lunes, 23 de noviembre de 2009


Various images of Pandion haliaetus

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) breeds in small numbers on Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro, with only sporadic nesting elsewhere in the Canaries. On La Palma reproduction has not been confirmed, but the species is seen from time to time inland, and along sections of the coastline. The presence of old nests at certain points on the sea cliffs suggests that the species formerly bred on the island. (Atlas de las Aves Nidificantes, Ed. J.A.Lorenzo).

Inland, near Los Llanos and Tazacorte, the bird feeds on carp which have been introduced into some of the irrigation basins. From my enquiries, it would seem that some banana plantation workers have occasionally seen the bird fishing in their reservoirs, while others react with disbelief at the mere mention of the bird's name, "Fishing Eagle" in Spanish.

This year, I was lucky to spot an Osprey on 26/03, but unlucky not to have my camera prepared. It wasn't until 23/10 that I had another uncertain, distant sighting. Then Xabier Remirez reported and photgraphed an immature bird in Las Martelas on 24/10. On all three occasions, kestrels were mobbing the visiting raptor mercilessly.

Today, 23/11 I had a further encounter with the species and was able to get a few shots for the record. Close scrutiny of the photos above reveals that the individual was a juvenile, with traces of white on the back feathers and a finely cross-barred tail without the darker trailing band.

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