viernes, 22 de junio de 2012

Northern Wheatear

 Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

A passage migrant with records from all the main Canary Islands - as well as from La Graciosa, Alegranza and Lobos - the Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) has been sighted on La Palma several times in recent years. For example, in September 2007, I discovered 3 birds (a male, a female and an immature) only a few hundred metres from the location shown in the present post, an area known as Llano de las Cuevas (El Paso).

In general, autumn sightings are more frequent on the Canaries than spring ones, and another was featured in http.// on Oct 22 2010, with a photo by I. Brito. On that occasion, the solitary bird was discovered in an area of irrigation tanks in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane).

As can be appreciated in the present images, on this occasion the individual was a male, found foraging on the evening of June 5 in a group of stony fields containing tagasaste bushes (Chamaecytisus proliferus), in which small numbers of horses graze. The photos shown here were taken on the morning of June 6.

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Llano de las Cuevas is situated in the high part of El Paso, just north of the National Park Visitor Centre, and has attracted a number of interesting migratory birds in recent years, including Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus), Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), and Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus). It is also a classic location for residents like the Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and the Stone-Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus).

For the latter species, see April 2010 posts here

Distant view of Llano de las Cuevas looking south from Valencia. The asphalted lane running from left to right at the foot of the rocky outcrop is the access road to the Cumbrecita viewpoint.

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