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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, 15th april 22th april 2004,
A short trip to Fuertaventura and one day to Lanzarote with my girlfriend to go birdwatching and get some rest. Because I needed till the very last day to see Cream-coloured Courser, I actually didn’t get much rest. Birdwatching - on my own - was more difficult than I expected, especially when it was windy (fuerteventura = strong wind). Nevertheless I saw all the species I wanted, except the Marbled Duck. We purchased the tickets for plane and appartment at www.devakantiediscounter.nl for € 355,- per person and car-rental was not very expensive: Citroën Saxo for a week € 155,-. Although it wasn’t a 4WD and a rather tumble-down car, it brought us everywhere.
15th april: Day of arrival, very short time birding (Spanish Sparrow)
16th april: Barranco de la Torro, Las Peňitas, Las Parcelas/Los Molinos
17th april: Northern part of Fuerteventura/no birdwatching
18th april: Barranco de las Lajas/El Cotillo, La Oliva
19th april: Catalina Garcia (S. of Tuineje), Playa Jandia, Costa Calma Plains
20th april: Lanzarote
21st april: Barranco de las Lajas, La Oliva, Los Molinos, Las Peňitas, Barranco de la Torro, Costa Calma Plains
22nd april: Day of return.
Just beginning quite relaxed because I thought it would be easy to see all the species I wanted. From our appartment at Caleta de Fustes I saw – of course – some Spanisch Sparrows, and drove to Barranco de la Torro. No Chats here, but some Bertholots pipits, two Hoopoes and three Trumpeter Finches. Then we drove to Morro del Cortijo where there were quite some Lesser Short-toed Larks. It seemed to be quite a good place to see Blue Tit, ssp degener, but the large ugly dogs at the farm kept me from looking relaxed at that site. I drove to Embalsa de las Peňitas, south of Betancuria. Unfortunately the lake was dried up, but I saw several nice species, one Blue Tit, Sardinian and Spectacled Warbler, Egyptian Vulture, Southern Shrike, 6 Ravens and I heard a Barbary Partridge.
Now it was time for Los Molinos. I tried two tracks, from the eastern part of the FV-207, I tried a track to the lake (to west) but the track was too bad and ended at a goat farm. I also tried the northern part of the FV-207, this track was closed/forbidden to drive into. Eventually I found out how to get to the lake, see 21th. I drove further to Las Parcelas, one Egyptian Vulture and a Little Egret. The restaurant here seems to be a perfect place to eat fish meals.
One day just sightseeing around the island. Nothing special where birds are concerned. At the end of the day one hour watching over sea at Caleta de Fustes, 60 Cory’s Shearwaters borealis and one Dolphin-thing.
I got up early, it was time for the Houbara Bustard. I drove nervously to what seemed to be one of the best places to see them, Barranco de las Lajas (SE of Caleta del Cotillo). Take the FV-10 from La Oliva to the NW and immediately at the end of the village turn left to a track that runs parallel for a while with the FV-10. After about 1 km the track bends to the left, just drive another 150 metres and you have a good view at the landscape. I found one Bustard here! It started to rain and it was windy so I drove on, saw two Stone-curluws and two Black-bellied Sandgrouse flying over, to Tindaya. I wish I had a four wheel drive here, our Saxo and my girlfriend didn’t like the track, but eventually we made it to Tindaya. At the end of the track, just north of Tindaya two Barbary Partridge.
Back to La Oliva for the Chat. Take the FV-102 from La Oliva to the east. Drive about 1,5 or 2 km and just before the road bends to the right (at any rate as I remember it well), there’s a track to the left, which leads to what used to be a cardump. If you take this road after 2-3 km the road goes over a small knoll with at the right side of the road some fences. Here I saw 3 Chats, two male and one female (the place is also described in the Birdwatchers’ Guide to the Canary Islands). Other species here: Raven, Trumpeter Finch, Spectacled Warbler, Hoopoe and Southern Shrike.
