Trip Report: Canary Islands, April 19-26, 1998

Remco Hofland, Aert van Neslaan 336, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands,remcohofland@hetnet.nl and
Teus Luijendijk and, The Netherlands, teus.www@tiscali.nl

This is a report of our visit to Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, La Gomera and El Hierro. It includes a list of bird species recorded, notes on the islands' (sub)species and lists of sighted mammals, butterflies and dragonflies.

Introduction

When I spotted a last-minute to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, for FL298 (about £90, € 135) on 17th, it meant a perfect opportunity to see a lot of the endemics of the Canaries within a short period. Leaving Amsterdam early on 19th and returning late on 26th gave us 8 days. We saw most of the endemics: for some we need to return to La Palma (holding another Blue Tit and Chaffinch (but see my trip report from 2001), and Gran Canaria for one morning of thorough searching wasn't enough to find polatzeki Blue Chaffinch. Also, we couln't find the Western Islands' Trumpeter Finch and Lesser Short-toed Lark.

For (brief) preparation we used A birdwatchers guide to the Canary Islands by Tony Clarke and David Collins and a booklet by Dave Gosney. Both these books are very helpful, especially the Clarke-book that holds a lot of places to bird, and deals with each island.

Although most reports mention the good public transport network on at least Tenerife and Gran Canaria, we decided on renting cars for we had limited time. Also, taking a plane to and from Fuerteventura can be a good idea, although there might be problems when booking one in summer on short notice. Because we were fortunate with boats and planes to and from islands, we were in the position of visiting 5 islands.

Used abbreviations

N = North
S = South
W = West
E = East
ad. = adult(s)
» = direction of flight

Itinerary

Sunday 19th April

Left Schiphol Amsterdam Airport at 5.00,arriving at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria at 8.20 local time. To our advantage a plane left for Fuerteventura at 10.15 (one-way this cost 7310 ptas, about £30), thus saving time on the long boat ride to that island. We also booked in advance for the Monday evening flight from Fuerteventura to Tenerife. Arrived on Fuerteventura half an hour later at 10.45. Rental cars on the Canaries vary between 4-5,000 ptas for a day. This time, a Ford Fiesta for 2 days including insurance set us back 9200 ptas (about£40). First visit was to Willis's Barranco, about 1 km from the airport, and the most famous spot for Fuerteventura Chat. By walking through the dry barranco for about 1,5 km we found a pair of the chats in the back part which was filled with willows. We returned over the plain to the S of the barranco where we came across a lot of Lesser Short-toed Larks. The afternoon was spent looking for Blue Tit in La Oliva, the place where we were hoping to see Houbara Bustards in the evening, on the spot described by Dave Gosney. This Houbara spot is probably fairly reliable in summer, when Houbaras come in to the fields near the described farm for the ripe figs, fallen from the fig trees that are lined along these fields. Needless to say, the figs are not ripe in April, and waiting near the farm for Houbaras to come in at night at anyother time than summer, is a waste of time. However, they do occur in the area around the farm, as we found 4 birds nearby. We camped in the sand dunes just N of El Cotillo, on the W-coast of Fuerteventura, and had dinner in this small village. 23°C.

Monday 20th April

Spent the morning birding in the sand dunes N of El Cotillo, and after that went to Las Peñitas, a place mentioned in the Clarke book for the degener race of Blue Tit. This proved a pleasant birding site, where we also encountered Barbary Partridge, Sardinian Warbler, various finches and our only Plain Tiger Butterfly of the trip. In the afternoon we checked Catalina Garcia, also described by Tony Clarke, and found Ruddy Shelducks with young, as well as Short-toed Larks (a rare migrant in the Canaries). Thirsty, and tired of birding, we went to the E coast for our last couple of hours on Fuerteventura. While I took a swim at Playa Blanca, Teus discovered 2 odd-looking, long-tailed, all-white birds flying in from sea past the beach, and chasing each other through Puerto del Rosario harbour. By that time it was obvious that the birds were Red-billed Tropicbirds, and when the birds appeared to stick around the harbour, we drove the 3 km out there. At the N part of the harbour the birds were flying in and out the area between two piers, apparently without landing on the water. Whether the birds were looking for a nesting site or a sleeping site, we dont't know, but they didn't seem to notice the on-going workin the harbour at all. At around 18.00 we left the harbour for the airport, for our plane to Tenerife left at 20.15. This one cost 9100 ptas (about £40), and it arrived at Tenerife N (beware, Tenerife has 2 airports!) at 21.00. With our rental car we drove the 85 km to the S, and we found a pension near Los Christianos harbour, appropriately called "La Paloma" (The Pigeon), for about£10 each.

