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A Report from


David Tattersley

My family consists of myself David, my wife Anita, my son Benjamin and my daughter Alexandra. During our two week stay in Lanzarote we were based near the old town of Puerto del Carmen. The weather during our holiday was very unsettled, winds mainly from the south west with rain on twelve days out of a possible fourteen accompanied by thunder and lightning on four days!

All my birding was done early in the morning between 07.45-11.30 hours. The following is a concise report on the sites visited and the maximum number of birds seen at any one visit in order of appearance.

Salinas de Janubio 5 Visits (My personal favourite)
2 Common Kestrel
26 Yellow Legged Gull
2 Grey Heron
15 Black Winged Stilt (Including 6 juveniles)
12 Greenshank
10 Common Sandpiper
14 Turnstone
16 Common Redshank
4 Ringed Plover
9 Grey Plover (Mainly on the small lagoon between the lake and the sea at the southern end of the salt pans)
3 Black Tailed Godwit (Usually on the inlet nearest the cliff-face at the southern end of the lake)
2 Whimbrel
1 Greater Flamingo (This particular individual has apparently been there for around two months upto press though I personally did not see it feed once!)
2 Raven (Flying over heading north)
4 Black Headed Gull
3 Teal
2 Hoopoe
12 Berthelot's Pipit
2 Little Egret
1 Eleonora's Falcon (Fantastic close up views of a light morph hunting around the south eastern end of the salinas and on one occasion being mobbed by a common kestrel!)
2 Kentish Plover
1 Spotted Redshank
46 Sanderling
1 Knot (Feeding on the lagoon with the grey plovers)
14 Trumpeter Finch (Feeding on the cliffs above the inlet at the south eastern end of the salinas)
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Little Ringed Plover
1 Spotted Sandpiper (Along the shoreline at the south western end of the salinas. This particular individual has been at the salinas since the previous month)
9 Dunlin (Usually along the south western shoreline)
2 Little Stint (Amongst the small party of Dunlins)

On a general note, having visited the salinas two years ago, at the same time of year, it was very noticeable how scarce Little Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover were compared to December 2000. Presumably they either breed in fewer numbers or no longer breed there at all.

El Jable Plain Near Teguise 2 Visits
4 Houbara Bustard (Including one displaying male). On my second visit I found three. Generally I found them relatively easy to see. Once you had located the first one inevitably another would follow shortly! The best areas were at the northern end of the plain just south of the Teguise/Yaiza road near the cement factory.
14 Great Grey Shrike (Had a great view of a juvenile being fed by it's parent)
30+ Lesser Short Toed Lark
50+ Berthelot's Pipit
1 Hoopoe
2 Stone Curlew
2 Raven

On a general note I was particularly disappointed not to locate any Cream Coloured Coursers. A fellow birder that I bumped into on both occasions that I visited the area also suffered from the curse of the dearth of coursers. Has anyone seen any in this area or indeed any part of Lanzarote recently?

On a very serious note do not visit the area without a mobile phone or money, particularly in a hired Renault Clio! I had the unfortunate experience to have a car-breakdown followed quickly by a mini nervous-breakdown in the middle of the plain appproximately 2 miles from the nearest settlement. I will be forever in debt to the Lanzarotean bloke in his mid-fifties who despite his total lack of the English spoken language and my modest appreciation of his spoken language somehow or other managed to rescue me in my hour of need!

Arreciffe Harbour 1 Visit
6 Sandwich Tern
1 Bar Tailed Godwit
1 Little Ringed Plover
1 Whimbrel
3 Dunlin
2 Ringed Plover
8 Turnstone
2 Common Sandpiper
2 White Wagtail

On a general note, the best day to visit would be a Sunday due to traffic congestion at any other time of the week!

Los Cocoteras 1 Visit
4 Common Redshank
2 Spotted Redshank
2 Greenshank
2 Lesser Short Toed Lark
1 Lesser Black Backed Gull
2 Common Sandpiper
6 Yellow Legged Gull
10 Berthelot's Pipit
2 White Wagtail
2 Kestrel
3 Dunlin
2 Great Grey Shrike
1 Sandwich Tern (Just offshore south of the saltpans)

On a general note, although the saltpans are well worth a visit, I personally found the site a little tricky to obtain close views of the birds without causing some disturbance to them.

La Santa 1 Visit
2 Little Egret
3 Common Sandpiper
9 Sandwich Tern
2 Turnstone
5 Grey Plover
2 Whimbrel
1 Kestrel

On a general note there were certainly greater numbers of athletes and cyclists from the nearby complex, of which one or two female specimens were definitely worth a second look!

Teguise Golf Course 1 Visit
1 White Wagtail
1 Chiffchaff
1 Robin
11 Collared Dove

On a general note, on my arrival at the course I went to the reception and asked for permission to enter the course. I was refused entry as I could not prove that I have a golf handicap. I replied that I just wanted to walk around the course to observe the birdlife but to no avail as the rather aloof young lady said it would be too dangerous. I found her final comment rather amusing as the weather had taken a turn for the worse at this point, once more, and I would have been the only person daft enough to be out there!
All in all, a complete waste of time and what's more not one Barbary Partridge to be had!

Villa Mimosa Los Mojones Puerto del Carmen The Tattersley Residence For The Fortnight
18 Spanish Sparrow
9 Collared Dove
3 Linnet
4 Greenfinch
1 Great Gey Shrike
2 Blackcap (One male and one female)
2 Common Starling (Very fortunate as the pair were nesting in a palm tree nearby)
6 Chiffchaff
1 Sardinian Warbler (Female)
1 Barn Swallow (Winging its merry way southwards, observed lying on my back in the heated villa pool (29 degrees celsius), one of many special moments of a great family holiday, despite the lousy weather more typical of an English summer!)

48 species observed in total, probably a little unfortunate not to see barbary partridge and as for the coursers who knows?, the fellow birder from the Scilly Isles tried a lot harder than me, visiting the El Jable plain five times in eleven days, unfortunately for him with the same result!

Ah well it may have to be Fuerteventura next time, the coursers are supposed to be guaranteed there aren't they?

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