk but decided I'd need more privacy even though I would be clothed. Certainly looks better than the grey mushy snow and wind outside my window here...Ok, maybe a short walk.

Choy Wai Mun said...

A great set of images, Phil. Not too sure about the last image though...

Karen said...

Amazing shore bird captures.

Jen said...

Great photos, especially the sanderling.

Stewart M said...

Thanks for the beach shot - and the discretionary censoring!

Cricket Pitch Gulls are also known as a Silver Gulls!

I've heard more than a few times "Its that an Albatross?" sort of comments from non-birders when they see a Pacific Gull!

Cheers and thanks for posting to WBW.

Stewart M - Melbourne

Kerri said...

Great captures!!

Gary said...

Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Genie Robinson said...

The gray heron is awesome and the little white one beautiful. So white and pristine. These a fabulous shots. I was interested to read that the birds do not appreciate the tourists so become scarce til they thin out. genie

news said...

Hi Phil. As ususal brilliant glad you enjoyed.JWB.

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