A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Tenerife Birding Trip Report (18th April - 22nd April 2017) - Species List and Locations

Day 1 – Mount Teide (18th April 2017)


Plain Swift – 18th AprilTF51 + Calle Mazape intersection in Arona (Around 30 seen on route to Mount Teide).
Tenerife Blue Chaffinch – 18th AprilLas Lajas picnic site (6 birds seen in total, with 4 males and 2 females. Birds were feeding on the picnic tables).
Atlantic Canary – 18th April – Las Lajas picnic site (Small flock feeding underneath the picnic tables).
Canary Islands Chiffchaff – 18th April – TF51 La Escalona (2 birds calling in fig trees by the side of the road and showing well).
Tenerife Blue Chaffinch - Tenerife
Tenerife Blue Chaffinch

Day 2 – Mirador de La Grimona (19th April 2017)


Laurel Pigeon – 19th April – Mirador de La Grimona Viewpoint (Around 10 seen flying across the mountain, with some perching in trees).
Bolle’s Pigeon – 19th April – Mirador de La Grimona Viewpoint (2 seen perched in the trees).
Laurel Pigeon - Tenerife
Laurel Pigeon

Day 3 – Charco Verde (20th April 2017)


Barbary Falcon – 20th April – Charco Verde (2 hunting along cliffs and showing well).
Barbary Falcon - Charco Verde, Tenerife
Barbary Falcon

Notable Species:

Nanday Parakeet – Birds seen flying around the hotel (Hotel Olé Tropical Tenerife) and again at Golf Las Américas.
Berthelot’s Pipit – Birds seen in rocky areas around Mount Teide and at Charco del Viento.
Sardinian WarblerA small handful of birds seen in coastal scrub areas and on the mountainside.
Spectacled Warbler – One individual seen in scrub on the mountainside descending from Vilaflor.
African Blue Tit – A small handful of birds seen at Las Lajas picnic site and heard calling elsewhere on the island.
Southern Grey Shrike – A small number of birds seen perched at the side of the road and on Mount Teide.
Spanish Sparrow – Relatively common in the urban areas around Playa de las Américas.
Berthelot's Pipit - Tenerife
Berthelot's Pipit

Notable Canary Islands subspecies:

Common Buzzard – Frequent across the island
Common Kestrel – Abundant across the island
Great Spotted Woodpecker – Several observed at Las Lajas picnic site
Robin – A small number seen throughout the trip
Grey Wagtail – Observed in Playa de las Américas and Golf Las Américas
Canary Islands Kinglet (Goldcrest) – One seen at Las Lajas picnic site
Common Chaffinch – One seen on road on the descent to Mirador de La Grimona
Common Raven - One seen flying over at Las Lajas Picnic site
Canary Islands Kinglet - Tenerife
Canary Islands Kinglet

Additional Species


Cory’s Shearwater
Little Egret
Yellow-legged Gull
Common Tern
Feral/Rock Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
House Martin
Blackbird
Blackcap
Wood Warbler
Common Chiffchaff
Goldfinch

Heard only:
Quail

34 Trip Total
7 Trip lifers


Butterfly List

Canary Blue – Las Lajas Picnic site
African Grass Blue – Costa Adeje
Bath White – La Escalona
Canary Red Admiral – Mount Teide Visitor Centre
Green-striped White – Mount Teide Visitor Centre
Monarch – Playa de las Américas
Canary Blue - Tenerife
Canary Blue

Reptile List

West Canaries Lizard
West Canaries Lizard - Tenerife
West Canaries Lizard

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Tenerife Birding Trip Report - Days 4 & 5 (Friday 21st - Saturday 22nd April 2017)