Tuesday 21st April

Left early for Villaflor,about 1.5 hour drive from Los Christianos. At the famous site of Las Lajas Blue Chaffinches were easily found, as well as teneriffae Blue Tits, Tenerife Goldcrests, Canarian Chiffchaffs and canariensis Great Spotted Woodpeckers. We wanted to try both the pigeons on La Gomera, so at Erjos (NW Tenerife) we only visited the ponds. This site looks very promising, but apart from a lot of Moorhens and some Canarian Chaffinches we didn't see much. Along the W-side of the island we drove back to Los Christianos to enquire about boats to the other islands, and to find the CICAR rent-a-car office (which is conveniently located in the boat-ticket-building). Late afternoon and early evening we birded around Roquito del Fraile and Punta de la Rasca, but although we saw Little Shearwaters passing by there, we had to leave early for we had to turn in our car before 20.00 (it gets dark around 20.30). Dinner at "Miramar" restaurant in Los Christianos harbour (great onion-soup!).

Wednesday 22nd April

Took the ferry to La Gomera (9.00-10.30), but apart from 1 Little Shearwater didn't see much else. Rented a car for the day and drove to Mirador El Rejo, the place described in the Clarke book as being the most accessible pigeon site in the Canaries. With no clouds, we saw both pigeons easy here within 2 hours. Since it was apparently nesting nearby, perched views of Bolle's Pigeon were obtained several times, just across the road from the parking. White-tailed (Laurel) Pigeons were more difficult to see (flying or perched) but these were also seen on a regular basis. After that, we stopped at various other sites along the road for birding and butterflying before returning to the harbour. We were lucky in finding that a ferry would leave for El Hierro that afternoon, although it would go back to Tenerife first, and then head for El Hierro (same price as the return-fare to Tenerife). Left La Gomera at 17.30, arriving at Tenerife around 19.10. Around 20.00 left for El Hierro, and it got dark just while passing La Gomera. On that spot, where it was very windy, we saw 2 Madeiran Storm-Petrels, of which 1 was seen briefly and the other just a bit longer. It is possible to get a cabin on this ferry, but we slept in the chairs and used the shower anyway. Arrived at El Hierro at 23.45, took a taxi to Valverde, some 5 km from the harbour, and stayed the night in Pension Casadas (3000 ptas for 2).

Thursday 23rd April

Got up at 8.00, but rent-a-cars weren't open'till 9.20. According to the Clarke book, driving the road from Valverde to Frontera will get you the ombriosus Blue Tit and the ombriosa Chaffinch, so that is what we did. With fog, green pastures and small stone walls, the first part of this drive looked a bit like Ireland, but the species found here were a little different (Corn Bunting, Quail, Canary, Rock Sparrow and Canarian Chiffchaff). From the first woods on both sides of the road (at K23) the Blue Tits were easy, and further along we also saw some Chaffinches. All throughout the woods, Blackbird, Canarian Chiffchaff, Blue Tit and Tenerife Goldcrest are common. The town of Restinga, situated on the S-most point of the island is mentioned in the book as being one of the better sites for seawatching in the Canaries, so we drove all the way out there. We only had one hour's time, but left earlier, for we could not find a good spot to watch from. The big concrete wall sheltering the harbour has no stairs so that one can't watch from it. At 14.45 we took the return ferry to Tenerife, that also stops at La Gomera (14.45-17.45 El Hierro-La Gomera;18.30-20.00 La Gomera-Tenerife). In all we saw 6 Little Shearwaters, 1 White-faced Storm-Petrel and a possible Bulwer's Storm-Petrel, along with 2 Black Terns and a Plain Swift flying low above water. Stayed at same "La Paloma" Pension in Los Christianos.

Friday 24th April

Started the day with seawatching from Punta de la Rasca and checking Roquito del Fraile, then searching for migrants around Amarillo Golf Courseand El Medano pool (all places described in the Clarke-book). Migrants we didn'tfind, but we met Tony Clarke who told us he'd seen more White-faced Storm-Petrels than usual during the last couple of weeks. In the afternoon, we took one of the whale-watching tours out of Los Christianos and got great views of the Pilot Whales that we had already seen from Punta de la Rasca. These 4m-long whales could be seen from above and below water level because of the glass bottom in the boat. In early evening, we drove to Santa Cruz de Tenerife to inquire about ferry times to Gran Canaria, and then we drove on to Bajamar, near Punta del Hidalgo. Stayed at Hotel Neptuno (3800 ptas for 2) and dined at Chelo Restaurant (best-ever onion soup!).

Saturday 25th April

3 hours of seawatching from Punta del Hidalgo in early morning produced no Canary specialties, but some migration such as Manx' Shearwater, Black Tern, Whimbrel and Great Skua passing by. According to the Clarke-book, nearby Chanajiga should be a great pigeon-site, when there aren't any low clouds to spoil the fun. We certainly were not disappointed, and with good visibility for most of the time we saw Bolle's Pigeons (only fly-by's), superbus Robins, Tenerife Goldcrests, Sparrowhawk, Canaries and a number of lizards and butterflies. Between 17.00 and 19.15 we were on the ferry to Gran Canaria, where we landed at Agaete, on the W-side of the island. It was possible to take a (free) bus to Las Palmas, but we were told on Tenerife that finding a rent-a-car would be easy in Agaete (not!) so we didn't use it. After finding the rent-a-car we were told that it was not possible to return the car at the airport (not even with extra charge - earlier this trip we didn't have any difficulty in returning the car elsewhere) and that our only alternative was to return the car to Agaete, after which we would have to take the bus to Las Palmas anyway and from there onto the airport. On top of it all, the only car they had for us was a SEAT Marbella! We had no choice then to have dinner in Agaete, and then drive the 2 hours via Galdar, Guia and Arucas to Pinar de Tamadaba, the place where we wanted to try for polatzeki Blue Chaffinch. This Gran Canaria subspecies of Blue Chaffinch is endangered and very hard to find, as we experienced, and in our Clarke book only two spots are described where one can see one. We stayed in and next to our car, on the Pinar de Tamadaba parking lot.

