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A Report from

Tenerife 9th-23rd October 2009,

Bob Marchant

Holiday based at Callao Salvaje, a quiet resort town on the south west coast, north of the popular holiday resorts of Playa de las Americas and Los Christianos, staying at Pearly Grey Resort, booked with RCI (as an RCI Points owner) who also arranged our car hire with Avis. The holiday was a mix of birding/touring using Where to Watch Birds in Tenerife by Eduardo Garcia del Ray  and Birds of the Atlantic Islands by Tony Clarke as our birding reference. It was noted that roads described in the “Where to” guide published in 2000 did not necessarily correlate with signposts or maps we used!

The resort was right on the coast overlooking an offshore fish farm and provided good views of passing seabirds.

The weather was exceptionally warm (away from the north where it was often misty) with temperatures into the low thirties.

9th – 10th October                Callao Salvaje

Spent time around the resort. Notable sightings included small numbers of Cory’s Shearwaters passing offshore early mornings and evenings, Plain Swifts with a flock of 50 on 10th evening and Grey Wagtail.

11th October          Costa Adeje Golf Course – Erjos Ponds

At the golf course Kestrels, Canary Island Chiffchaffs and Berthelot’s Pipits were around in small numbers before we headed north to Erjos. The ponds provided good sightings of Bolle’s Pigeon (flock of 10), a juvenile Tenerife Kinglet, African Blue Tit, 3 Canaries amongst other common birds and overhead Plain Swifts, 3 Buzzards and 2 Kestrels. A Southern Grey Shrike was noted near Los Menores en route.

Note that the temperature dropped 10 degrees when mist/low cloud obscured the sun!

12th – 13th October               Callao Salvaje

Highlights of a couple of days staying around the resort were 2 Little Egrets, 100+ Cory’s in an hour in the evening of 13th, also 3 Sandwich Terns fishing over the fish farm.

14th October          Erjos Ponds

Pausing in a layby en route in the Montana Picon de Pelado near Santiago del Teide produced 2 Ravens, 3 Buzzards and 50 Plain Swifts over. Highlights of a two hour visit to the ponds in the early afternoon include 1 Sparrowhawk, 6 Buzzards & 2 Kestrels, 10 Coots and 6 Moorhens, 2 Bolle’s Pigeons, 2 Sardinian Warblers and several CI Chiffchaff, 1 Raven, Canaries, Linnets & Chaffinches.

Canary Island Chiffchaff

15th October          Callao Salvaje

Highlights of a stroll around the town were 4 CI Chiffchaffs, 4 Grey Herons and 2 Goldfinches.

16th October          Parque Nacional de las Canadas del Teide

Took a trip up into the mountains and in glorious weather picnicked at the Area Recreativa de Chio in El Pinar de Tenerife. Seated at one of the picnic tables near a drinking fountain gave very close views of 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 6+ Blue Chaffinches, 2 African Blue Tits and 4 Berthelot’s Pipits. A Kestrel was seen overhead. (Also very good toilets at this site!)

Blue Chaffinch
Berthelot's Pipit
Great Spotted Woodpecker

African Blue Tit

17th October          La Caleta

Discovered this village with many seafood restaurants near Adeje Golf Course, a walk around the harbour produced 8 Turnstones and 3 Grey Wagtails.

18th October          La Orotava

A trip to the north of the island around the rural villages inland from the coast ended at a viewpoint and paragliding base overlooking Puerto de la Cruz. The high ground was unfortunately covered in low cloud but would occasionally clear. At least 50 Canaries flocked around the farmland and 2 Tenerife Kinglets, African Blue Tits and numerous CI Chiffchaffs inhabited the vegetation at the viewpoint. Buzzard and Kestrels were also seen.

