Trip Report: Lanzarote (Canary Islands), March 17-30, 1997

Jens Erik Nygård, Drammen, Norway;

I went to Lanzarote with my family from 17. to 30. of March this year. I found very few trip reports on the Internet, so I will give you a resume of what I saw there.

My main impression is that there is not a great abundance of birds at the island, neither in terms of species nor individuals. Some of them are endemic to the Canary Islands, so I came back with 8 new lifers, and was quite satisfied.

We stayed in the village of Playa Blanca, at the southernmost end of the island. The hotel and its beach is called Playa Flamingo. I rented a bike for 3 days and a car for 5 days, and visited most parts of the island.

I saw a total of 39 species:

  1. Cory's Shearwater (Procellaria diomedia) - very common in windy weather at Punta Pechiguera, at the southwest end of the island.
  2. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) - single individuals seen 5 days, along the the stony shores.
  3. Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) - one observation at La Isleta on the west coast.
  4. Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) - very common, seen every day, often very close.
  5. Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) - one observation close to the urbanizacion Atlante del Sol at the southwest coast.
  6. Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) - once at the Playa Flamingo
  7. Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) - common at the salt pans Salinas de Janubio
  8. Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) - seen at Salinas de Janubio and La Isleta
  9. Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) - seen at La Isleta
  10. Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) - seen at Salinas de Janubio and La Isleta
  11. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) - seen three times, along the stony shores
  12. Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) - seen at the sandy beach of Playa Flamingo, and at La Isleta.
  13. Sanderling (Calidris alba) - twice at Salinas de Janubio
  14. Redshank (Tringa totanus) - common at Salinas de Janubio
  15. Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) - common at Salinas de Janubio
  16. Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) - seen at Salinas de Janubio
  17. Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) - seen at Salinas de Janubio
  18. Common Sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucos) - one? individual stayed at the beach of Playa Flamingo
  19. Creamcolored Courser (Cursorius cursor) - seen once at the stony plain of El Rubicon, close to the road
  20. Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) - very common, and the only gull seen. Both light and dark types.
  21. Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis) - common along the shore.
  22. Rock Dove (Columba livia) - two of them flew from a cave in the shore cliffs at the southwest coast.
  23. Collared Dove (Steptopelia decaocto) - seen twice in Playa Blanca
  24. Lesser Short-toed Lark (Caladrella rufescens) - common on the plains
  25. Swallow (Hirundo rustica) - seen three times
  26. Swift (Apus apus) - seen once at the top of Montana Roja, near Playa Blanca.
  27. Hoopoe (Upupa epops) - seen once east of Playa Blanca
  28. Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) - 4 of them seen once in Playa Blanca.
  29. Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba) - seen once in the harbour of Arrecife, the capital
  30. Berthelot's Pipit (Anthus berthelotii) - the most common bird, it's almost everywhere.
  31. Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris) - seen twice near Punta Pechiguera
  32. Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) - common, seen 5 different days.
  33. Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - singing in a hotel garden in Playa Blanca
  34. Spectacled warbler (Sylvia conspicillata) - seen twice, at the El Rubicon plain, and at Playa de Afe east of Playa Blanca.
  35. Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) - canary subspecies, in the Haria valley in the north.
  36. Trumpeter Bullfinch (Rhodopechys githaginea) - common, seen 6 different days, pairs and small flocks.
  37. Linnet (Acanthus cannabina) - seen twice near Playa Blanca
  38. Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) - very common where people live.
  39. Raven (Corvus corax) - seen three times.

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