Sunday 26th April

At the brink of dawn we got up and tried various paths on the mountain in search for Blue Chaffinch. We found some singing Canarian Chaffinches, but no Blue Chaffinches. On our way down the mountain we found some nice butterflies, and through Fontanales and Moya (a short-cut compared to the road we took the previous evening) we drove back to Agaete. There we took the 13.30 bus to Las Palmas, which at the bus station gave instant connection to the airport-bus. Around 15.00 we arrived at the airport, almost 4 hours early, and that with a delayed flight!

List of species recorded

  1. Red-billed Tropicbird - Roodsnavelkeerkringvogel - Phaeton aethereus
    20-4 pair flying in from sea along Playa Blanca, and displaying in the harbour of Puerto del Rosario, E Fuerteventura

  2. Bulwer's Petrel - Bulwers Stormvogel - Bulweria bulwerii
    22-4 1 seen from the ferry between La Gomera and Tenerife, about 18.00
    25-4 1 seen from the ferry between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, about 18.15

  3. Cory's Shearwater - Kuhls Pijlstormvogel - Calonectris borealis
    19-4 100+ past El Cotillo in the evening, Fuerteventura
    20-4 common off El Cotillo; 300+ within 1 hour ofseawatching, Las Salinas; 500+ off Playa Blanca, 2 km N ofPuerto del Rosario; 100's off the airport, E Fuerteventura
    21-4 100's (»W) past Punta de la Rasca, S Tenerife
    22-4 100+ between Tenerife and La Gomera; 1000+ between La Gomera and Tenerife; about 30between Tenerife and El Hierro
    23-4 about 40 past Restinga (within half an hour); 100's between El Hierro and LaGomera (except for the middle of the crossing); 100's between La Gomera and Tenerife
    24-4 3000+ past Punta de la Rasca; 25 'whale-watching' near Los Christianos,Tenerife
    25-4 5000+ past Punta del Hidalgo; 70 (of which only 17 on the crossing itself) betweenTenerife and Gran Canaria
    26-4 several past the airport (also seen from the plane), Gran Canaria

  4. Manx' Shearwater - Noordse Pijlstormvogel - Puffinus puffinus
    25-4 8 (7 »E) flying past Punta del Hidalgo, N Tenerife,early morning

  5. Little Shearwater - Kleine Pijlstormvogel - Puffinus assimilis baroli
    21-4 6 flying past » W at Punta de la Rasca, S Tenerifebetween 16.00-17.45
    22-4 1 seen from the ferry between Tenerife and La Gomera, around 9.30
     -- 2 seen from the ferry between La Gomera and Tenerife, around 19.00
    23-4 1 seen from the ferry between El Hierro and La Gomera, around 16.30
     -- 5 seen from the ferry between La Gomera and Tenerife, between 18.30-20.00
    25-4 1 seen from the ferry between Tenerife and Gran Canaria, around 18.50

  6. Madeiran Storm-Petrel - Madeira Stormvogeltje - Oceanodroma castro
    22-4 2 seen from the ferry between Tenerife and El Hierro at dusk.
    They were larger than British Storm-Petrel, had a clear white rump, appeared to haveshorter wings than Leach's Storm-Petrel, and they made sharp turns to the left andright while flying low above the water.

  7. White-faced Storm-Petrel - Bont Stormvogeltje - Pelagodroma marina
    23-4 1 seen from the ferry between El Hierro and La Gomera
    It had long dark wings, a white belly, white rump-sides but a dusky rump. The facialpattern was not seen well. Seen at about 17.00.

  8. Little Egret - Kleine Zilverreiger - Egretta garzetta
    19-4 1 Las Salinas, seen from the incoming plane, Fuerteventura
    20-4 1 at the rocky shores just N of El Cotillo, Fuerteventura;
     -- presumably same one at Las Salinas, S of Fustes
    24-4 7 reservoir N of Amarillo Golf Club, near Los Abrigos, S Tenerife

  9. Grey Heron - Blauwe Reiger - Ardea cinerea
    20-4 2 at the rocky shores just N of El Cotillo, Fuerteventura
    24-4 2 Roquito del Fraile, S Tenerife

  10. Ruddy Shelduck - Casarca - Tadorna ferruginea
    20-4 pair with (at least) 3 chicks, Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura

  11. Common Teal - Wintertaling - Anas crecca crecca
    21-4 male at Roquito del Fraile, S Tenerife
    24-4 same one Roquito del Fraile

  12. Eurasian Sparrowhawk - Sperwer - Accipiter nisus granti
    22-4 1 Mirador El Rejo, La Gomera
    23-4 1 K23 along the road between Valverde and Frontera, El Hierro
    25-4 1 Chanajiga forest, N Tenerife

  13. Common Buzzard - Buizerd - Buteo buteo insularum
    19-4 2 Willis's Barranco, E Fuerteventura
    21-4 1 small chapel along the road, N of Arguayo, W Tenerife
    22-4 1 perched on a rock, Mirador El Rejo, La Gomera
    23-4 1 near Restinga turn-off, El Hierro

  14. Common Kestrel - Torenvalk - Falco tinnunculus canariensis & dacotiae (Fuerteventura)
    Fairly common on all visited islands, several seen each day. More common on El Hierro.

  15. Barbary Partridge - Barbarijse Patrijs - Alectoris barbara koenigi
    20-4 5 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    21-4 2 flying from the hillside at a small chapel, N of Arguayo, NW Tenerife

  16. Quail - Kwartel - Coturnix coturnix
    23-4 3 heard in fields near San Andres; 1 heard along the road to Frontera; 4 heard along the road to Restinga, El Hierro
    26-4 1 heard near Fontanales, W Gran Canaria

  17. Moorhen - Waterhoen - Gallinula chloropus
    21-4 12 Erjos ponds, NW Tenerife

  18. Common Coot - Meerkoet - Fulica atra
    21-4 29 Roquito del Fraile, S Tenerife
    24-4 27 (of which 5 were nesting) Roquito del Fraile, S Tenerife

  19. Houbara Bustard - (Westelijke) Kraagtrap - Chlamydotis undulata fuerteventurae
    19-4 4 near the farm, just NW of La Oliva, Fuerteventura

  20. Stone Curlew - Griel - Burhinus oedicnemus insularum
    20-4 2 heard at night and 1 seen in the morning, in the dunes N of El Cotillo, Fuerteventura

  21. Cream-coloured Courser - Renvogel - Cursorius cursor
    19-4 2 near the farm just NW of La Oliva, Fuerteventura

  22. Little Ringed Plover - Kleine Plevier - Charadrius dubius
    20-4 2 Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura
    21-4 pair with 2 pulli, small puddle next to banana plantation, Las Galletas; 5 Roquitodel Fraile, Tenerife
    23-4 pair with 3 pulli, same spot; 1 Roquito del Fraile; 1 Amarillo Golf Club, S Tenerife

  23. Kentish Plover - Strandplevier - Charadrius alexandrinus
    19-4 male on El Cotillo beach, W Fuerteventura
    20-4 4 El Cotillo; 2 Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura
    24-4 3 opposite El Medano pool, S Tenerife

  24. Grey Plover - Zilverplevier - Pluvialis squatarola
    19-4 1 El Cotillo beach, W Fuerteventura
    20-4 1 Las Salinas, S of Fustes
    24-4 1 Punta de la Rasca; 1 Bajamar, Tenerife

  25. Sanderling - Drieteenstrandloper - Calidris alba
    19-4 8 on El Cotillo beach, W Fuerteventura
    20-4 3 El Cotillo

  26. Little Stint - Kleine Strandloper - Calidris minuta
    21-4 1 Roquito del Fraile, S Tenerife
    24-4 same one at Roquito del Fraile, S Tenerife

  27. Ruff - Kemphaan - Philomachus pugnax
    20-4 1 Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura

  28. Whimbrel - Regenwulp - Numenius phaeopus
    19-4 4 on El Cotillo beach and sand dunes, W Fuerteventura
    20-4 10 El Cotillo
    21-4 2 at Punta de la Rasca, where also 100+ flew » N; 6 pastLos Christianos, Tenerife
    22-4 80+ »NW between Tenerife and La Gomera
    24-4 1 near banana plantation and 2 Punta de la Rasca, Las Galletas, Tenerife
    25-4 10 (4,4,1,1) past Punta del Hidalgo, N Tenerife

  29. Common Sandpiper - Oeverloper - Actitis hypoleucos
    20-4 1 Las Salinas, S of Fustes, Fuerteventura
    22-4 1 harbour Los Christianos, Tenerife
    24-4 1 reservoir N of Amarillo Golf Club, S Tenerife

  30. Turnstone - Steenloper - Arenaria interpres
    19-4 20-25 El Cotillo beach, W Fuerteventura
    20-4 5-7 El Cotillo; 1 Las Salinas, S of Fustes
    21-4 3 Roquito del Fraile, Tenerife
    22-4 8 harbour Los Christianos, Tenerife
    23-4 2 harbour El Hierro
    25-4 5 Punta del Hidalgo, Tenerife

  31. Great Skua - Grote Jager - Catharacta skua
    22-4 1 ad. between La Gomera and Tenerife
    25-4 1 ad. »E past Punta del Hidalgo, N Tenerife; 1 ad. »S between Tenerife and Gran Canaria

    South Polar/Great Skua - Zuidpool-/Grote Jager - Catharacta maccormicki/skua
    21-4 1 past Punta de la Rasca »E was too far out to identify to species

  32. Pomarine Skua - Middelste Jager - Stercorarius pomarinus
    22-4 1 between Tenerife and El Hierro

  33. Yellow-legged Gull - Mediterrane Geelpootmeeuw - Larus michahellis michahellis
    25-4 1 adult flying around in the harbour of Punto des Nieves, Gran Canaria

    -- ssp. atlantis
    Common on all visited islands. Breeding on rocky cliffs, the birds were more common on the shores, but were also found inland, up to the highest crags.

