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Thursday, 12 September 2013


Just back from a sunshine Holiday with the Mrs to Tenerife, staying at Playa de las Americas it was mainly relaxing by the pool and soaking up the sun or having a wander around the resort, still you can't turn off from birding can you and even though it was basically a concrete jungle there was still enough greenery and rocky coastline to host a spattering of birds. I got good views of Canary Islands Chiffchaffs and Spanish Sparrows from the Hotel Balcony each morning which overlooked a small garden area with a few Palm Trees and shrubs, also the ever present Collared Doves and Blackbirds were common around the Resort, small groups of Plain Swifts and noisy Monk Parakeets were seen everyday plus the occasional Canary Islands race of Grey Wagtail, the rocky parts of the coastline were fairly quiet compared to two years ago with just a handful of Ringed Plovers, Whimbrels and Turnstones plus a Little Egret that flew in one evening and of course always plenty of Yellow Legged Gulls flying over. 
Spanish Sparrows although they were all largely in winter plumage now

Canary Islands Chiffchaff

a hazy Mount Teide

some interesting flora

Plain Swifts, not easy to photograph particularly as I only had my small lens
just silhouettes really

A few Monk Parakeets were about and also these two fellas
outside the Hotel one evening, I think they are Nanday Parakeets

Y L Gulls

a Whimbrel on the rocky coastline

I did managed a couple of birding trips though and on the 4th I went up into the mountains and to the Las Lajas picnic site and just as all the trip reports say it is probably the best place to see Blue Chaffinch, it was a tick for me and I got superb views as they came down to the dripping tap on the small building towards the far end of the site, a drinking pool has also been provided under a nearby tree now and I sat there for quite a while photographing the Chaffinches plus the Canary Islands race of Great Spotted Woodpecker and Canary's that joined them drinking there, surprisingly no Serins though, there was also a couple of Ravens plus the Canary Islands races of Blue Tit and Kestrel in the area but although I heard a Crest call I didn't manage to locate any Canary Islands Kinglets.
Las Lajas

Blue Chaffinch

Canary Islands race of Great Spotted Woodpecker
a greyer breast is one of the features

Canary, the Islands namesake

Canary Islands race of Blue Tit, darker head pattern

Tenerife Lizards

 Two years ago I did one of the Boat trips to see Pilot Whales and Dolphins but I didn't think they went far enough out for some of the better seabirds so on the 9th I took the Ferry out from Los Christianos to La Gomera to see if I would fare any better, the answer was no, loads of Cory's Shearwaters as to be expected but unfortunately no other seabirds were seen, it wasn’t a total disappointment though after all its not everyday you get to see Cory's Shearwaters and so well but also I had an hour or so to kill in San Sabastian before catching the Ferry back and while watching a load of Plain Swifts flying along a cliff face near the Harbour I heard a Raptor call and got onto a superb adult Barbary Falcon that was patrolling the cliffs, it swiftly dispatched a feral Rock Dove then was briefly mobbed by a Kestrel before it settled on the cliffs to devour its prey, a Common Sandpiper was in Los Christianos Harbour when I got back.
the Ferry

Los Christianos

Mt Teide rising above the clouds

La Gomera

San Sabastion

the cliffs where I saw the Barbary Falcon

leaving San Sabastion

plenty of Cory's Shearwaters

Common Sand

As well as the birds there was also several Monarch Butterflies and Emeror Dragonflies seen around the Resort plus many Tenerife Lizards particularly at Las Lajas.

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