Our final two days on the island were at a much more relaxing pace than the first three - having now cleaned up on all of our realistic target species allowing us to enjoy the beauty of Tenerife at leisure. Sadly, our planned excursion to go swimming with turtles for the day in the nearby bay had been cancelled, so instead we spent our remaining time in the southern part of the island, exploring the beaches around Costa Adeje and the lushly vegetated areas at Golf Las Americas, just a short walk away from our hotel.
Costa Adeje, Tenerife
Costa Adeje, Tenerife
Costa Adeje, Tenerife
With limited birdlife in these urban settings we nevertheless spent an enjoyable morning photographing a flock of Plain Swifts as they hurtled around our hotel balcony, the clear blue skies and palm-laded horizon the perfect backdrop as they sped through the air. 
Plain Swift - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Plain Swift
Plain Swift - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Plain Swift - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Plain Swift - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Plain Swift - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Plain Swift - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
A small flock of Nanday Parakeets making use of the hotel grounds was also a nice surprise, while the usual Spanish Sparrows busied themselves noisily around the pool area. 
Nanday Parakeet - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Nanday Parakeet adding a touch of the exotic to the hotel grounds
Nanday Parakeet - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Still lacking the impressive Monarch on our butterfly lists for the island, after a delicious lunch and pancakes at a little Dutch café on the seafront we explored the many grassy and floral areas around Costa Adeje in a hunt for these winged wonders. 
Costa Adeje, Tenerife
Sadly, the abundance of flower bushes along the seaside strip drew a blank on the Monarch front, but several small African Grass Blues (a new butterfly for us) kept us occupied as we fruitlessly chased after them with our cameras on the short grass turf in the park. 
African Grass Blue - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
African Grass Blue - almost impossible to get one to keep still!
African Grass Blue - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
African Grass Blue - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
East Atlantic Sally Lightfoot crabs (Grapsus adscensionis) - Tenerife
East Atlantic Sally Lightfoot crabs were everywhere on the rocks nearby
East Atlantic Sally Lightfoot crabs (Grapsus adscensionis) - Tenerife
East Atlantic Sally Lightfoot crabs (Grapsus adscensionis) - Tenerife
Costa Adeje, Tenerife
Keeping our eyes peeled for any of the domesticated African Collared Doves that can be found on the island, we struck upon a possible candidate in the tree-lined alleyway opposite the hotel, the under tail a striking bright white as opposed to the greyer tones of Eurasian Collared Dove. 
Collared Dove - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Collared Dove - Eurasian or African?
Collared Dove - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
However, the mixed colouration on the wings was somewhat troubling, and possible hybridisation couldn’t be ruled out, leaving this species at least as one for another trip – preferably in their natural range!!
Collared Dove - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Collared Dove - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
After a delicious final meal of Persian chicken with rice and a good night’s sleep, our final day in Tenerife dawned beautiful and sunny, and with our flight not until later on in the evening we had a whole day left to explore the island. Leaving our bags behind in the hotel gave us the opportunity to take a look around the extremely flowery looking Golf Las Americas, once more on the lookout for any Monarchs or migrant birds stopping off on their spring journey north. 
Golf Las Americas, Tenerife
Canary Islands Chiffchaff - Golf Las Americas, Tenerife
Canary Islands Chiffchaff
The grounds were full of the usual Blackcaps and Canary Island Chiffchaffs, with a single two toned call of a Common Chiffchaff (our first of the trip) thrown in for good measure. Several more Atlantic Canaries foraging around the well hosed flowerbeds were as always nice to see, as was a Turtle Dove perched out in the open, while a single Wood Warbler, clearly a migrant, was a great find by Alex in a small wooded copse. 
Turtle Dove - Golf Las Americas, Tenerife
Turtle Dove
Wood Warbler - Golf Las Americas, Tenerife
Alex's Wood Warbler
A pair of Nanday Parakeets screeched around the palms surrounding the green noisily as flocks of Plain Swifts danced overhead, while a small flock of Spanish Sparrows chattered away on the dusty footpaths around the complex, offering great views of these charming southern residents.
Spanish Sparrow - Golf Las Americas, Tenerife
Spanish Sparrow
Spanish Sparrow - Golf Las Americas, Tenerife
Tulip Tree - Tenerife
Tulip Tree
Disappointingly, despite the abundance of flowers, our Monarchs once more evaded us, a plethora of whites and African Grass Blues all we could manage in the flower borders. It wasn’t until we got back to the hotel to reclaim our suitcases that we finally had our prize – a single Monarch powering determinedly over the cars and in to the next hotel grounds, lost to view and offering no real chance of a photo. 
Monarch - Playa de las Américas, Tenerife
Monarch! Honest!
Somewhat ironically, looking up also revealed a lone Barbary Falcon circling slowly over the buildings – after spending days chasing them in the north it was typical to have one cruising over our very own hotel! 

With a subsequent drive back up to Villaflor generating nothing of note bar a single Spectacled and Sardinian Warbler each respectively (a flyover flock of Black Storks and a soaring White-tailed Eagle got our pulses racing until we realised that they most probably originated from the bird park below!) we didn’t log anything further of interest apart from a lone Common Tern at Marina del Sur.
Common Kestrel - Marina del Sur, Tenerife
Kestrels were regularly seen on our drives round the island
With our flight now beckoning, we were able to look back on what had been another successful trip to the Canary Islands, with all our key targets mopped up bar the hard to come by Barolo Shearwater. From the impressive beaches in the south and the lushly vegetated mountain slopes and valleys of the north, to the majestic volcanic landscape of Mount Teide National Park, the scenery had been truly stunning, and we’d both thoroughly enjoyed our time on the island.
Tenerife
Tenerife
Tenerife
Securing great views of the endemic speciality Tenerife Blue Chaffinch, with a strong supporting cast of Atlantic Canary, Plain Swift, Barbary Falcon and Canary Islands Chiffchaff, not to mention the two endemic pigeons of Laurel and Bolle’s, the birds during the 5 days had been superb. 
Tenerife Blue Chaffinch, Tenerife
Tenerife Blue Chaffinch
Atlantic Canary, Tenerife
Atlantic Canary
Plain Swift, Tenerife
Plain Swift
Barbary Falcon, Tenerife
Barbary Falcon

Canary Islands Chiffchaff, Tenerife
Canary Islands Chiffchaff
Laurel Pigeon, Tenerife
Laurel Pigeon
Bolle's Pigeon, Tenerife
Bolle's Pigeon
Taking in to account our previous autumn’s trip to Fuerteventura where we also cleaned up on all our targets within 2 days, a combined trip to both of these islands over the course of a week is entirely feasible for those wanting a more fast paced excursion and checking off both sets of birds is completely doable, provided the right sites are visited. 
Fuerteventura Chat, Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura Chat
Corralejo Dunes, Fuerteventura
Corralejo Dunes in Fuerteventura
The Canary Islands double is definitely something those wanting a little taste of Africa but with the tourist infrastructure of Europe should consider for future trips (especially if the breeding Red-billed Tropicbirds around the island become established) and we had both thoroughly enjoyed our time on these charming and rugged Atlantic islands. 
Fuerteventura
From the open plains of Fuerteventura...
Tenerife
..to the rugged mountains of Tenerife
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