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A Report from

Lanzarote 12-25 Dec.2000,

Jan Landsverk

My family and I spent 14 days on Lanzarote 12-25 Dec.2000.  The first week we rented a car in order to travel around to watch birds.  We stayed at a nice hotel  - Puerto Carmen - in Puerto del Carmen at the southeast coast.  We had nice weather every day, and the temp. was between 22,5  -  27,5 degrees. 

Lanzarote is known for being more like the moon than any other place on earth - according to Armstrong (the first man on the moon).  Not much is growing there and the variety of birds aren`t that great. Still I think it was better than expected.  We visited almost all the places on the island and were able to see most of the birds there at the time.

Our first target was Salinas de Janibo - at sunrise.  It is a place where you may see different waders and hopefully some other birds as well. It is a saltwork there in operation.  Halfway between here and  Playa Blanca we searched for species like Cream-coloured Courser and Houbara Bustard, of which we only saw two of the latter. 

The next day we visited the northern part of the island and looked forward to seeing the Barbary Partrigde for the first time.  They are easy to see at and around the golf course, and in a short while we saw nearly 100.  Unfortunately we didnt look for Stone-Curlews, which are also here - close to the parking lot.  But we saw a juvenile Egyptian vulture being chased by a Kestrel.   Now we had already seen  the most sought after species except just one.  So we spent the middle of the day on a small, secluded beach. 

On Tuesday  19 Dec. we took the morning ferry to Fuerteventura (just 35 minutes) from Playa Blanca.  We hoped to find the endemic species of  the Canary Island Stonechat. We only had vague descriptions of a couple localities, and were never able to see it.  Quite a disappointment.   So was also the 3 hours of rain we had in the afternoon.  But we saw 5 Cream-coloured Coursers at close range just south of the airport.  We also visited Los Molinos - in rain.  Still we were able to drive this bad road and walk in rain to the end of the dam, where we saw some ducks and waders. Because of the rain we didnt see as much as expected as the sight was very poor and the  fact that we didnt search beyond the dam.  But this island is much more famous for its fantastic beaches - which we didnt try - than for this endemic bird, so one day we have to go back to experience both.

The last week we didnt watch any birds. Still we saw a "new" species in the middle of the town just two hours before we left - Rose-winged or Monk Parakeets.  There is no problem in seeing more than 50 species in a few days in Dec. on Lanzarote, but the island is more attractive for its climate than for its birds in the middle of winter.

Species List

1.   Great Cormorant,   2  Salinas de Janubio
2.   Cattle Egret, 8 near Nazaret and a few at the northeast coast
3.   Little Egret,   10 different places along the coast plus Fuerteventura
4.   Grey heron, 5  Arricife and a few elsewhere along the coast p. F
5.   Ruddy Shelduck, 2 Los Molinos Fuerteventura
6.   Marbled Duck,   4 Los Molinos
7.   Duck sp.,   1 Los Molinos
8.   Egyptian Vulture, 1 Golf Course  Costa Teguise
9.   Common Buzzard,   3 west of  the capital Puerto del Rosario
10.  Common Kestrel,   very common everywhere on both islands
11.  Barbary Partridge, about 100 at or close to the Golf Course Costa Teguise
12.  Common Coot,  about 70  Los Molinos
13.  Houbara Bustard, 6+ about 2 km west of Nazaret close to the road
14.  Eurasian Oystercatcher,   1  Puerto del Carmen - Matagorda beach
15.  Black-winged Stilt  , 6  Salinas de Janubio
16.  Cream-coloured Courser, 5 just south of the airport Fuerteventura 
17.  Little Plover, A few Salinas de Janubio and Arricife
18.  Ringed Plover,   More than 10 Salinas de Janubio, Arricife and Fuerteventura
19.  Kentish Plover,    About 10  Arricife
20.  Grey Plover,   Common around the coast
21.  Knot , More than 10 Salinas de Janubio
22.  Sanderling , About 5 Janubio,4 Arricife, 7 beach Corralejo F.
23.  Turnstone  , Pretty common along the coast and Fuerteventura
24.  Dunlin  , A few Salinas de Janubio
25.  Wood Sandpiper, A few Salinas de Janubio
26.  Green Sandpiper, At least one at Los Molinos  Fuerteventura
27.  Common Sandpiper,   Rather common along the coast
28.  Redshank , A few Salinas de Janubio and Salina del Carmen F.
29.  Greenshank , A few Salinas de Janubio and elsewhere along the coast
30.  Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Arricife
31.  Whimbrel ,  Rather common along the coast
32.  Mediterranean Gull,   6 Arricife and 1 northeast of Puerto del Carmen
33.  Yellow-legged Gull, A few along the coast
34.  Lesser Black-backed Gull,   Common along the coast and everywhere plus Fuerteventura
35.  Sandwich Tern,   Common along the coast, espec. Arricife and P.del Carmen
36.  Rock Pigeon, Timanfaya NP, if real Rock Doves exist at all.
37.  Laughing Dove,  Common in towns
38.  Owl sp.,   My boys heard one from the hotel one late evening
39.  Hoopoe ,  Pretty common, seen more than 10 and 3 Fuerteventura
40.  Parakeet,   sp.,   5 Puerto del Carmen - Rose-winged -  or Monk Parakeet
41.  Lesser Short-toed Lark,   About 50 just west of Nazaret and about 150 Fuerteventura
42.  Barn Swallow,   2 Puerto del Carmen
43.  Berthelot's Pipit,   Very common everywhere both islands
44.  Meadow Pipit,   2 Salinas de Janubio and 2 Golf Course Costa Teguise
45.  White Wagtail, 4 Puerto del Carmen and 4 Golf Course Costa Teguise
46.  Robin ,  2 Golf Course Costa Teguise (Parking lot)
47.  Black Redstart, 1 Haria
48.  Song Thrush,   4 Golf Course Costa Teguise
49.  Blackcap ,  3 Hiara and 2 Puerto del Carmen
50.  Sardinian Warbler,   2 Hiara and 1 Puerto del Carmen
51.  Spectacled Warbler,   Common many places and at Fuerteventura
52.  Chiffchaff ,  1 Golf Course Costa Teguise
53.  Blue Tit,   2 Hiara and 1 Fuerteventura
54.  Great Grey Shrike,   Common throughout the island plus Fuerteventura
55.  Common Raven,   12 Mirador del Rio, 5 Hiara plus Fuerteventura
56.  Spanish Sparrow, Common most places where people  live plus F.
57.  Linnet , Seen Puerto del Carmen, Femes and Fuerteventura
58.  European Goldfinch, 5 Puerto del Carmen
59.  Canary , More than 5 seen Golf Course Costa Teguise.  I have heard that  this species doesn`t exist on Lanzarote. In that case it has to be Serin. 
60.  Trumpeter Finch, Pretty common many places on the island

Akkerhaugen, January 2001

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