  34. Common Tern - Visdief - Sterna hirundo
    21-4 3 (1 pair) harbour Los Christianos,Tenerife
    22-4 4 (1 pair) harbour Los Christianos,Tenerife
    23-4 1 harbour El Hierro; 3 (including 1 heavily oiled) harbour San Sebastian, La Gomera; pair harbour Los Christianos, Tenerife
    24-4 pair harbour Los Christianos and 1 flying by, 'whale-watching'-tour,Tenerife
    25-4 2 of which 1 was heavily oiled, harbour Santa Cruz de Tenerife

    Common/Arctic Tern - Visdief/Noordse Stern - Sterna hirundo/paradisaea
    25-4 4 past Punta del Hidalgo were too far out to identify to species

  35. Sandwich Tern - Grote Stern - Sterna sanvicensis
    25-4 2 in the harbour of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

  36. Black Tern - Zwarte Stern - Chlidonias niger
    23-4 2 from the ferry between La Gomera and Tenerife
    25-4 2 flying »E past Punta del Hidalgo, NE Tenerife; 1 fromthe ferry between Tenerife and Gran Canaria

  37. Black-bellied Sandgrouse - Zwartbuikzandhoen - Pterocles orientalis
    20-4 7-10 in the dunes N of El Cotillo, W Fuerteventura (perched, flying and heard)

  38. Rock Dove - Rotsduif - Columba livia
    20-4 2 Tefia; 2 Barranco de la Torre, Fuerteventura
    21-4 6 Las Lajas, Tenerife

  39. Bolle's (Laurel) Pigeon - Bolle's Laurierduif - Columba bollii
    22-4 25 sightings within 2 hours, of which one bird perched many times opposite the parking, calling from a tree (probably a nesting bird), Mirador El Rejo;
     -- 3 Mirador El Bailadero, La Gomera;
     -- 5 flushed at the "El Cedro" turn-off were probably this species
    25-4 4 sightings within 2,5 hours, Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife

  40. Laurel/White-tailed Pigeon - Laurierduif - Columba junoniae
    22-4 6 sightings of which 2 were perched birds and 2 close fly-by's, Mirador El Rejo, La Gomera

  41. Collared Dove - Turkse Tortel - Streptopelia decaocto
    21-4 1 Arguayo; 2 Los Christianos, Tenerife
    22-4 2 Los Christianos, Tenerife
    24-4 2 in the laurel trees along the harbour, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

  42. Turtle Dove - Zomertortel - Streptopelia turtur
    Common on all visited islands (though not seen on E Fuerteventura, on 19-4)

  43. Pallid Swift - Vale Gierzwaluw - Apus pallidus brehmorum
    19-4 5-10 Willis's Barranco, E Fuerteventura
    20-4 10+ Tuineje; several Barranco de la Torre; 3 overairport, Fuerteventura

  44. Plain Swift - Madeiragierzwaluw - Apus unicolor
    21-4 3 Erjos ponds; 30+ over small chapel N of Arguayo; 30+ S of Guia de Isora; 1 Punta de la Rasca, Tenerife
    22-4 10 harbour San Sebastian; 2 sewage works W of San Sebastian, La Gomera
    23-4 23 at "Vivero forestal. Hoya del creal"-turn-off, between Valverde and Frontera
     -- 20+ at El Pinar, El Hierro
     -- 1 flying low above water between La Gomera and Tenerife
    24-4 4 reservoir N of Amarillo Golf Club; 3 at the club itself; 3 along the road to SantaCruz, Tenerife
    25-4 25+ Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 4 Pinar de Tamadaba; 20+ near Fontanales turn-off, W Gran Canaria

  45. Hoopoe - Hop - Upupa epops
    19-4 1 Willis's Barranco; 2 along the road near La Oliva; 2 El Cotillo sanddunes, Fuerteventura
    20-4 2 El Cotillo; 2 Las Peñitas, W Fuerteventura
    24-4 1 reservoir N of Amarillo Golf Club, Tenerife

  46. Great Spotted Woodpecker - Grote Bonte Specht - Dendrocopos major canariensis
    21-4 1 calling, 1 km N of Villaflor; 3 pairs (of which 1 pair was ringed) Las Lajas,Tenerife

    -- ssp. thanneri
    26-4 about 10 Pinar de Tamadaba forest, W Gran Canaria

  47. Short-toed Lark - Kortteenleeuwerik - Calandrella brachydactyla rubiginosa
    20-4 5 Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura

  48. Lesser Short-toed Lark - Kleine Kortteenleeuwerik - Calandrella rufescens polatzeki
    19-4 50+ plain just S of Willis's Barranco, E Fuerteventura
    20-4 common in the sand dunes just N of El Cotillo; 3 S of La Ampuyenta; several at small pools E of Betancuria, Fuerteventura

  49. Barn Swallow - Boerenzwaluw - Hirundo rustica
    24-4 4 banana plantation near Roquito del Fraile

  50. Berthelot's Pipit - Berthelot's Pieper - Anthus berthelotii
    Common on all visited islands, especially on the plains. Also found in the pine forestat Pinar de Tamadaba, where they were singing from the trees.