Catalina Garcia, south of Tuineje, this is a small pond at the eastern side of the FV-20. Some nice species here: Ruddy Shelduck, Litte Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt and Common Greenshank.
Costa Calma Plains: one Black-bellied Sandgrouse flew over the road.
Playa Jandia: lots of Monk Parakeet, 1 Sacred Ibis and 2 Laughing Doves.
If you are on holiday with family, this is a very beautiful island to visit, especially the winefields. For birdwatching I think the best time here is May.
In the middle of the city of Arrecife there’s a colony of Cattle Egrets, about 20 exx.
At Galeria de Famara, near Haria, there’s a place to see the Canary. The precise place is described in the Birdwatchers’ Guide. I saw about 20 Canaries here, four Spectacled Warbler and one juvenile Egyptian Vulture.
Lots of Cory’s Shearwaters seen from the ferry, returnticket 2 persons with car € 57,80.
A lot to do today, so I got up early at 6:00 AM. I went on my own to try and find Cream-coloured Courser and Plain Swift (Los Molinos here I come). I also wanted to make some pictures. First to Barranco de las Lajas, here I found almost immediately 5 Houbara Bustard, took some pictures and left because I didn’t have much time (girlfriend quality time stuff). To the Chat place near La Oliva, but no Chats this time. AT LAST to Los Molinos. There is a track leading from the tiny village Colonia García Escámes (FV-207) SE to the reservoir, turn left at the goat farm. The track is rough, but my wild Saxo handled it very well. Here several Plain Swift, Pallid and Common Swifts, Barn and House swallows, 9 adult and 2 juv. Ruddy Shelducks, 2 Common Greenshanks and 2 Black-winged Stilts. The famous Tony Clarke also saw a female Chat here before I arrived. Along the track Cream-coloured Courser and Black-bellied Sandgrouse can be seen, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see them. At Embalsa de las Peňitas one Blue Tit, Hoopoe and Spectacled Warbler. Without Cream-coloured Courser I returned to my girlfriend. It was easy to persuade her having dinner near Costa Calma Plains (maybe the best place to see Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Cream-coloured Courser) and looked there for Cream-coloured Courser for a while. Finally I saw one adult and one juv! So all the species I wanted to see were done. Had dinner, Wienerschnitzel mit viel Große Bier. Even in an Italian restaurant you can get Wienerschnitzel, perfect Island for yours truly!
1. CORY’S SHEARWATER
60+ off shore at Caleta de Fustes 16th; 100+ from ferry between Feurteventura and Lanzarote
2. LITTLE EGRET
1 at Las Parcelas 16th; 1 at Las Parcelas 18th; 2 at Catalina Garcia 19th; 1 at Arrecife (L) 20th
3. CATTLE EGRET
At least 16 (4 ad. and 12 juvs.) at Arrecive (L) 20th
3. SACRET IBIS
1 at Playa Jandia 19th
4. RUDDY SHELDUCK
1 adult and 7 juveniles at Catalina Garcia 19th; 9 adult and 2 juveniles at Los Molinos 21st
5. EGYPTIAN VULTURE
1 adult over Las Peňitas 16th; 1 adult over Las Parcelas 16th; 1 adult and 1 juvenile over Haria (L) 20th; 1 juvenile over Galeria de Famara (L) 20th
