Sunday, January 22, 2012

More From Lanzarote

I’m still catching up with emails, family and friends; it is still too windy for any ringing or much sensible birding so here are more pictures and stories from the recent holiday to Lanzarote.

With an average of 17 days of rainfall a year Lanzarote is a dry island, where the desalination industry provide most of the island’s water, a situation which provides for very little standing water for freshwater waders. One of the few places to look for wading birds is the working salt pans, Salinas de Janubio on the south coast of the island. As a trade-off with Sue for visiting the shopping resort of Playa Blanca I spent half a breezy day wandering over the paths of the salinas where I notched up a couple of species for the trip. In the strong breeze lots of birds hid behind the low walls of the salt beds, with others staying on the less windy side of the inland lagoon.

I found some familiar species, Dunlin, Sanderling, Redshank, Grey Plover, Greenshank and Common Sandpiper, with less frequent UK visitors like Kentish Plover, together with the impossibly bright pink, long-legged Black-winged Stilts. Also here were single digit numbers of Swallow, House Martin and Common Swift, with a few Cattle Egrets nearby plus a single Little Egret.

Black-winged Stilt



Black-winged Stilt and Kentish Plover

Common Sandpiper

Salinas de Janubio

At the mirador café visitors can sit and gaze out over the salt pans as Berthelot’s Pipits wander through the car park.

View from The Mirador Cafe, Salinas de Janubio

Berthelot’s Pipit

Near Janubio is the green lagoon of El Golfo, where subterranean sea water seeps through the volcanic Lanzarote rock, the process turning the water bright green from the minerals the water meets. Lanzarote has anywhere between 100 and 300 extinct volcanoes, the number depending upon which tour guide you consult. I parked the Astra hire car under a volcanic precipice hoping a bit more of the jagged cliff edge might fall and finish off the old wreck.

Green Lagoon, El Golfo

Volcano’s Edge

Volcano’s Edge

El Golfo is a pretty sea-side resort where fish restaurants gut their fish on the beach whilst the gulls wait expectantly. Yellow-legged Gull was pretty much the only gull I saw in two weeks in Lanzarote, with just the occasional Great Black-backed Gull or Sandwich Terns fishing offshore.

Yellow-legged Gull

Yellow-legged Gull

Little House - El Golfo

El Golfo

Back at the hotel was a quiet bar for a glass or two of Lanzarote wine after a thirsty day’s birding, or shopping.

Hotel Costa Calero

Stay tuned folks for more from Lanzarote or local birding soon.


eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil. looks like a great day of birding and shopping. Lanzarote has some beautiful birds and scenery. The green lagoon looks neat and the volcanic rocks or cliff looks amazing. Wonderful trip photos and report.

Kay L. Davies said...

Lanzarote is certainly one of the most interesting of the Canary Islands, Phil. I don't remember seeing so many birds, though, probably because I wasn't looking for them. Now I know I'd look more closely!
Thanks for the photos!

Rohrerbot said...

Wow, I'd love to have coffee here. Wonderful views and looks like a great place to spot birds. I used to live on the Cape Verde islands so I know how dry these islands can get. It's amazing anything can survive on them. I lived on the island of Sal which is full of salt flats. Beautiful place. The Canary Islands are on my list of places to see:) Thanks for sharing.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

From the lovely Turnstone, the handsome Sandpiper to those wonderful looking Gulls, outstanding and such clever looking birs. The island of Lanzarote looks empty of so many tourists and yet it sounds like they must have some very nice seafood eateries. Nothing like fresh seafood, alonf the water's edge. Very nice to view through your images shared. happy week~

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...nice new header..what kind of Hummingbird is that ..oh thats right you where one of the Canary its a canary!! ; ]
I guess I have to I set here envious...I'm glad you had an enjoyable visit seeing lovely green lagoons volcanic sites and coffee and wine on the lovely deck!!
I would have been happy just to stay in that little house with the blue!
I am glad to see the wife is keeping you on task ..: }
Bring on those vacation shot's so I can suffer and get it overwith!!
Your US snow shovel, snow blowing friend!!

Choy Wai Mun said...

What a beautiful collection of images. Well done.

EG Wow said...

Looks like a super place to be out birding!

Chris said...

Hi Phil,
What a beautiful location and nice birding place. One of the location that one has to visit! Well done for this ncie set of pictures!

Seasons said...

Phil, this is a great set of pictures with a good narrative! Never far from birds, Lanzarote or Pilling. That Black-winged Stilt is quite an image. Thanks for sharing, and welcome back.

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Aha, nice to see Kentish Plover over there too! I love watching and identifying pipits and that Berthelot's Pipit is just lovely.

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