sábado, 16 de abril de 2011

Spring Migrants 2011

Group of 3 Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

After a longish spell with little migratory activity, the above group of three Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) photographed in Las Martelas on April 15 came as a pleasant surprise!

A small colony of this species established itself on Lanzarote in the 1990s, and the bird has also bred sporadically on Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and, more recently, on Tenerife (Atlas de las Aves Nidificantes en el Archipiélago Canario, Ed. J.A.Lorenzo, 2007). On the remaining islands it is probably an uncommon but regular passage migrant (Birds of the Atlantic Islands, T. Clarke 2006).

The following record for La Palma was published in Ardeola 42/2 1995:

6 birds on April 11 1994 and 3 birds on April 15 1994 in irrigation basins in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane), and 1 female in the seawater pools near the airport on 13 and 15 April 1994 (D. Trujillo).

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

The Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) shown below was discovered in an irrigation basin in Tazacorte on the evening of April 16: the handheld shot was captured in poor light conditions, with ISO set at 1600, 1/250 second, with a 400mm lense without image stabilisation.

This species has bred recently on Tenerife, and possibly occasionally on Gran Canaria, and there are records of birds on passage from all the islands. In the case of La Palma, a sighting was published in Ardeola Vol. 55/2 2008 of an individual seen by I. Brito in Las Martelas on Sep 28-29 2000.

Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

The Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) has been recorded regularly on La Palma in recent years, mainly around irrigation basins in Tazacorte, where the bird below was located on April 15.

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

The following Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) has been seen in various irrigation basins in Las Martelas since April 7. This individual appears to have exceptionally long tibia...

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

Over the last few days, apart from the above species, there have been up to 6 Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) in Las Martelas, a Redshank (Tringa totanus) at the seawater pools near the airport, and a possible sighting of a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea), also in Las Martelas but pending confirmation and photo.

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