Monday, January 26, 2015

What's The Weather Back Home?

Here are a few more pictures from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain where the temperature hovers around the 21°C mark, just the job to shift those winter blues. 

Birding here isn’t the easiest in the world with a limited number of species, some of which are difficult to find and none provided on a plate but it all makes for interesting and often exploratory days. This all works quite well as it leaves time for Sue and I to enjoy the touristy parts of the island or simply relax on a sunbed around the hotel pools. 

The tourists don’t hit the beaches too early after sampling the nightlife of Purto del Carmen the previous night so a morning walk surveying the deserted beach while looking for a coffee stop provides an agreeable morning. 

Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

Not too far from the promenade, the shops and the lines of sunbeds there’s an area of rocks and sand which hold Yellow-legged Gulls, Turnstones, Sanderlings and maybe one or two Whimbrel. 


Whimbrel

Sanderling

In the old and very picturesque part of the harbour Little Egrets and Turnstones search through the fishing boats hoping to grab a bite to eat. There are lots of gulls and at the harbour mouth a number of Sandwich Terns loafing away their time until a passing boat sends them back out to sea looking for a meal. 

Puerto del Carmen

Turnstone

Little Egret

Sandwich Tern

The waters off the Canary Islands are rich in Atlantic breeding seabirds, including large numbers of Cory's Shearwaters, Manx Shearwaters, the rare Barolo's Shearwater, White-faced Storm-petrel, Madeiran Storm-petrel and European Storm-petrel, while the list of other regularly-occurring pelagic seabirds includes Wilson's Storm-petrel. 

Watching the sea along the southerly coastline here can result in sightings of whales and dolphins including the Short-Finned Pilot Whale and Common and Bottlenose Dolphins, and it is said that Hammerhead Sharks and Loggerhead Turtles are present. The Canary Islands were also formerly home to a population of the rarest pinniped in the world, the Mediterranean Monk Seal. 

From the hotel I have seen distant whales in past years so keep a look out although I’m more likely to see one of the many ocean going yachts moored locally. 

Yacht at Puerto Calero, Lanzarote

Back at our hotel there are a couple of walks across the often parched landscape might provide Houbara Bustard or Cream-coloured Courser. Oases of greenery including gardens can turn up the goods like Trumpeter Finch, Desert Grey Shrike, Collared Dove, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Berthelot’s Pipit and Spanish Sparrow.

Calero, Lanzarote

Spanish Sparrow

Trumpeter Finch

Desert Grey Shrike

Hotel Costa Calero

This week I found nesting Desert Grey Shrike, breeding Stone Curlew, Houbara Bustards and a pair of Trumpeter Finches yards from the hotel.

It’s back to normal in the UK very soon on Another Bird Blog. Stay tuned.

11 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

looks like it was pretty darn sweet!

Margaret Adamson said...

I can tell you it is NOT 21 degrees here! Sounds like you two are having a great time finding birds and relaxing. Loved seeing the Trumpeter Finch.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, looks like an amazing trip to me! Warm weather, beaches and birds.. what more could you ask for! Happy birding, have a safe trip home!

Linda said...

Gorgeous, Phil, I love the scenes and your bird captures are splendid, as always. :)

Russell Jenkins said...

Gee, Phil.I don't think you should concern yourself with thoughts of winter. You've managed to get some nice examples of the local birds.

Stewart M said...

Must be nice to escape the cold.

We had sleet falling on us in Tasmania last week - so that was a blast of summer cold!

Great birds.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

David Gascoigne said...

Ah, the lazy life of lounging leisurely near the lago in Lanzarote! I know that you're just the man to handle it. And if you can score a Houbara Bustard after sipping your cafe con leche then it's all the sweeter isn't it?

Mary Cromer said...

Very, very wonderful to be able to take time off from the brutality of Winter's bite and chill to the bones and get some warmth from the sun, see amazing beauty and photograph such, along with so many beautiful birds. Ha that was one long sentence, it is early morning and I am just awake. It appears that you and Sue enjoyed another wonderful journey together. Always a pleasure stopping by~

Marie said...

Fantastic photos! That little egret looks like he needs to grow into his feet! :-) Love the shrike.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You are traveling! What a beautiful spot for a midwinter vacation. You know I'd be loving the quiet morning beaches and the birds anytime over the nightlife! Thanks for sharing!

Chris Rohrer said...

I remember seeing the Spanish Sparrow......it was so different from the House Sparrow. I sat drinking my coffee looking at this sparrow around my feet thinking....this one is a bit different. Looks like a nice play to winter! However summer is a whole other monster in that area. That Little Egret shot is great. Big feet on a little bird!

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