  51. Grey Wagtail - Grote Gele Kwikstaart - Motacilla cinerea canariensis
    21-4 1 heard near Villaflor; 2 S of Guia de Isora; 1 heard near banana plantation, Las Galletas, Tenerife
    24-4 pair at reservoir N of Amarillo Golf Club, Tenerife
    25-4 1 heard between Bajamar and Chanajiga, NE Tenerife

  52. Robin - Roodborst - Erithacus rubecula rubecula
    22-4 2 heard singing, Mirador El Rejo, La Gomera
    23-4 3 heard singing, roadside San Andres, El Hierro

    -- ssp. superbus
    25-4 8+ singing Chanajiga forest (2 seen), NE Tenerife
    26-4 common Pinar de Tamadaba forest, W Gran Canaria

  53. Canary Islands/Fuerteventura Chat - Canarische Roodborsttapuit - Saxicola dacotiae
    19-4 pair at Willis's Barranco, E Fuerteventura
    20-4 1 heard in early morning, dunes just N of El Cotillo, W Fuerteventura;
    male carrying food, Barranco de la Torre, E Fuerteventura

  54. Black Redstart - Zwarte Roodstaart - Phoenicurus ochruros aterrimus
    19-4 male on the farmhouse just NW of La Oliva, Fuerteventura

  55. Blackbird - Merel - Turdus merula cabrerae
    21-4 1 heard Los Christianos; 1 Villaflor; common around Erjos ponds, Tenerife
    22-4 common Mirador El Rejo; common El Cedro turn-off, La Gomera
    23-4 common in suitable habitat, El Hierro
    24-4 several heard in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
    25-4 common Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 common W Gran Canaria

  56. Garden Warbler - Tuinfluiter - Sylvia borin
    20-4 1 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura

  57. Blackcap - Zwartkop - Sylvia atricapilla
    22-4 2 heard Hermigua, La Gomera
    23-4 several Valverde; pair at "Vivero forestal.." turn-off between Valverde and Frontera, El Hierro
    24-4 1 heard reservoir N of Amarillo Golf Club; several heard Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife
    25-4 several heard between Bajamar and Chanajiga, NE Tenerife

  58. Sardinian Warbler - Kleine Zwartkop - Sylvia melanocephala
    20-4 about 10 heard singing, male and female seen, Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    21-4 male Erjos ponds, Tenerife

  59. Spectacled Warbler - Brilgrasmus - Sylvia conspicillata orbitalis
    19-4 3 Willis's Barranco, E Fuerteventura
    20-4 1 Tefia; singing male Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    21-4 5 between banana plantation and lighthouse, Punta de la Rasca, S Tenerife
    24-4 3 singing males and 1 female, between banana plantation and Punta de la Rasca; 2 reservoir N of Amarillo Golf Club, Tenerife
    26-4 1 heard 1 km W of Artenara, W Gran Canaria

  60. Canarian Chiffchaff - Canarische Tjiftjaf - Phylloscopus canariensis canariensis
    21-4 1 near Villaflor; 8 Las Lajas; common around Erjos ponds; 1 heard Los Christianos, Tenerife
    22-4 several in suitable habitat, La Gomera
    23-4 common in suitable habitat, El Hierro
    24-4 heard along the harbour in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
    25-4 common Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 common W Gran Canaria

  61. Tenerife Goldcrest - Tenerifegoudhaan - Regulus teneriffae
    21-4 7 Las Lajas, Tenerife
    22-4 several Mirador El Rejo; several El Cedro turn-off, La Gomera
    23-4 5 K23 along the road between Valverde and Forestal; common in the forest along this road, El Hierro
    25-4 about 8 Chanajiga forest parking, NE Tenerife

  62. Blue Tit - Pimpelmees - Parus (caeruleus) teneriffae
    21-4 2 singing Villaflor; 6-8 Las Lajas, Tenerife
    22-4 3 El Cedro turn-off, La Gomera
    25-4 about 8 Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 common W Gran Canaria

    -- Parus (caeruleus) degener
    20-4 about 12 (in family-groups) Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura

    -- Parus (caeruleus) ombriosus
    23-4 1 immature Valverde, El Hierro; 3 at kmp 23 between Valverde and Frontera (firstforest on either side of the road); common at the turn-off called "Vivero forestal.Hoya del creal" (along the same road), El Hierro

