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A Report from

Fuerteventura, Feb 3rd - March 3rd, 2010 ,

Michael Newhouse

After a pleasant flight on Thomson we drove to Caleta de Fuste where we stayed in the Amuley Mar 2 complex for 4 weeks. We had a car for all the time and travelled extensively around the island.

It had rained the week before we arrived but had been very dry for months, so dry that many of the sites mentioned in previous reports were bone dry such as Rosa de Catalina Garcia, Barranco de La Torre and La Rosa del Taro. On the other hand sites that had been dismissed as being too disturbed such as the Salinas del Carmen were excellent spots particularly near sunset when all the workers had gone.

Grey-crowned Crane
Monk Parakeet

The island was full of surprises, almost on a daily basis, with oddities such as 5 grey herons on a cliff top south of Morro Jable, 4 Sacred Ibis and 2 Grey Crowned Cranes in the salt marsh between the beach and the promenade at Morro Jable and 5 Whimbrel on the Golf Course next to the petrol station in Caleta, I actually saw them whilst I was filling up and what about Ruddy Shellduck they were seen  feeding with goats and hardly ever near any noticeable water.

The coastal area around Caleta de Fuste had many of the species expected such as Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Whimbrel, turnstones, sandwich tern, little ringed plover, Kentish plover, grey plover, gannet, common sandpiper, redshank, dunlin, lesser black-backed gull and yellow legged gull as well as little egret and a solitary spoonbill.

Of the Canarian specialities we managed to see the fuerteventura Chat in several locations, all of which were unexpected, Berthelot’s pipit were common and abundant as were Trumpeter Finch and Lesser short toed Lark. The Cream coloured courser proved elusive  but we eventually saw three of them.

The Guirre and the Barbary Partridge were viewed on several occasions but only one view of stone curlew was achieved and no sightings of the Houbara

Some birds turned up almost at every location such as the Southern Grey Shrike and the Hoopoe plus the Spanish Sparrow and Raven.

The island is challenging as a birding location as it is a rugged terrain and can be devoid of birds for hours and then suddenly produce a surprise such as the Egyptian vulture (guirre locally) or a swallow, pallid swift or plain swift can fly past. There are also the occasional birds that are common in the UK but not so on the Island, goldfinch, linnet, thrush, robin and blackcap. The Spectacled Warbler was a great delight as it was seen feeding young in Antigua and again frequently in many locations. Turtle Dove were found in a few locations as were the African Blue Tit.

Los Molinos did have some water in it but only a few birds were on view as there were no reeds and therefore little cover for them the Barranco near the coast  had common stonechat, a booted eagle and skylarks.

Sea watching was not very productive, despite observations almost every day, particularly on the east coast in the North part of Caleta we had only one good day when the Cory Shearwaters were easy to see and 2 gannets.

The weather was always warm with several days very windy and three days when it rained, we only received a moderate squall compared to what Madiera received from the same system. The moisture made many parts of the island become green but did not replenish the Rosa  de Catalina Garcia or Rosa del Taro. It did however form a large pond in the Barranco De La Torre and we saw 3 Black-winged stilt, little ringed plover and a green sandpiper there.


Cory’s shearwater

Calonectris diomedea

Morro Jable


Morus  bassanus

Immature at Caleta, mature Morro Jable

Little egret

Egretta garzetta

Regular along coasts

Grey heron

Ardea cinerea

Coastal areas and even in desert regions

Eurasian spoonbill

Platalea leucordia

Caleta and salinas

Glossy ibis

Plegadis falcinellus

One at MorroJable

Sacred ibis

Threskiornis aethiopicus

4 at Morro Jable

Ruddy shellduck

Tadorna ferruginea

Golf courses and Barranco del torre

Common teal

Anas crecca

4 at Los Molinos

Tufted duck

Anas fuligula

One at Salinas Golf

Marbled duck

Marmaronetta anguistirostris

One at Salinas Golf

Egyptian vulture

Neoprene percnopterus

Several sightings of pairs inland

Common buzzard

Buteo buteo

Regular across island

Common Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

Regular across island

Lesser Kestrel

Falco naumanni

Pair nesting in the Barranco de Torre

Booted eagle

Hieraaetus pennatus

One at Los Molinos

Barbary partridge

Alectoris barbara

Pairs seen around a dry Catalina Garcia

Eurasian coot

Fulica atra

Los Molinos and Golf courses

Black-winged stilt

Himantopus himantopus

Single at Salinas and 3 in Barranco de torre

Stone curlew

Burhinus oedicnemus

2 just outside Antigua

Cream coloured courser

Cursorious cursor

2 near El Cotillo

Little ringed plover

Charadrius dubious

Only seen by a pool in Barranco de Torre

Ringed plover

Charadrius hiaticula

Frequent on east coast

Kentish plover

Charadrius alexandrinus

A few at Caletta

Grey plover

pluvialis squatarola

Singles at Caletta and Salinas del Carmen


Calidris alba

Small flocks on east coast


Arenaria interpres

Regular on all coasts


Calidris alpina

3 at Salinas del Carmen

Little stint

Calidris minuta

Single at Salinas

Common sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos

Regular at coastal areas and fresh water

Wood sandpiper

Tringa glareola

Single at Salinas del Carmen

Common redshank

Tringa totanus

Singles at Caletta and Salinas

Common greenshank

Tringa nebularia

2 at Los Molinos


Numenius phaeopus

Regular on all coasts and even golf courses

Yellow-legged gull

Larus cachinaans atlantis


Lesser black-backed gull

Larus fuscus


Sandwich tern

Sterna sandvicensis

Regular on coast large roost at Caletta 30+

Rock dove/ feral

Columba livia


Eurasian collared dove

Streptopelia decaocto


European turtle dove

Streptopelia turtur

2 at Antigua

Pallid swift

Apus pallidus

Several flew over Triquivijate

Plain swift

Apus unicolor

A few flying over central island

Eurasian hoopoe

Upupa epopos

Widespread seen almost every day

Monk parakeet

Myiopsitta monachus

Large colony 15+ Morro Jable

Common skylark

Alauda arvensis

Several in Los Molinos area

Lesser short-toed lark

Calandrella rufescens

Large flocks in Barranco de Torre

Barn swallow

Hirundo rustica

One or two seen across the island

House martin

Delichon urbica

2 near Antigua

Berthelot’s pipit

Anthus berthelotii


Meadow pipit

Anthus pratensis

2 near Triquivijate

White wagtail

Motacilla alba

A few at airport and golf courses

European robin

Erithacus rubicula

One at Antigua

Fuerteventuera chat

saxicola dacotiae

Several seen in Barranco del torre and at Gran Tarajal.

Common stonechat

saxicola torquata

Single male at Los Molinos Barranco

Song thrush

Turdus philomelos

4 at Costa Calma


Sylvia atricapilla

Several at Costa Calma and Antigua

Sardinian warbler

Sylvia melanocephala


Spectacled warbler

Sylvia conspicillata

Common in Barrancos and around Antigua where a pair feeding young seen.

Common chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

Costa Calma

African bluetit

Cyanistes ultramarines degener

Costa Calma and Betancuria

Southern grey shrike

Lanius mreidionalis koenigi

Common in all areas

Common raven

Corvus corax tingitanus


Spanish sparrow

Passer hispaniolensis


Common linnet

Carduelis cannabina harterti

Small flocks at Costa Calma

European goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis meadewaldoi

Several at Costa Calma woodland

Trumpeter finch

Bucanetes githagineus amantum

Abundant around Barrancos and even  on the promenade north of Caleta de Fuste


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