lunes, 8 de octubre de 2018

Spoonbill at the saltpans

 Eurasian Spoonbil (Platalea leucorodia)

During the first week of October, I was unable to make it to the saltpans in Fuencaliente. However, a British birder (D.S.), who was staying at a conveniently-located hotel in the south of the island, very kindly kept me informed regarding the migratory birds present at the pans.

He recorded small numbers of several of the waders typically found at the site in autumn: Dunlin (Calidris alpina), Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), Sanderling (Calidris alba), Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) and Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula).

 Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

So, when I visited the saltpans last Saturday morning (Oct 6), I was expecting to find pretty much the same array of migratory shorebirds. To my surprise, however, a very conspicuous juvenile Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) was placidly foraging in one of the pools. And there wasn't a single wader in sight, strangely.

 Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

The Spoonbill is a very irregular passage migrant which either turns up at the freshwater irrigation ponds in the west, near Los Llanos de Aridane, or else at the saltpans in the extreme south, in Fuencaliente. Usually the birds are juveniles, with many coming all the way from Holland, according to data from ringed specimens observed on La Palma, and elsewhere in the Canaries.

 Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

I paid another visit to the saltpans this afternoon, Oct 8, and was surprised to find the Spoonbill still present. The last two photos are from today's trip.

 Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

I also observed: 2 x Dunlin (Calidris alpina), 4 x Sanderling (Calidris alba), 1 x Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), and 1 x Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos).

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