lunes, 9 de abril de 2012

Spring Migrants 2012

Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

The Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) has been recorded on all the Canary Islands and is considered a regular passage migrant, especially in spring. In the last few years it has bred at two different locations on Tenerife, and although this might be a case of recent colonisation, it is also possible that the bird's breeding activity has gone unnoticed in the past (Atlas de las aves nidificantes en el Archipiélago Canario, Ed. J. A. Lorenzo, 2007).

Sightings of the species on La Palma have appeared in this blog on a number of occasions. The present example was photographed at an irrigation pond in Tazacorte on March 31. On the evening of April 9, two birds were present at the same site.

Although the next species has also been recorded on all the islands, this is my first sighting of the Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) on La Palma. The bird was found on March 31 at the same reservoir among banana plantations in Tazacorte, and the following photos were taken on April 9.

Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)

Another  regular passage migrant, reproduction has only been confirmed in recent years on Tenerife, although other islands have probably had the occasional breeding pair in the past.

As the bird conceals itself among the dense foliage of the overhanging Rumex bushes at the slightest sign of danger, it was necessary to set up a tripod and wait under a camouflage net in order to get the above shots.