2 over Las Peňitas 16th; 1 at Las Peňitas 21st
2 at Puerto del Rosario 17th; 2 at Barranco de las Lajas 18th; 6 on the way 19th; 2 over Mirador del Rio (L) 20th; 1 over Haria (L) 20th; 1 at Galeria de Famara (L) 20th; 1 at Las Peňitas 21st
8. BARBARY PARTRIDGE
1 heard at Las peňitas 16th; 2 seen north of Tindaya (La montana de Tindaya) 18th
6 at Catalina Garcia 19th; 4 at Los Molinos 21st
10. HOUBARA BUSTARD
1 at Barranco de las Lajas 18th; 5 at Barranco de las Lajas 21st
2 at Barranco de las Lajas 18th
12. BLACK-WINGED STILT
4 at Catalina Garcia 19th; 2 at Los Molinos 21st
13. CREAM-COLOURED COURSER
1 adult and 1 juvenile at Costa Calma Plains 21st
14. LITTLE-RINGED PLOVER
2 at Catalina Garcia 19th
15. GREATER RINGED PLOVER
3 at Puerto del Rosario 17th
16. KENTISH PLOVER
2 at Puerto del Rosario 17th; 2 at Catalina Garcia 19th
1 at Punta de la Tiňosa 17th; 1 at Arrecife (L) 20th
18. COMMON GREENSHANK
1 at Catalina Garcia 19th; 2 at Los Molinos 21st
19. COMMON SANDPIPER
1 at Las Parcelas 18th
2 at Puerto del Rosario 17th; 4 at Corralejo 17th; 2 at Punta de la Tiňosa 17th; 3 at Arrecife (L) 20th
3 at Puerto del Rosario 17th; 1 at Arrecife (L) 20th
2 at Arrecife beach (L) 20th
23. YELLOW LEGGED GULL
24. SANDWICH TERN
At least 4 at Costa Calma coast 19th
25. BLACK-BELLIED SANDGROUSE
2 flying over Barranco de las Lajas 18th; 1 over Costa Calma 19th
26. ROCK DOVE
27. COLLARED DOVE
28. TURTLE DOVE
2 at Las Peňitas 16th; 1 SW of La Oliva 18th; 2 at Galeria de Famara (L) 20th
28. LAUGHING DOVE
2 at Playa Jandia 19th
29. PLAIN SWIFT
At least 3 at Los Molinos 21st
30. COMMON SWIFT
Occasionally seen at different places
31. PALLID SWIFT
2 flying over Barranco de las Lajas 18th; 3 north of Tindaya (La montana de Tindaya) 18th; at least 3 at Los Molinos 21st
32. MONK PARAKEET
15+ at Playa Jandia 19th
2 in Barranco 16th; 1 at Las Peňitas 16th; 1 north of Tindaya (La montana de Tindaya) 18th;1 at Las Parcelas 18th; 1 SW of La Oliva 18th; 1 at Playa Jandia 19th; 4 at Costa Calma Plains 19th; 2 at Tahiche Golf course (L) 20th; 1 at Las Peňitas 21st; 2 at Costa Calma Plains 21st
34. LESSER SHORT-TOED LARK
35. BARN SWALLOW
36. HOUSE MARTIN
1 at Punta Aguda 17th; 1 at Los Molinos 21st
37. BERTHOLOT’S PIPIT
38. FUERTEVENTURA CHAT
2 males and 1 female SW of La Oliva 18th
39. SPECTACLED WARBLER
1 at Las Peňitas 16th; 1 at Punta Aguda 17th; 1 SW of La Oliva 18th; 1 at Catalina Garcia 19th; 2 at Tahiche Golf course (L) 20th; 4 at Galeria de Famara (L) 20th; 1 at Las Peňitas 21st
40. SARDINIAN WARBLER
3 at Las Peňitas 16th
41. BLUE TIT
1 at Las Peňitas 16th; 1 at Las Peňitas 21st
42. SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE
1 at Las Peňitas 16th; 1 at Punta Aguda 17th; 4 at Barranco de las Lajas 18th; 2 SW of La Oliva 18th; 2 at Costa Calma Plains 21st
6 over Las Peňitas 16th; 3 SW of La Oliva 18th; 2 over Mirador del Rio (L) 20th; 2 over Haria (L) 20th
44. SPANISH SPARROW
20+ at Galeria de Famara (L) 20th
At least 2 at Las peňitas 16th
47. TRUMPETER FINCH
3 in Barraco 16th; 3 SW of La Oliva 18th
1 at Las Peňitas 16th