Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
It has been a busy month bird-wise, with several interesting sightings. The juvenile Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) of the first two photos was observed in Las Martelas from September 16-20. Not exactly a rarity, but by no means a common visitor to La Palma, this species actually breeds on Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and possibly Lanzarote.
As almost to be expected, given the numerous records from mainland Spain this autumn, a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) also turned up in Las Martelas - my third sighting to date of this North American rarity. Detected on Sept. 16th, and featured in the Canary Islands Bird News blog (avescanarias.blogspot.com), the bird was still present on Sept. 26th.
I can recall at least two sightings of Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) on La Palma in recent years: one by I. Brito near the Roque de los Muchachos, the island's highest peak, and another juvenile seen by D. Martín on 30th Sept. 2009 at an altitude of 1,800metres along Cumbre Vieja, in the southern half of the island. This present record also comes from the Roque de los Muchachos area, at about 2,200 metres above sea-level, and the following photos were taken through my car window on Sept. 26th.
Above, two images of Eurasian Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus)
Not shown in this entry, but worthy of mention: 1 Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) in Las Martelas on Sep 24-25; 1 Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) in a basin near La Laguna on Sept 25; 1 Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) in Las Martelas on Sept 24; 2 Yellow Wagtails (Motacilla flava) and 1 White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) at the Fuencaliente saltpans on Sept 24, together with 8 Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), 2 Dunlin (C. alpina), 2 Sanderling (C. alba) and a rare Semipalmated Sandpiper (C. pusilla), to be treated in a forthcoming post...