This solitary Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta) was first observed yesterday (25 Feb) as it foraged around the surrounding wall of the main irrigation pond in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane), but earlier sightings by other birders cannot be entirely ruled out. A second visit to the site this morning (26/02) yielded better photo opportunities, when the bird briefly came out into a more exposed position.
My last encounter with this species on La Palma was way back in March 2009, in the same general area, but at a different pond. The record was published in "Rare Birds of the Canary Islands" (Lynx Edicions) in 2013, where the species is decribed as a short-distance migrant which breeds in C and S Europe, and winters along coasts in W Europe and NW Africa (i.e. Morocco). At the time of publication 11 years ago, only 3 other records had been acknowledged on the Canary Islands, 2 from Fuerteventura and 1 from Lanzarote.
The species is classed as a vagrant in fieldguides to the region and as a "Regional Rarity" in the SOC (Sociedad Ornitológica Canaria) checklist 2018.
This example was feeding on the abundant dragonflies found around the edges of the pond, and was accompanied by a migratory White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) and a pair of resident Grey Wagtails (Motacilla cinerea):
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta)