jueves, 23 de octubre de 2014

Flycatcher at the Laguna de Barlovento

 Present state of the Laguna de Barlovento reservoir, 23/10/2014

The leaky ol' Laguna de Barlovento has featured in this blog a number of times, receiving fairly unenthusiastic treatment every time. Not only is the weather often atrocious up in the far NE corner of the island (by Canary Island standards), but this concrete reservoir is also completely fenced-off and lacks convenient vantage points from which to scan the water... which at the moment amounts to little more than a puddle.

Nevertheless, a number of vagrants have been recorded at this peculiar location, including a Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) a couple of years ago.

Away from the reservoir itself, the surrounding area offers various kinds of promising habitat, being a mosaic of abandoned crops, overgrown hedgerows, cultivated fields, and myrtle-heather woods...plus a leisure area with a duckpond! A good place for butterflies, Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), and the usual resident passerines...

But today, in addition to the Canaries (Serinus canaria), Blackbirds (Turdus merula), Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs ssp. palmae), Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus canariensis), Bluetits (Cyanistes tenriffae ssp. palmensis) and Goldcrests (Regulus regulus ssp. ellenthalerae), I had a brief sighting of a solitary Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata).

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) with Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs ssp. palmae)

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata), with Canary (Serinus canaria) and Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs ssp. palmae)

Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) adult

According to the Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia (Eduardo García-del-Rey, Lynx Edicions May 2011), "this species is a passage migrant to the Canary Islands (all islands and La Graciosa, Alegranza, but not El Hierro or La Palma). In Macaronesia it can be found anywhere with trees, for example in parks and gardens".

So, to the best of my knowledge, the present bird is a first record for La Palma.

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