miércoles, 15 de marzo de 2017

Mid-March observations

 A selection of waders in an irrigation pond in Las Martelas, 15/03/2017. From left to right: Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), Redshank (Tringa totanus), Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Greenshank (Tringa nebularia).

After a relatively slack period on the island, this morning's session at the irrigation ponds in Las Martelas turned out to be very productive. I was joined on this occasion by a visiting British observer (A. S. Moore), who may have brought me luck with the Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)! We enjoyed good views of the bird for several minutes, and saw it foraging, in flight, perched on concrete walls, and even swimming in one of the deeper ponds.

 Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

During the ensuing couple of hours we also recorded, in addition to the Avocet: 3 x Snipe (Gallinago gallinago), 1 x Redshank (Tringa totanus), 1 x Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), 4 x Sand Martin (Riparia riparia), 2 x Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)...plus the usual small numbers of Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) and Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos).

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

The Avocet was undoubtedly the highlight of the morning. This species is a passage migrant to the Canaries, with records from all the main islands except La Gomera. However, today's sighting was my first on La Palma, despite several years of regular birding in the appropriate areas.

I got some accepable photos this morning with my Fuji bridge camera, but returned to Las Martelas in the afternoon, fully-equipped, to capture the images shown in the present post.

Other recent sightings of interest on La Palma include:

1 x Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) seen and photographed at Juan Adalid (Garafía) on February 27. This was not posted in "La Palma Birds" due to the very poor quality of the only image I managed to capture.

1 x Booted Eagle (Haliaetus pennatus), pale morph, flying above Breña Alta and Breña Baja, seen from near the Parador on March 14. No camera with me on the day.

1 x Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) first reported by visiting birder Jon Bellamy who saw the bird on the breakwaters in Los Cancajos (Breña Baja) on January 10. The bird was later spotted by various other observers in the same part of the island, including A. S. Moore a few days ago. So this gull has now been on La Palma for over one month.

There are various species of Hirundines around at present, in the usual small numbers.

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