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A Report from

Lanzarote 2nd-16th October 2008,

Bob Marchant

Holiday based at Costa Teguise a resort town on the east coast, staying at Los Molinos apartments towards the southern end of the town. The apartment was booked through RCI (as an RCI Points owner) who also arranged our car hire with Avis. The car was a VW Touran 1.9dti, excellent for 4 adults with luggage (and handled rough tracks pretty well.) Unfortunately our first day was lost through a fault with the outgoing aircraft and a change of planes resulted in an 8 hour delay with Thomas Cook Air. The holiday was a mix of birding/touring (with 2 very accommodating non-birders in the party) using A Birdwatching Guide to the Canary Islands by Tony Clarke & David Collins and Birds of the Atlantic Islands by Tony Clarke as our birding reference. The AA Island Map (Island Series 9) for Lanzarote proved useful.

Convenient to the apartment was a roadway to the sea at Playa Bastian and a promenade along the mainly rocky shoreline providing a range of waders and passerines on several early mornings (before buying fresh bread or pastries at the local patisserie!)  It was rare to leave the apartment before 10.30 each morning on our trips out and lunch was usually around 3.00pm.

The weather was generally good with sunshine coupled with temperatures in the mid twenties (up to 28 C), exceptionally was heavy rain on 10th/11th following a change to a westerly breeze. Generally winds were breezy from the north to north east quarter.

2nd October            Gatwick Airport!

Arrived at Los Molinos 8.40pm

3rd October            North: Orzola – Haria – Teguise

At Los Molinos a Southern Grey Shrike, Spanish Sparrows, Collared Doves, a Common Chiffchaff, 2 Kestrels and Yellow-legged Gulls over were seen from the breakfast patio.

A stop along LZ-1 in the Malpais south of Orzola produced  Spectacled Warbler, 5 Trumpeter Finches, several Berthelot’s Pipits, a Little Egret and streams of Cory’s Shearwaters heading north. Raven was seen over the road to Ye, where a White Wagtail was on the roadside. Other birds seen en route included 4 Southern Grey Shrikes and Kestrels.

Trumpeter Finch
Berthelot’s Pipit

4th October            Lazy day at Costa Teguise

An early morning walk southward along the promenade from Playa Bastian produced 24 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Turnstones, 1 Little Egret, 2 Hoopoes, 1 Monk Parakeet and a small flock of Linnets. (In addition Yellow-legged Gulls, Spanish Sparrows and Berthelot’s Pipits are widespread and commonly seen on a daily basis.)

The breakfast patio produced the regular Southern Grey Shrike plus a Willow Warbler.

An afternoon stroll northward along the promenade from Playa Bastian saw 2 Common Sandpipers, 7 Turnstones, 1 Curlew and a Common Chiffchaff.  

5th October            Central: Teguise Plain – La Caleta de Famara – Soo – Tinajo – La Santa

Despite a late morning start, a Houbara Bustard and 3 Stone Curlews were seen from the tracks crossing the part-cultivated Teguise Plain (El Jable) taking a rectangular route from LZ-402 west on the Tao track, turning north at the first main track, then returning east on the Tiagua track back to LZ-402 (see Clarke & Collins site 5). Additionally 9 Cattle Egrets were seen with a goat herd.

On the beach at La Caleta de Famara were 7 Sanderling and a Curlew. A Grey Heron was seen in flight near Tiagua. Off La Santa were a couple of Cory’s Shearwaters and 3 Sandwich Terns. An excellent late lunch at the Restaurante La Santa (try the seafood casserole) was followed by 6 Barbary Partridges which flew over the LZ-20 between La Santa and Tinajo. A reverse journey via the same tracks on El Jable produced 2 Houbara Bustards, 6 Stone Curlews and a flock of 40 Lesser Short-toed Larks. During the day 10 Southern Grey Shrikes were seen plus at least 20 Berthelot’s Pipits, 6 Hoopoes and 8 Kestrels. In the evening a Hoopoe was by the patio at Los Molinos and a Kestrel came into roost on our palm tree at 7.55pm. 


6th October            North-east: Guatiza - Arrieta

A visit to the Jardin de Cactus proved interesting (if unrewarding birdwise) followed by a short ride south-east of Guatiza to the saltpans at Los Cocoteros (Clarke & Collins site 7). Birds at this site included Hoopoe, Southern Grey Shrike, 2 Curlew, 7 Redshank, 4 Common Sandpipers, 1 Ringed Plover and 2 Sandwich Terns. A salt worker was busy on the saltpans which may have affected the number of birds around, also it was early afternoon. Lunch was at a beachside bar/restaurant at Arrieta, not recommended.

