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Sunday, 15 June 2014


Just back from a sunshine holiday with the Mrs to Fuerteventura staying in Correlejo this time, fairly quiet around the Resort as usual, mainly Collared Doves and Spanish Sparrows, Yellow Legged Gulls and a handful of Plain Swifts most days plus occasional sightings of Linnets, Swallow and House Martin, Ravens, Hoopoes (three chasing each other around one morning), Kestrel, Ring Necked Parakeets and a Little Egret near the Harbour, no Waders though, a bit early in the year won’t be passing back through yet I expect. I had found out about a birder called Derek Bradbury who lives out here now and offered guided days out, I had arranged a day out with him on the Monday, a bit on the expensive side but saved messing around hiring a car etc and hopefully he would get me a couple of lifers, we started on the plains just west of Tindaya, it was a bit quiet to start with although he did inform me the birding was better during the winter months, but we were soon watching a flock of Lesser Short Toed Larks, then a movement further back caught my eye and I had my first lifer, a pair of Cream Coloured Coursers running around, we carried on slowly along the track and a well camouflaged bird shape fell in to my line of vision, I called Derek to stop hoping it to be a Houbara Bustard, alas no, not quite big enough it was a male Black Bellied Sandgrouse, good to see though and a lot closer than I’ve seen them in Spain, we carried on along the track for another few miles with better views of another pair of Coursers close to the track, more Lesser Short Toed Larks plus Berthelot’s Pipits, Stone Curlews were heard calling although not seen but no sign of any Bustards unfortunately. He took me to another site nearby where a small reservoir attracted Black Bellied Sandgrouse in to drink and soak up the water as they do, half a dozen birds were present and we stayed a while watching the Sandgrouse coming and going, a mixed flock of Larks, Pipits and Spanish Sparrows coming in to drink, Spectacled Warblers flitting around the surrounding vegetation while a Canary Islands race of Southern Grey Shrike stood sentinel and a Buzzard went over, we then had walk around some nearby fields, if you could call them that, where Olive trees and various Grasses were being grown, apparently the Bustards sometimes fed there but we only added a Kestrel to the list, we started back to the car with Derek saying it looked like we were out of luck with the Bustards when one suddenly flew up about 20 yards in front of us, great flight views and we watched it drop down some distance away, we made our way there but never managed to relocate the bird, its amazing how such a big bird can just disappear, however it was lifer number two and both target species in the bag. He then took me to another site out towards El Cotilla where there was another couple of small reservoirs and a Barranco with a small Tobacco Plantation at one end where we hoped to find Fuerteventura Chat, they weren’t playing ball though and apart from a fleeting glimpse of what may have been one disappearing over a ridge we didn’t see any, we picked up Raven, Turtle Dove, Trumpeter Finch and Barbary Partridges in this area though. After a late lunch we headed south to the Embalse de los Molinos, still a fair bit of water there but it would have obviously been better during the winter months, even so 30-40 Ruddy Shelducks were an impressive sight as well as a few Coots, a handful of Black Winged Stilts, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers and a colony of Smart looking Spanish Sparrows in a disused building plus another Kestrel, cracking views of a couple of Lesser Short Toed Larks along the approach road as well. With the afternoon getting on Derek took me to the last site of the day, a feeding station for the Islands Egyptian Vultures, there were six birds present, two juvs, three sub-adults and one full adult bird as well as several Ravens, a Buzzard, a couple of Little Egrets (which even surprised Derek) and one or two Hoopoes, two of the Vultures had a bit of an aerial battle and it was most amazing to watch them swoop and tumble like a pair of Ravens, never realised they were as agile as that, a good day. Having a room on the ground floor I also got a good view of some the Butterflies flitting around, a couple of Small White but mainly Geranium Bronze plus Long Tailed and Lang’s Short Tailed Blues, a Humming Bird Hawk Moth one evening as well.

Isle of Los Lobos

plenty of Yellow Legged Gulls

resort Kestrel

and a few Plain Swifts

Fuerteventura landscapes

a sand sculpture

Black Bellied Sandgrouse

Cream Coloured Courser

Southern Grey Shrike

Lesser Short Toed Larks

and Black Bellied Sandgrouse at the little reservoir

Houbara Bustard flying away

juv Berthelot's Pipit moulting a feather

Barbary Partridge


Turtle Dove in Tobacco Plantation

and Buzzard over

plains Kestrel

Spanish Sparrows at Los Molinos

Ruddy Shelducks

and Black Winged Stilts

Lesser Short Toed Larks

Egyptian Vultures

Geranium Bronze

Long Tailed Blue

and Lang's Short Tailed Blue

plus Humming Bird Hawk Moth

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