jueves, 12 de noviembre de 2009

Chats and Wheatears

A Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) discovered in an empty irrigation basin
On La Palma there are no resident species of chat or wheatear, the Canary Islands Stonechat (Saxicola dacotiae) being endemic to Fuerteventura, with sporadic records in recent years on the island of Lanzarote (Atlas de las Aves Nidificantes en el Archipiélago Canario, Ed. J. A. Lorenzo).

However, I have observed migratory Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) a number of times, a species described in Birds of the Atlantic Islands (T. Clarke, Helm) as a "regular passage migrant in the Canaries, with records from all main islands".

The three photos of a Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) were taken recently on 10/11. The bird, a male moulting into winter plumage, was perching and foraging from low vegetation in an empty irrigation basin on the outskirts of Los Llanos. The Helm Guide refers to the species as a " scarce and irregular winter visitor, more common on eastern islands, and not recorded from either La Palma or El Hierro".

A "first" for La Palma?

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