19th October          La Gomera

A ferry crossing to the island of La Gomera produced 33 Cory’s Shearwaters (19 outbound). Highlights of a coach trip around the island were 3 Laurel Pigeons, seen in flight near the Parque Nacional de Garonjay Visitor Centre, several Tenerife Kinglets and CI Chiffchaffs, Chaffinch and Goldfinches and Plain Swifts. Kestrels were also seen in several locations.

20th October          Adeje Colf Course

The birding highlight of the trip today. While queuing in traffic on the road out of Armenime a large raptor was noted overhead. Pulling into a side road we had good views of a Booted Eagle circling over before drifting northward. We later parked on the north side of the Golf Course overlooking some rough scrubby ground and had good views of Barbary Partridge (10), 1 Southern Grey Shrike, 1 Grey Wagtail plus several common species. After about an hour, the Booted Eagle reappeared overhead intent on one of the Barbary Partridges. A spectacular dive brought the Booted Eagle to within 60 metres though it failed to catch the partridge, the eagle remained in the area for some 15 minutes.


Booted Eagle

21st October          Adeje Golf Course

Perhaps hoping for a repeat performance of the previous day we again parked overlooking the scrub to the north of the Golf Course. No eagle this time but excellent views of a fem/imm Merlin dashing low over the scrub plus our only sighting of Hoopoe this trip. Also 2 Southern Grey Shrikes were located plus 1 Little Egret.

 Southern Grey Shrike  


Barbary Partridge (well camouflaged in typical scrubby habitat north of Adeje Golf Course)

22nd October         Area Recreativa de Chio

Returned to the picnic site for more photo opportunities but the weather was less kind with low cloud rolling in soon after we arrived. However at least 15 Blue Chaffinches assembled by our picnic table and 3 Ravens croaked in the trees close by. 2 Buzzards were also seen that day before the mist and a Tenerife Kinglet was heard.



23rd October          Callao Salvaje – Airport

An uneventful final morning!

Summary by Species:



Cory’s Shearwater

Daily sightings early mornings and evenings from the resort. Small numbers but closer views from the ferry to La Gomera.

Little Egret

Occasional sightings of ones or twos,mostly at the coast

Grey Heron

Common coastal and Erjos Ponds


1 Erjos Ponds 14th


Regularly seen over higher ground mainly in the north

Booted Eagle

1 Adeje Golf Course 20th

Kestrel (F.t. canariensis)



1 Adeje Golf Course 21st

Barbary Partridge

Adeje Golf Course


Erjos Ponds


Erjos Ponds


La Caleta

Yellow-legged Gull (L.c. atlantis)


Sandwich Tern

3 off Callao Savaje 13th

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon


Bolle’s Pigeon

Erjos Ponds 10 on 11th, 2 on 14th

Laurel Pigeon

3 La Gomera 19th

Eurasian Collared Dove

3 noted in Callao Salvaje 15th

Plain Swift

Fairly common


1 Adeje Golf Course 21st

Great Spotted Woodpecker (D.m. canariensis)

Area Recreativa de Chio

Berthelot’s Pipit


Grey Wagtail (M.c. canariensis)

Several, mostly coastal (migrants?)


Several sightings

Blackbird (C.m. cabrerae)

Fairly common

Sardinian Warbler

2 Erjos Ponds 14th

Canarian Island Chiffchaff


Tenerife Kinglet

Several sightings, particularly La Gomera

African Blue Tit (C.u. teneriffae)

Several sightings

Southern Grey Shrike

1 Los Menores 11th, max 2 Adeje Golf Course


Erjos Ponds, Area Recreativa de Chio

Spanish Sparrow

Several sightings – max 6 Adeje Golf Course

Chaffinch (F.c. canariensis)

3 Erjos Ponds, 1 La Gomera visitor centre

Blue Chaffinch (F.t. teydea)

Area Recreativa de Chio


Fairly common in rural agricultural areas


Occasional sightings

Linnet (C. c meadewaldoi)

2 Erjos Ponds 14th

Total species:       37

Bob Marchant  (email:

18th February 2010


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