Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
The Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) may well be a typical resident of suburban gardens and parks in mainland Europe, but it is a rare passage migrant to the Canaries, with only 10 records altogether (Lanzarote 4, Tenerife 3, Fuerteventura 2 and Gran Canaria 1). Most sightings have been in spring, with five in April, three in March, one in February and one in July. ["Rare Birds of the Canary Islands" E. García-del-Rey and F. J. García Vargas, Lynx Edicions June 2013].
This solitary bird was discovered on April 9 at the saltpans in Fuencaliente, hardly an appropriate spot for the species. The bird appeared to be resting, but immediately took flight when I attempted to get closer. It flew about 300 yards inland and landed in an area of rocks and volcanic ash, where it was still visible through binoculars.
In flight, the white transverse bands on the upper wing were clearly visible. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first record of Columba palumbus on La Palma.