domingo, 31 de diciembre de 2017

December 2017, miscellaneous sightings

 Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

The present post is an overview of bird sightings in December 2017.

The solitary Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) shown in the first photograph was observed in an area of irrigation ponds (Las Martelas, Los Llanos de Aridane) on Dec 19 and 20. The bird was foraging in two different ponds, one of which was completely dry.

 Part of a flock of 20 Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) photographed in Tazacorte, Dec 23

Varying numbers of Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) are regular annual migrants to La Palma. There are presently about 20 birds in the Tazacorte area, 11 in the Laguna de Barlovento, plus another 2 individuals at irrigation ponds in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane).

 Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)

 Part of a flock of Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) flying over banana plantations in Tazacorte

 Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

A juvenile Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) was seen at the saltpans in Fuencaliente on Oct 16 and featured in a previous post. The bird shown above, possibly the same individual, was photographed at the same location on Nov 30 in rather unusual circumstances.

The Spoonbill was approaching the saltpans from the northeast, and was just about to land, when a helicopter appeared out of the blue and scared it off! It is rather odd for a chopper to be flying around the southern tip of the island; in fact, I can't recall ever seeing one there. Anyway, the bird flew back in the direction it had come from, so I never actually got to see the spoonbill on the ground.

Eurasian Spoonbil (Platalea leucorodia)

The photograph above was taken at an irrigation pond in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane) on Dec 4. I also saw what was probably the same bird at another irrigation pond in Tazacorte on Dec 23.

Other interesting records from the end of 2017 include a Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) seen in flight, but unfortunately not photographed, above irrigation ponds in Las Martelas on Dec 17.

A visiting Dutch birder, (D. D.) observed and photographed a South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki) during a whale-watching trip out of Tazacorte. The same observer also sound-recorded a migratory Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) at the Laguna de Barlovento recreation area.

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