Friday, January 22, 2016

Canary Time

Regular readers may not be surprised to hear that Sue and I have escaped the wet and wind of Lancashire to take the winter sunshine of Lanzarote, the northernmost of the Canary Islands, Spain. Don't forget to click on the pictures below for a better view of Lanzarote and its birds.

The Canary Islands

After four hours from Manchester Airport followed by a 10 kilometres drive from Arrecife Airport we’re quickly ensconced in our hotel close to Puerto Calero on the South-West coast of Lanzarote. 

The upmarket marina just 500 yards away at Peurto Calero is a great place to unwind, ogle the fabulous (and expensive) boats and boutiques while soaking up a bit of the luxury atmosphere that permeates the whole place. A few hours sat in one of the cafes or restaurants makes for a great place to relax away from the winter gloom of Lancashire. 

The Marina, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote

There aren’t too many birds in the immediate area but by including a walk over the headland to Playa Quemada and a slightly different route on the return journey the first couple of days produce a useful number of species. We clocked up Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Desert Grey Shrike, Sandwich Tern, Collared Dove, Spanish Sparrow, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Sandpiper, Berthelot’s Pipit, Little Egret, Kestrel, Linnet and Trumpeter Finch. It’s a sunshine list not to be sniffed at. 

Common Sandpiper
Little Egret

Desert Grey Shrike

The Lanzarote Desert Grey Shrike is a bird of open country but also something of a garden bird where it can be found on boundary walls, roofs and often singing from TV aerials. 

Desert Grey Shrike

Spanish Sparrow

Berthelot's Pipit
Playa Quemada


We're usually back from our walks for the afternoon when we grab some well earned sunshine.

Hotel Costa Calero, Lanzarote

Although we have a hire car the general idea is to gently relax and explore slowly rather than spend two weeks dashing about the island. 

There are several spots in the south and west of the island just a short drive away from base camp. Another day a route takes us through the tranquil town of Yaiza and then towards the salt lagoons, Salinas de Janubio. 


A trek around the salt pans of Janubio and the adjacent shore sees a good selection of waders and one or two wildfowl species including Black-necked Grebe, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Kentish Plover, Greenshank, Redshank, Grey Plover and Little Stint. Just yards from the shore, the salt pans can often be quite windswept making for a challenge in photographing the very active Black-winged Stilts and the good number of other waders which use the locality. 

Black-winged Stilt

Overlooking the salt pans the mirador (viewpoint) café is usually a good spot to see Berthelot’s Pipit, Trumpeter Finch and Spanish Sparrow while sat sampling the local apple pie.

 The Mirador - Janubio, Lanzarote

Trumpeter Finch

Apple Pie- Lanzarote Style

That’s all for now but there’s more from Lanzarote very soon, so stay tuned. 


Margaret Adamson said...

Good idea to get away from our aweful weather adn it looks lovely there. You certainly have seen some lovely birds already especially the Thrumpter Finch. I am off to Costa Rica next week!!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Fantastic trip.. Love the trumpeter finch and spanish sparrow. ;-))) Have a great weekend

eileeninmd said...

Lucky you, I would like to escapre this upcoming blizzard for somewhere warm. I love the photos and the pretty birds.
Enjoy your trip!

Linda said...

What a beautiful place to just relax and enjoy the scenery! I love all your photos, thank you so much for sharing this lovely tour!

Stewart M said...

I'm pretty sure I would have worked out that the first picture was not taken in Lancashire!!

Enjoy the sun!

Cheers - Stewart M - (finally back in) Melbourne

Wally Jones said...

Turnabout is fair play, but I don't have to like it. While you and Sue are absorbing the warm rays of the sun, Gini and I are suffering freezing temperatures! I seldom get to say this, but "I am jealous of your weather". Enjoy it!

I continue to have "bird envy" each time you make a foray into the islands. What wonderful opportunities! I really like your plan of gentle exploration. It does no good to go on vacation and return home exhausted from running around trying to see and do everything.

The birds seem fabulous, the scenery is gorgeous, the sun is warm, but let's discuss that pie .......

We truly hope you and Sue are having as good a time as your description sounds. Take care and we look forward to more reporting.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a wonderful opportunity!
We're still in the snow, lots of photos of the regular bird feeder visitors, and an owl-hunting trip revealed nothing!
Last time we spotted a pair of eagles, but nothing exciting this time. sigh.
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

Mary Cromer said...

OK, I have to say it, as it is truth...I envy you and Sue so much on a couple of counts. You are in the warmth of beauty where you are. You have taken a couple of journeys since our last in the late Summer of 2014 and besides that the cold and snow are messing me up and I fell down once already. I want Spring to arrive and yet here we are, basking in the beautiful shares of your enjoyment and loving every bit of it for you. The birds, the people, landscapes, the food, all so pleasing to the envious yet ever thankful eye. Have a Happy Week~

Small Kucing said... managed to find so many birds ☺

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