Last month we travelled to Fuerteventura on a 5 days-birding trip. We love birding in the Canary Islands, each of them are unique and have also many endemisms. We have already visited Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, and before heading to the westerly islands, we wanted to visit also Fuerteventura!
As you can imagine, our target species was the Fuerteventura Chat (Saxicola dacotiae) but other Macaronesian specialties we have already observed in Lanzarote were also very welcome!
In general, the island is very good for the evasive Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae) and Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor). While scanning for these birds, Lesser Short-toed Larks (ssp polatzeki) were constantly flying around in big flocks interfering with the ubiquitous Berthelot´s Pipit (Anthus berthelotii) song.
Interestingly, we observed in the same area, two breeding pairs of Cream-coloured Courser, one with a newly hatched chick and the others already with a three-weeks old young. It seems that with such a stable climate, resident birds have a very flexible schedule in their annual cycle.
Along the island, the Barrancos (ravines) are one of the most interesting birding sites. There, pools and small reservoirs attract many migrants and waterfowl, and there is also easy to find the Fuerteventura Chat. We were also fascinated of the large density of Spectacle Warblers (ssp orbitalis) in these areas. The wary Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara) was also present, sometimes we could only heard it but often just flying low and landing nearby while walking by.
The surroundings of Betancuria were very good to observe Fuerteventura Blue Tit (Cyanistes degener) but also Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), and we even had a Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) calling and hopping with Common Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita). A small Canary Islands Pine forest in the surroundings of Betancuria gave us the Atlantic Canary (Serinus canaria), many Ravens (Corvus corax) and even a Barbary Falcon (ssp pelegrinoides) and a pair of Common Buzzards (ssp insularum).
A continuous passage of Cory´s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) along the coast at sunset was great to finish the day ;)
Little ringed Plover
Lesser Short-toed Lark
Southern Grey Shrike
Fuerteventura Blue Tit
Lesser Black-backed Gull