Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) are fairly regular on all main islands in small numbers, on passage and in winter, and have been featured in previous posts. On Sept. 13th I saw 2 birds in Las Martelas, and photographed the one above in rather unflattering surroundings.
The above species is no stranger to these pages either: a Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) also appeared in a couple of entries last autumn, first in Las Martelas and then at the Fuencaliente saltpans. A fairly regular, if uncommon passage migrant, this particular specimen was found feeding in an almost empty basin in Las Martelas on Sept. 11th.
The next bird is certainly the highlight of the present post! I could hardly believe my eyes when I came across this solitary Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) foraging ravenously in a weed-choked irrigation tank in Tazacorte, late in the evening on Sept. 12th.
The species has a fragmented breeding range across Southern Europe and parts of Asia, and winters in Africa , India and around the Mediterranean. There are now resident breeding populations in certain parts of southern Spain, and the Glossy Ibis has become a familiar sight, often in large flocks, in swampy habitats such as those of Doñana.
To quote from "Birds of the Atlantic Islands", Tony Clarke, Helm 2006:
"Martín and Lorenzo (2001) consider it a scarce and irregular passage migrant and winter visitor. However, only on Lanzarote is this species recorded regularly, and it is certainly a vagrant to other islands on which it has been recorded. Records from La Graciosa, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Tenerife."