martes, 7 de abril de 2015

April migrants 1

 Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) + Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

It doesn't get much busier than this on La Palma! At various irrigation ponds in Las Martelas this evening I found the following migrants: 2 x Common Redshank (Tringa totanus), 1 x Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola),  1 x  Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), 1 x Dunlin (Calidris alpina), 3 x Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), and 2 x Greenshank (Tringa nebularia). None of these waders is considered a rarity, although the Wood Sandpiper is rated as a P3, a species with a relatively "low" probability of being observed during migratory periods. (See checklist in Fieldguide to the Birds of Macaronesia mentioned in previous post).

 Redshank (Tringa totanus) + Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

The next bird is a much less frequent visitor to the island. My last sighting of a Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) on La Palma was back in September 2011, when a 1st year bird was observed flying over irrigation ponds in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane). The present adult was discovered in the same area this evening.

 Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)

According to Rare Birds of the Canary Islands (E. García-del-Rey and F. J. García Vargas, Lynx Edicions), and without counting the present sighting, there have only been 16 records of this species to date on the Canaries: La Palma, n=1; El Hierro, n=2; La Gomera, n=1; Tenerife, n=5; Fuerteventura, n=3; Lanzarote, n=4. Most previous records were in spring and summer, but three were in autumn and one in winter.

The Gull-billed Tern is long-distance migrant which breeds in Europe to China, and also in the Americas; it winters in Africa and South America.

 Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)

Moving from the irrigation ponds in Las Martelas to those in Tazacorte, I began by accidentally flushing the hyper-alert Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) first discovered on March 31. In the same area, two Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) were flying around searching for a secluded pond at which to land.

 Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) imm.

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) adult and immature

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