Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where Did Two Weeks Go?

Back home after 14 days in the unbroken sun of Fuerteventura, and it’s a large bag of dirty washing for Sue and 800 images on the SD card for me. Yes, it’s a tedious, thankless task, but someone has to show willing so as to keep Another Bird Blog updated. Many thanks to all those who logged in during the holiday, I will be visiting you all soon to return the complement and catch up with your blogs, and in the next few days my priority is also to catch up with friends and family. 

After a check of the many images from the last two weeks I lumped together a quick post by way of an introduction to Fuerteventura, the birds and the scenery which they and the many tourists inhabit. This post details birds in the immediate area of our stay in Costa Calma, so named I think with reverence to the relatively sheltered nature of this resort from the prevailing winds. This relative calm is due in no small part to the easterly geographical location and to the long belt of pine trees which give a degree of protection from the often strong prevailing wind systems.

It’s peculiar how the same bird species occur in the vicinity of many holiday places we visit, with Fuerteventura providing a similar hotel list to other places we know whereby sparrows, pigeons, gulls, kestrels and a few wader species are to the fore. Don't forget folks, click on the pics for a better view.

Costa Calma, Fuerteventura

Costa Calma, Fuerteventura

Sanderlings and Turnstones were ever present on the sandy and partly rocky shore. Turnstones can be fairly confiding here in the UK, but on Fuerteventura they are even more so and are approachable to within a few metres. 



After taking photographs of a Sanderling I noticed only upon examining the images later that the bird had a British ring on its right leg. With only a couple of shots I couldn’t get enough detail to send the record in to the BTO so as to find out where it had been ringed, so in the following days looked for the Sanderling but couldn’t relocate it. 


An unusual hotel bird proved to be Raven, a pair of birds from the locality paying infrequent visits to the shore to steal monkey nuts from under the noses of the Barbary Ground Squirrels. Almost every tourist I saw paid more attention to feeding the “cute” squirrels whilst ignoring the long-distance-migrant shore birds at their feet, the closeness of the huge Ravens, the feeding terns along the shore or the handsome Yellow-legged Gulls. 

Sandwich Tern


Barbary Ground Squirrel

Yellow-legged Gull

Costa Calma, Fuerteventura

It was the quiet parts of the hotel grounds where I found the Spanish Sparrows, the pair of Hoopoes, the resident Kestrel and the White Wagtail, one of the latter in particular which followed the gardener’s watering hosepipe so as to locate the resultant insects. There were Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs about the grounds but they kept out of sight in the strong sunshine of most days.



Spanish Sparrow

White Wagtail

Hoopoes mostly have that hair-gelled look, a sleeked back crest held in abeyance until some fool with a camera interrupts a feed and causes a moment of anxiety when the feathers fan out. 




As very birder knows, there’s a price to pay for a spot of birding, brownie points to be earned and then banked for another day with bins and camera. Here in Costa Calma it’s the “African” market where bartering is the order of the day followed by a glass or two of wine reflecting on the fading light and planning the day to come. 

Costa Calma, Fuerteventura

Anyone For a Massage?

Costa Calma, Fuerteventura

There’s local news soon from Another Bird Blog plus more pictures from Fuerteventura. In the meantime the blog is linking to Weekly Top Shot  and Anni .


Choy Wai Mun said...

Looks like a near-perfect birding holiday to me. Great images as well, Phil.

Anni said...

Wow...what a trip!! Beautiful coastline [I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but near the sea], and fantastic birding. I've never heard of the Hoopoe, or the Spanish Sparrow. But, Phil, all your photos are magnificent.

Good luck with all your photos. I know what a task that is, as I just did the same of 2 years worth that was on the computer by putting them on to a DVD.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Wonderful photos!

Chrissy Brand said...

A wonderful place for winter sun- lovely bird photos too, Phil.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Hello Phil,buenas capturas las que as hecho en España.Un abrazo

Stuart Price said...

Bet you wanted to stay longer..........

Nice Hoopoes.

eileeninmd said...

Phil, what a great trip. Birding and relaxing by the sea, what more could one want? Wonderful birds and beautiful scenery! The Hoopoe is one of my favorites. It was cool you found a British band on the Sanderling. Looking forward to seeing more trip photos. Happy Birding and have a great week!

carol l mckenna said...

Magnificent photography of the avian gems of nature ~ what a place and beautiful bird photos !

Carol of: A Creative Harbor ^_^

Unknown said...

Love the Hoopoe, and the Spanish Sparrow.Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Anonymous said...

Lovely peaceful coastline... Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #67!

Wally Jones said...

How obliging of the birds to coordinate their vacations with yours!
Wonderful series of the local birds.
The exotic Hoopoe is an attention grabber, but my favorite is the Kestrel. I'm jealous you seem to get cracker-jack shots of them wherever you are and I can only get fuzzy images from about a mile away. LOL!
Glad you had a good trip.

Gail Dixon said...

Whoa, you got some amazing shots! Love love love the hoopoe! What a funny and interesting guy. 800 photos--yikes! Glad to see you back.

Millhouse Photography said...

Ha, ha...Like the jobs share there, Phil.

Gary Jones said...

Good to see you back Phil, a great set of images and great memories from your holiday, perfect timing to come back just as all the snow disappears!

DeniseinVA said...

Great photos Phil!

Rohrerbot said...

I so want to see a Hoopoe!!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful shots!

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