jueves, 13 de septiembre de 2018

Yellow Wagtail

 Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

A visit to the saltpans in Fuencaliente yesterday evening yielded this solitary Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava). The bird was foraging for small insects along the dirt access track, where all of the present images were captured.

 Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

Photography was made difficult by the fading light, and the gusty wind...plus the fact that the bird was hyper-active and easily scared by passing vehicles and pedestrians.

 Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

From the plumage tones, I am assuming that this is a male flavissima, or "British Yellow Wagtail", with yellow-green ear-coverts, crown and nape, and no hint of white in the supercilium.

Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima)

The species is a passage migrant to the Canary Islands, with some races considered vagrants (eg. ssp. feldeggi).

Elsewhere on the island, there has been little to report so far this migration season. The usual Ringed Plovers (Charadrius hiaticula), Common Sandpipers (Actitis hypoleucos), Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), Sanderling (Calidris alba) and Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) have already arrived in small numbers.

Unfortunately, the irrigation ponds in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane) are mostly dried-out and abandoned,  providing very little suitable habitat for stopover waders. Birding at the ponds has seen a downward trend in recent years, as more modern irrigation methods have led to the gradual abandonment of these small, freshwater reservoirs.

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