Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 3w
In November and December 2014, a number of interesting migrants were detected on La Palma, although no real "rarities" appeared. A pale morph Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) was spotted by a visiting observer (Allen Moore) in the Santa Cruz area on Nov 28, and was also reported a few days later by a local islander (pers. comm.). My own efforts during the same period yielded, amongst other species, up to five Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), one male Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca), two Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula), and the juvenile Garganey (Anas querquedula) shown below...all at the irrigation ponds in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane). Very few wintering Coots (Fulica atra) have arrived on the island this year; the total was only 12 birds at the end of December.
Possibly the highlight of recent weeks was the 3w Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) discovered at Las Salinas in Fuencaliente on Dec 22. This species is classed as a vagrant to the Canary Islands, with previous records from La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
Left: Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis); Right: Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)
Garganey (Anas querquedula), showing white trailing edge to secondaries, and white wing bar
Garganey (Anas querquedula), juvenile
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Finally, above is a photo kindly sent to me by a visiting observer (R.C.B.) who photographed this juvenile Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) at the seawater pools near the island's airport on Oct 5. The coloured tag/ring combination indicates that this bird came all the way from the Netherlands, but the precise banding location remains to be confirmed.