sábado, 10 de noviembre de 2012

Recent sightings

 Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Small groups of Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) have been recorded on La Palma in recent years, in the irrigation ponds in Las Martelas, located south of Los Llanos. At the beginning of this month I found only two birds, whereas this morning the number had risen to eight. The species is described in the literature as a regular winter visitor to the Canary Islands.

 Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)

The Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) is classed as a scarce - or irregular - winter visitor to the Canaries, with records from all main islands. Since Nov 5, there have been five birds in one of the artificial ponds in Las Martelas.

 Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)

 Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

The above group of 5 juvenile Black-headed Gulls (Larus ridibundus) landed in the pond where the 8 Tufted Ducks are presently found. Small numbers of these gulls have been observed on the island since October this year, and they are regular winter visitors to the archipelago.

There are also about six Common Teal (Anas crecca) distributed around various ponds in Las Martelas, at the time of writing.

 Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana)

The Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana) was photographed at a pond in Las Martelas on Oct 16 and 17. This is my second sighting of the species on La Palma, the previous observation dating from September 2009.

Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus). Photo: A. Camacho Lorenzo

The last sighting in the present post was kindly sent to me by Antonio Camacho Lorenzo, who saw the above dark morph Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) in Los Barros (Los Llanos de Aridane) on Nov 6. This species is a regular but scarce passage migrant to the Canaries, with records from all islands except La Gomera. There were several birds on La Palma simultaneously between Feb and May 2007, with as many as 4 observed at the same time, mostly on the east side of the island.

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