Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Colourful Day

For today’s post there are more pictures from our recent holiday to Lanzarote. There lots of them so "click the pics" for a continuous slide show; and I hope everyone likes egrets!

One of the easiest spots to see the endemic Berthelot’s Pipit is strangely enough one that is overrun with tourists, just off the road from Yaiza at the Islote de Hilario visitor centre for camel rides en route to Timanfaya. 

Traditionally, the farmers of Lanzarote used camels to help cultivate the dry, difficult land. They were brought from the nearby African mainland. Today the camels have been replaced in farming, but a tradition of caring for them survives. The remaining camels earn their living by carrying visitors over the rough terrain of the Timanfaya National Park. At the camel station there is a small but very interesting museum, showing how farmers used to work with the camels. Displays of harness and farming equipment, and old photographs of the work, bear witness to the resilience of both man and beast in the harsh landscape. 

I met up with national park worker who takes a break in the car park where he shares his lunch of Lanzarote cheese with a regular group of 10/12 Berthelot’s Pipit’s. Continually active and dashing around constantly the tiny pipits are not easy to photograph, and because of light reflections from the volcanic rock, it’s best to set the camera to underexpose. Wander not too far away and there might be a Cattle Egret or two stalking though the dry landscape. 

Berthelot's Pipit

Berthelot's Pipit
 
Camels at Islote de Hilario, Lanzarote

Camel rides at Islote de Hilario, Lanzarote

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

On this particular day we stopped off at the old port of Puerto del Carmen hoping to see a few birds in the marina. There were a couple of Little Egrets, several Turnstones, 2 Common Sandpipers and lots of Yellow-legged Gulls hanging around the tied up fishing boats,all hoping to snatch a meal from anything the fishermen had overlooked. It was clear that the birds involved had a regular beat, inspecting each fishing boat in turn, the egrets in particular paying special attention to the boxes and containers that had recently held fish. It's interesting that the local Turnstones have learnt to forsake the rocky shore to turn over instead the bric-a-brac on decks of fishing boats.

The colourful old boats made for some brightly hued backdrops. 

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

Little Egret

Common Sandpiper

Turnstone

Turnstone

Turnstone

Common Sandpiper

 Yellow-legged Gull

Log into Another Bird Blog soon for more news, views and pictures. I'm still working through Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin but a review will appear on here very soon.

Linking today to Anni's Birding BlogEileen's Saturday Critters and Camera Critters .

21 comments:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Beautiful pics.. Have a nice weekend..

Stewart M said...

Great pictures - the world news would suggest an umbrella may be of more use to you than a beach shelter!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Carole M. said...

Hi Phil; how nice of the np worker to share his cheese at lunchtime and bring in the lovely Pipits; you got great shots of them. Did you take a camel ride? Some great shots with the yellow feet on the Little Egret; so striking at the bottom of pitch-black legs too. You finish off with more lovely birds; what a great holiday!

David Gascoigne said...

Great stuff! Many years ago I visited the island of Gran Canaria a couple of times, At this stage of my life I doubt whether I'll ever make it back to the Canary Islands.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil Great post and I especially love the Egret shots. Hope you got a Camel ride, i did this once in Tunisia and it was great.

eileeninmd said...

Good Morning, Phil! What a great post on your holiday! The camels are cool, did you go for a ride? Awesome variety of birds and I love the egrets. The Pipit is beautiful! Lovely photos..Thank you for linking up with my Saturday's Critters. Have a happy weekend!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Turnstones always looks so beautiful to me and then my goodness those Egrets, your images are absolutely stunning, their feathers look like silk. So, did you and Sue take a ride on those Camels? I would have...what a great adventure. It is really nice that the people still take good care of them and the Camels sure must have a better life doing this rather than farming chores...oh my.
We had bitter COLD for two weeks, then we had pipes freeze, they did not burst, then we got a total of 8 " of snow and topped with an inch layer of ice. It is really dangerous. I have had 3 falls since January 1 and I am so ready for warmer weather!
Google still presents me with huge obstacles and Phil, I really am not sure how to handle it, but will one day at a time. If I am on this computer, I can use it for a couple of hours without losing power, but we have had power surges, going off and on with weight of ice and so I have not been using my desk top so much.
Have a great weekend. You can always see some shares on FB, as I can at least upload them pretty well, but feel like I just cannot deal with the blogging issues without getting totally frustrated...sigh, take a deep breath...it will work out..ha ha~

TexWisGirl said...

the egrets are really cute - and sassy. :)

Rajesh said...

Very lovely birds. I like the shots of egret.

Adam Jones said...

Really like the Pipit, but my favourites are the Common Sand and the Turnstone.

Anni said...

I enjoyed this tour and commentary very much Phil!! Your photos of course...it goes without saying how wonderful they are. Question is, did you go on camelback any time?

Gunilla Bäck said...

Fabulous photos! The pipit is cute and I love the egret's yellow feet. I rode a camel in Marocco once (a long time ago). It was an interesting experience.

Carol L McKenna said...

All in a day? ~ Great shots of nature's beauties ~ thanks, carol and artmusedog, xxx

Karen said...

I like egrets and have never seen one for real. The Canary Islands look like a great place to vacay!

Stuart Price said...

The egret walking on the volcanic rock looks just wrong, weird........

Pia said...

Aah Lanzarote........
wonderful photos all! The Egret is a funny bird. My favorite photo is the Egret with the red boat in the background.

Christian Weiß said...

Great photos and birds, Lanzarote is a interesting place.

Laura said...

What a lovely assortment of birds… I'd never seen a little egret before.

mick said...

A great series of photos and a very interesting post. I am always surprised at how otherwise shy birds can get used to being around people if there is a regular source of food there for them. The Turnstones I see down here are so shy and very hard to get close to.

Ileana said...

Beautiful ! Birds and camels , all are beautiful . Very interesting post!
Have a nice week!

Katrin Klink said...

Beautiful and heart warming.

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