sábado, 16 de enero de 2010

Mid-January 2010

Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)
The birding year has got off to a promising start with this sighting of a Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus). The bird was first located on 09/01, feeding in an irrigation basin in the municipality of Tazacorte.

As can be appreciated from the photos above, wader-style foraging is possible in full basins, provided the floating layer of pond weed is able to support the bird's weight. Snipe, Moorhen, and even Little Egret can often be seen "walking on the water" in a similar fashion.

Opting for Limnodromus scolopaceus rather than griseus is based on:

  • Bill length, which I estimate at slightly over twice the head diameter
  • Width of black bands on tail feathers, clearly wider than the white bands
  • Freshwater rather than saltwater habitat

So far, the all-clinching call has not been heard, and the bird is still feeding (16/01) in an extremely secluded pond, where it is unlikely to be accidentally flushed.

Also of note this month, one Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus) on 15/01, a dark morph Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) on 16/01, a couple of Hoopoes (Upupa epops) on 09/01, and various sightings of Barbary Falcon (Falco pelegrinoides), both single birds and pairs.

domingo, 3 de enero de 2010

End of December

As can be appreciated from the images above, the juvenile Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), featured in previous posts, seems to have acquired a taste for oriental food. Goldfish must be a lot easier to catch than native sea fish, so someone's garden pond has now become a convenient Chinese Takeaway for this young bird.
The photos were taken on 24/12, and the Osprey was seen again on 31/12, in the Dos Pinos area.

Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
Another repeat sighting at the end of the month (26/12) was this solitary Spoonbill. The surroundings in which the bird was photographed will probably appear incongruous to birders familiar with the usual haunts of this species. The edge of the concrete irrigation basin can be seen, together with a fleshy-leaved Kleinia nerifolia bush to the right.
On 18-19/12 I came across a single Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), feeding in the bottom of an empty basin, and spotted a Hoopoe (Upupa epops) calling from the top of an electricity pylon on 19/12, apparently getting off to an early start with its territorial behaviour.