10 Southern Grey Shrikes were seen throughout the day as well as the regular at Los Molinos, this evening by the pool.

7th October            Lazy Day 2

The shrike was again by the patio. Breakfast was followed by a walk northward along the promenade from Playa Bastian to the centre of town. Birds seen were 1 Dunlin, 2 Turnstones, 4 Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel and 2 Little Egrets.

8th October            South-west: Timanfaya – El Golfo – Salinas de Janubio – El Jable

Southern Grey Shrike by the patio!

2 White Wagtails were seen en route to Timanfaya plus Barn Swallow and Hoopoe, impressive scenery on the tourist circuit around the national park plus the geyser and burning bush gimmicks.

Lunch at one of the many sea-view restaurants at El Golfo gave us views of a half dozen Sandwich Terns and a Common Sandpiper.

The saltpans and lagoon at Janubio (C & C site 2) produced some good waders including 6 Black-winged Stilts, 1 Dunlin, 6 Redshank, 3 Greenshank and a Turnstone. 8 Sandwich Terns were off the beach beyond the seaward end of the lagoon.

Returning to Costa Teguise via El  Jable, route as 5th , produced 1 Houbara Bustard and a flock of at least 200 Lesser Short-toed Larks.

A second Barn Swallow and Hoopoe were seen en route during the day as well as 4+ Southern Grey Shrikes.

9th October            Central: Tahiche – El Jable – Soo – Teguise – Teseguite

The SGS was on site as usual, 2 Cattle Egrets flew over the Avenida del las Palmeras as we left Costa Teguise to visit the Fundacion Cesar Manrique, where 2 Plain Swifts were feeding close to the nearby roundabout.

A drive across El Jable along the track to Soo produced 1 Houbara Bustard, a flock of 11 Stone Curlews in a rocky field very close to Soo, plus the usual shrikes, pipits and Kestrel and 2 Linnets. We opted for lunch in Teguise and can recommend the Acatife for a good meal.

A surprise sighting was a Houbara Bustard seen in flight between Teguise and Teseguite, looking northward from the junction of LZ-404 and LZ-10 at around 4.30pm.         

10th October          Lazy Day 3

A very late breakfast was accompanied by the SGS and this was followed by a walk down to Playa Bastian and southward along the promenade. Obvious migrants were a Redstart and Common Chiffchaff both in off the sea and waders on the rocks were just 1 Turnstone and 1 Common Sandpiper. 4 Sandwich Terns were offshore and a Cattle Egret on some nearby waste ground. The weather changed in the afternoon with winds from the west coupled with rain, sometimes heavy.

11th October          North-east: Arrieta

A surprise in the shape of an immature Black-crowned Night Heron flew north over our resort towards the golf course at 09.00hrs. The SGS remained on site.

Initially heading south, heavy rain persuaded us to head back north to visit  the Jameos del Agua, though a flock of 12 Cattle Egrets were seen beside the LZ-35 south-west of San Bartolome. After the visit to the caves we headed north and parked off the LZ-1 in the Malpais. Between 2.00 and 2.30pm, 50+ Cory’s Shearwaters flew north offshore and 3 Barn Swallows flew north along the shoreline. A Southern Grey Shrike and 3 Kestrels were seen en route.

12th October          South: Puerto del Carmen – Puerto Calero – Playa Blanca

A change of wind direction back to a light north-east proved beneficial to an early morning walk to Playa Bastian and southward along the promenade. Migrants seen were 6 Spotted Flycatchers and 1 Pied Flycatcher as well as 1 Southern Grey Shrike, 2 Hoopoes and a flock of Linnets. 2 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpipers and a Grey Heron were on the rocks and 3 Sandwich Terns offshore. The usual SGS, feeding very close to the patio, and a Kestrel were at the resort.

Headed southwards but with all the roadworks in Puerto del Carmen we didn’t stop and continued down the coast to Puerto Calero. At least 1 Pied Flycatcher was in the palms by the car park there.

Heading further south to Playa Blanca, we stopped for lunch at Restaurante Brihide at one of the marinas (The Rubicon harbour, I think), nice food but a bit pricey. 4 Grey Herons were around the harbour.

Seawatching by the lighthouse at Punta Pechiguera in the evening produced 35 Cory’s Shearwaters and 2 Sandwich Terns. 3 Ringed Plovers, 4 Sanderling and a Turnstone were on the rocks there.

Southern Grey Shrike (disposing of cockroaches)
Spotted Flycatcher

13th October          North: Teseguite – Haria – Guinate – Ye

SGS by the patio, also a Robin there this morning and a Grey Heron over.

First stop was an area of rough ground east of Teseguite by the LZ-404 where there is an area of heavily weathered standing rocks. Seen here were 2 Barbary Partridges, 1 Spectacled Warbler, Hoopoe, Kestrel and Southern Grey Shrike. Heading north, we took the minor road, roughly parallel with LZ-10, to the Vista de las Nieves (by the Ermita de las Nieves) where we had stunning views over the coast below. As well as the inevitable Berthelot’s Pipits were a Raven and 2 Pied Flycatchers by the church.