  63. Southern Grey Shrike - Zuidelijke Klapekster - Lanius meridionalis koenigi
    19-4 4 Willis's Barranco; 1 La Oliva, Fuerteventura
    20-4 2 lava field N of El Cotillo; 2 Lajares; 1 small pools E of Betancuria; 6 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    21-4 1 between banana plantation and lighthouse, Punta de la Rasca, S Tenerife
    24-4 1 near banana plantation and 2 Roquito del Fraile, S Tenerife

  64. Common Raven - Raaf - Corvus corax
    19-4 5 Willis's Barranco; 1 La Oliva, Fuerteventura
    20-4 2 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    21-4 2 Las Lajas, Tenerife
    22-4 1 Mirador de El Bailadero; 1 sewage works W of San Sebastian, La Gomera
    23-4 7 El Hierro
    26-4 pair Pinar de Tamadaba forest, W Gran Canaria

  65. Rock Sparrow - Rotsmus - Petronia petronia
    23-4 5 around the turn-off »Restinga, El Hierro

  66. Spanish Sparrow - Spaanse Mus - Passer hispaniolensis
    Common on all islands, in towns and barrancos. The only representative of the Passer genus we saw.

  67. Canarian Chaffinch - Canarische Vink - Fringilla (coelebs) canariensis
    21-4 6 Erjos ponds, Tenerife
    25-4 5 Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 3 singing along the track into the forest, Pinar de Tamadaba; 1 singing opposite Fontanales turn-off, W Gran Canaria

    -- ssp. ombriosa
    23-4 pair at turn-off "Vivero forestal. Hoya del creal", El Hierro

  68. Blue Chaffinch - Blauwe Vink - Fringilla teydea teydea
    21-4 8 (2 males) Las Lajas, Tenerife

  69. Canary - Kanarie - Serinus canaria
    21-4 5 Villaflor; 6-8 Las Lajas; 15+ Erjos ponds, Tenerife
    22-4 pair Mirador El Rejo; pair Mirador de El Bailadero, La Gomera
    23-4 common on El Hierro
    25-4 2 pairs Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 several heard Pinar de Tamadaba forest; pair in the crater near Fontanales turn-off,W Gran Canaria

  70. Serin - Europese Kanarie - Serinus serinus
    26-4 1 singing at kmp 13 along the "GC 160" (1 km S of San Fernando), GranCanaria

  71. Linnet - Kneu - Acanthis cannabina harterti
    19-4 pair on the plain just S of Willis's Barranco, E Fuerteventura; pair La Oliva, Fuerteventura
    20-4 3 sand dunes, El Cotillo; 2 S of La Ampuyenta; 5 Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura

    -- ssp. meadewaldoi
    21-4 1 Villaflor; several Erjos ponds; common Santiago del Teide; several S of Guia de Isora, Tenerife
    23-4 5 roadside at San Andres, El Hierro

  72. Goldfinch - Putter - Carduelis carduelis parva
    20-4 3 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura

  73. Greenfinch - Groenling - Carduelis chloris
    20-4 2 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    25-4 2 heard singing Chanajiga forest picknick area, NE Tenerife
    26-4 2, 1 km W of Artenara; several kmp 13 along "Gran Canaria 160", W Gran Canaria

  74. Trumpeter Finch - Woestijnvink - Bucanetes githagineus
    19-4 5 males Willis's Barranco; 1 La Oliva, Fuerteventura
    20-4 1 sand dunes El Cotillo; 3 Las Peñitas,Fuerteventura

  75. Corn Bunting - Grauwe Gors - Miliaria calandra thanneri
    20-4 10 (5 singing males) S of La Ampuyenta; 5 small pools E of Betancuria,Fuerteventura
    21-4 4 singing Villaflor; 2 singing Santiago del Teide, Tenerife
    23-4 common in suitable habitat (i.e. San Andres, along road to Restinga), El Hierro
    26-4 several between Pinar de Tamadaba and Fontanales, W Gran Canaria

Mammals

  1. Barbary Ground Squirrel - Barbarijse Grondeekhoorn - Atlantoxerus getulus (introduced)
    19-4 several Willis's Barranco, E Fuerteventura
    20-4 several Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura

  2. Rabbit - Konijn - Oryctolagus cuniculus
    23-4 1 "Vivero forestal..." turn-off between Valverde and Frontera, El Hierro

  3. Shortsnout (Fraser's) Dolphin - Witsnuitdolfijn - Lagenodelphis hosei
    (All fairly large dolphins - some 4 m - with short snouts were probably this species)
    21-4 12 (10+2) past Punta de la Rasca, S Tenerife
    22-4 10 from ferry between Tenerife and La Gomera; 10 from ferry between Tenerife and El Hierro

  4. Shortfin Pilot Whale - Indische Griend - Globiocephala macrorhynchus
    22-4 14 from ferry between Tenerife and La Gomera; 34 (30+4) from ferry between LaGomera and Tenerife
    23-4 9 (including 1 calf) from ferry between La Gomera and Tenerife
    24-4 7 »N past Punta de la Rasca; 14 up close from a'whale-watching' tour, about 8 km offshore, Los Christianos, Tenerife

