Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)
The present post is an update on the Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), which has appeared a number of times in this blog to date. This extremely rare Transatlantic migrant - only the fifth sighting of the species for Spain - was first discovered at the beginning of October by two visiting birders, and has subsequently been seen by several other observers at the same location.
I have been checking the airport pools at regular intervals in recent weeks, to see if the bird is still there, and this morning I had no intention of photographing it. However, conditions were favourable, there were initially no disturbances, and my subject was in a convenient spot. In the shot above, it can be seen resting amid chunks of broken lava.
Unfortunately, its rest period was destined to be brief...
Shortly after the bird had settled down, a noisy family arrived on the scene with two dogs, one of which came sniffing towards the plover, followed by its owner. The bird logically took flight, together with its companions, three Ringed Plover (C. hiaticula).
It is surprising that this migrant has remained for so long in what is an extremely popular, totally unprotected area.
There are also several other waders present at the pools:
3 x Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), 1 x Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), 1 x Dunlin (Calidris alpina), 1 x Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and, unusually, 1 x Ruff (Philomachus pugnax).
At the saltpans in Fuencaliente this morning, I only found 2 x Dunlin (Calidris alpina) and 3 x Sanderling (Calidris alba)