martes, 7 de octubre de 2014

Glossy Ibis

 Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - juvenile

On the evening of Sep 27, I happened to coincide with Domingo Trujillo at an irrigation pond in Las Martelas. Meeting other birders is an extremely rare occurrence on La Palma, so it's hard to say which of us was more surprised at seeing someone else with binoculars. As we were chatting, a Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) was seen in flight to the north, among a small flock of Little Egret (Egretta garzetta).

The Glossy Ibis is not classified as a "rarity" on the Canary Islands, but is certainly an irregular winter visitor, with only 17 previous records corresponding to 22 individuals listed in Rare Birds of the Canary Islands (Eduardo García-del-Rey and Francisco Javier García Vargas, Lynx Edicions, 2013):

La Palma (n=1), El Hierro (n=1), Tenerife (n=6, 7 ind.), Gran Canaria (n=5, 6 ind.), Fuerteventura (n=3, 6 ind.), Lanzarote (n=1)

Since Sep 27, I have been searching for this elusive bird, finally locating it this evening, Oct 7. There could actually be two individuals on the island at present, as one bird was initially flushed and might not be the one shown here, which could have been hidden from view by the walls of the pond when I first arrived.

My first record of this species on La Palma dates from Sep 2010.

Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Above is a bird's-eye view of a Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), recently observed in one of the many irrigation ponds in Las Martelas. After last year's Wilson's (G. delicata) on Tenerife, all visiting snipes demand close examination...

Other species present in the same area include Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus), and Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos ). At the saltpans in Fuencaliente, I have seen Little Stint (Calidris minuta) and Redshank (Tringa totanus).

The airport pools have so far yielded only Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) and Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

Other recent sightings on the island include a Black Kite (Milvus migrans) observed in Tazacorte by Tom Brereton of Naturetrek on Sep 30, and a Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) in Las Martelas on Oct 2. Offshore, the party also had Macaronesian Shearwater (Puffinus baroli), Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus), and Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus).

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