Reptiles and Amphibians

  1. Marsh Frog - Rana perezi
    26-4 several heard Pinar de Tamadaba forest, W Gran Canaria

  2. Gran Canaria Giant Lizard - Gallotia stehlini
    26-4 several Pinar de Tamadaba forest; 1 crater near Fontanales turn-off, W GranCanaria

  3. Canary Lizard - Gallotia galloti
    20-4 several Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    21-4 several small chapel N of Arguayo, NW Tenerife
    25-4 several Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife

    -- Gallotia sp. (about 15-20 cm-long lizards)
    24-4 1 Amarillo Golf Club, S Tenerife
    25-4 several Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife

Butterflies

  1. Large White - Canarisch Groot Koolwitje - Pieris (brassicae) cheiranthi
    21-4 10+ Santiago del Teide, Tenerife
    22-4 1 Mirador El Rejo; several Mirador de El Bailadero, La Gomera
    23-4 several El Pinar, El Hierro
    25-4 several Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    Note! The Large Whites from Gomera and El Hierro were probably misidentified (must actually have been Small Whites), as they are very rare on these islands

  2. Small White - Klein Koolwitje - Artogeia/Pieris rapae
    22-4 several Mirador de El Bailadero, La Gomera
    23-4 several El Pinar, El Hierro
    24-4 7 Roquito del Fraile; common near Amarillo Golf Club, Tenerife
    25-4 several Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife

  3. Bath White - Resedawitje - Pontia daplidice
    20-4 1 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    21-4 several N of Arguayo; common S of Guia de Isora; several Roquito del Fraile, Tenerife
    22-4 several along the road » S, La Gomera
    25-4 common Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife; 2 from the ferry (in open sea) between Tenerife and Gran Canaria
    26-4 common W Gran Canaria

  4. Clouded Yellow - Oranje Luzerne - Colias crocea
    22-4 2 Mirador El Rejo; 3+ Mirador de El Bailadero, La Gomera
    23-4 several El Pinar, El Hierro
    26-4 1, 1 km W of Artenara; several picknick-area and crater near Fontanales turn-off, W Gran Canaria

  5. Cleopatra - Canarische Cleopatra - Gonopteryx cleobule
    22-4 male Mirador de El Bailadero, La Gomera
    25-4 4 males, 2 females Chanajiga forest, Ne Tenerife

  6. Small Copper - Kleine Vuurvlinder - Lycaena phlaeas
    22-4 3 Mirador de El Bailadero, La Gomera
    25-4 3 Chanajiga forest, Ne Tenerife
    26-4 2 crater near Fontanales turn-off, W Gran Canaria

  7. (Southern) Brown Argus - Moors Bruin Blauwtje - Aricia (agestis) cramera
    25-4 1 Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife

  8. Red Admiral - Atalanta - Vanessa atalanta
    25-4 3 Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 several Pinar de Tamadaba forest, W Gran Canaria

  9. Indian Red Admiral - Canarische Atalanta - Vanessa indica vulcania
    22-4 2 Mirador El Rejo; several Mirador de El Bailadero; 1 El Cedro turn-off, La Gomera
    25-4 4 Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife

  10. Painted Lady - Distelvlinder - Cynthia cardui
    22-4 1 Mirador de El Bailadero, La Gomera

  11. Meadow Brown - Bruin Zandoogje - Maniola jurtina hispulla
    22-4 1 along the road » S, La Gomera

  12. Canary Speckled Wood - Canarisch Bont Zandoogje - Pararge xiphioides
    22-4 5+ Mirador El Rejo; several Mirador de El Bailadero; several El Cedro turn-off,La Gomera
    25-4 5 Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife
    26-4 several Pinar de Tamadaba forest and 1 km W of Artenara, W Gran Canaria

  13. Monarch - Monarchvlinder - Danaus plexippus
    24-4 1 in the old laurel trees along the harbour of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

  14. Plain Tiger Butterfly - Afrikaanse Monarch - Danaus chrysippus
    20-4 1 Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura

  15. Lulworth Skipper - Dwergdikkopje - Thymelicus acteon christi
    26-4 2, 1 km W of Artenara, W Gran Canaria

    Heath spec. - Hooibeestje spec. - Coenonympha spec.
    (Probably Coenonympha arcanioides which is a North African species that is reminiscent of
    Pearly Heath - Tweekleurig Hooibeestje - Coenonympha arcania)
    21-4 2 Las Lajas; 1 small chapel N of Arguayo, Tenerife
    26-4 1, 1 km W of Artenara, W Gran Canaria

Dragonflies

  1. Emperor Dragonfly - Grote Keizerlibel - Anax imperator
    20-4 several Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura
    25-4 several Chanajiga forest, NE Tenerife

  2. Red-veined Darter - Zwervende Heidelibel - Sympetrum fonscolombii
    20-4 several Las Peñitas, Fuerteventura

Notes on the Canary Islands'(sub)species

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This page served with permission of the authors by Urs Geiser; ugeiser@xnet.com;October 15, 1998; corrected October 23, 2003