A stop at the Mirador Guinate produced 2 Barbary Falcons around the cliffs at 2.00pm for twenty minutes (also seen later from LZ-202 near the Mirador del Rio c. 4.20pm), and a Blackbird was seen in flight by the line of trees leading from the Tropical Park at Guinate. An excellent and reasonably priced lunch was had at the Restaurante Volcan de la Corona in Ye, recommended.

Pied Flycatcher
Lesser Short-toed Lark

14th October          Central: El Jable

SGS, Robin and Willow Warbler at the resort.

A pre-breakfast visit to El Jable was rewarding. Arriving there at 8.30am we first took the Soo track which gave us views of 5 Houbara Bustards from one spot and a flock of 28 Stone Curlews as we neared Soo. We then returned to the LZ-402 via La Caleta de Famara, where there were 2 Barn Swallows, and took the track to Tao. As well as the Houbara Bustards (8 in total) and the 28 Stone Curlews, also seen were many Lesser Short-toed Larks, several Southern Grey Shrikes and Kestrels, 3 Hoopoes and 1 Cattle Egret.

In the evening, a stroll down to the promenade at Playa Bastian gave small numbers of distant Cory’s Shearwaters offshore.

15th October          North & Central: Tabayesco – Haria - Guinate – El Jable

SGS by the patio.

An early morning walk to Playa Bastian and promenade southwards produced Hoopoe, Little Egret, 2 Grey Herons, Sandwich Tern, Turnstone, 2 Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Robin and Pied Flycatcher.

Good numbers of birds were seen on our drive out, the day’s tally before El Jable tracks reaching 21 Kestrels, 12 Southern Grey Shrikes, 1 Hoopoe, 6 Ravens over Haria (twice), 3 Spectacled Warblers near Haria, 6 Barbary Partridges near Guinate and a Peregrine over the Vista de las Nieves.

On El Jable (the same rectangular route as 5th October) birds seen were 3 Houbara Bustards, 2 Northern Wheatear, 2 Kestrels, 3 Southern Grey Shrikes and 15 Cattle Egrets.

Disappointment of the holiday was no Cream-coloured Courser. I’ve now only seen them once in four visits to Lanzarote – a pair with chicks close by the LZ-401 just south of Soo in May 2006.

16th October          Packing & Lanzarote Airport!

The SGS was seen as well as superb close views of a Hoopoe on the path in the resort.

Houbara Bustard

Summary by Species:



Cory’s Shearwater

Good numbers off the Malpais 3rd & 11th also Punta Pechiguera 12th

Black-crowned Night Heron

1 over Los Molinos 11th

Cattle Egret

Flocks and singles on several dates

Little Egret

Occasional on coastal areas

Grey Heron

Occasional sightings

Kestrel (F.t. dacotiae)



1 Vista de las Nieves

Barbary Falcon

2 El Risco de Famara 13th

Barbary Partridge

Sightings on 3 dates

Houbara Bustard

Seen on every visit to El Jable + 1 nr Teguise 9th

Black-winged Stilt

6 Laguna de Janubio 8th


Flocks of up to 28 on El Jable

Ringed Plover









} Small numbers on various dates





Common Sandpiper




Yellow-legged Gull


Sandwich Tern

Several sightings on various dates

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon

Common, mostly in towns

Eurasian Collared Dove


Monk Parakeet

1 Playa Bastian 4th

Plain Swift

2 Tahiche 9th


Several sightings on various dates

Lesser Short-toed Lark (C.r. polatzeki)

Flocks of up to 200 on El Jable

Barn Swallow

Sightings on 3 dates

Berthelot’s Pipit


Grey Wagtail

1 Playa Bastian 15th

White Wagtail

Sightings on 3 dates


1 Los Molinos 13-14th , 1 Playa Bastian 15th


1 in off sea Playa Bastian 10th

Northern Wheatear

2 El Jable 15th


1 Guinate 13th

Spectacled Warbler

1 Malpais 3rd , 3 nr Haria 15th

Common Chiffchaff

Occasional sightings

Willow Warbler

Occasional sightings at Los Molinos

Spotted Flycatcher

6 Playa Bastian 12th

Pied Flycatcher

3 on 12th & 1 on 15th Playa Bastian, 1 Vista de las Nieves 13th

Southern Grey Shrike



1 nr Ye 3rd , 1 Vista de las Nieves 13th , 6 Haria 15th

Spanish Sparrow


Linnet (C. c harterti)

Small flocks around Playa Bastian & Los Molinos, occasional elsewhere

Trumpeter Finch

5 Malpais nr Orzola 3rd

Total species:       47

Bob Marchant & Wendy Sully (email:

9th November 2008


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