Working for birds in Africa

Canary Islands


Wed, 02/06/2013 - 10:47 -- abc_admin

Tejina artificial pond, North East Tenerife

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

The following largely unconfirmed records have been published in the Bulletins of the African Bird Club. Some of these records were previously published in Birding World and Dutch Birding.

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

A male Eastern Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans on Lanzarote from 30 December 2016 to 11 February 2017 has been accepted as the first for the archipelago (per Ardeola 65: 97–139). Records from the period May–December 2017 include the following. A Daurian Shrike Lanius isabellinus isabellinus photographed at Montaña de Taco, Tenerife, on 21–22 November would be the first for the Canary Islands and Macaronesia, if accepted (www. A Black-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta tropica at Banco de la Concepción, off Lanzarote, on 9 September was the fourth for the Canaries; the three previous ones were at the same site in 2011, 2012 and 2016, all between 18 August and 10 September. Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus bred on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. The fourth White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus for the archipelago was photographed on Fuerteventura on 29–30 September, whilst the fourth and fifth Dwarf Bitterns Ixobrychus sturmii for the Canary Islands were observed on Fuerteventura at Corralejo on 25 November and at Barranco de Río Cabras throughout December.

A Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors was seen on Gran Canaria on 6–14 October and an immature Brown Booby Sula leucogaster at Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, on 14 September. A Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates monorhis was picked up on a ferry and later released between Lanzarote and La Palma on 15 December. Two Allen’s Gallinules Porphyrio alleni were at Barranco de Río Cabras, Fuerteventura, in the last ten days of November. Juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers Calidris melanotos were noted on Tenerife on 3 September and Fuerteventura on 20 September, whilst a White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis was on La Palma on 20–23 October and a Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes on Lanzarote on 2 October. A South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki was photographed off La Palma on 28 November and a Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis observed on Tenerife on 11–14 October.

Two Pied Crows Corvus albus were still present at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria harbour in October. The fifth Greater Hoopoe Lark Alaemon alaudipes for the Canary Islands was observed on Gran Canaria on 29 October; three stayed on Lanzarote into December, whilst another was on Fuerteventura on 2–17 December. The sixth Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi was on Tenerife on 1 November. Three Olive-backed Pipits A. hodgsoni were found on Lanzarote on 28 October, with two on Fuerteventura on 5–8 November and four also there on 11–19 December. A Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti was seen on Lanzarote on 10 November. Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus were noted on Tenerife (two on 22 October), Gran Canaria (one on 5 November), Lanzarote (up to nine from 9 November onwards) and Fuerteventura (singles on 23 October and 9 and 10 November; up to five in December). A Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca was observed on Fuerteventura on 29 September, with another on Lanzarote on 10 November. Two Little Buntings Emberiza pusilla were reported on Lanzarote on 28 October and three on Fuerteventura on 6 November, with up to five also there on 14–31 December (per Dutch Birding 39: 260–265, 335–348, 399–414 & 40: 46–59, observation. org and Scarce species on Tenerife in October included two Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus at Los Rodeos on 30th (with one at Valle Molina reservoir on 3 November; RBa), a juvenile Little Stint Calidris minuta at Tejina ponds on 7–13th (Fig. 2; JdP, RF, DTr & RBa), a juvenile male Ruff C. pugnax also there in October (Fig. 3; RF, DTr & RBa), a Hoopoe Upupa epops at Los Rodeos on 7th and, also there, a Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica on 17th (RBa) and two Whinchats Saxicola rubetra on 13th and 16th (DTr & RBa).

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

Reports from the period December 2016–May 2017, with a few from preceding months, include the following. A juvenile Brent Goose Branta bernicla bernicla remained near Jandía, Fuerteventura, on 1–29 December (Fig. 3; VRC & BN). Between 28 November and 5 December, a Blue-winged Teal Anas discors commuted between Gold del Sur and Las Chafiras Reservoir, Tenerife (MB). A male at San Miguel de Abona, Tenerife, on 21 January, was seen again at the same site on 10 and 16 February (Fig. 4; RBa, DT, VRC, ES & MLo). The Pied-billed Grebe Podylimbus podiceps that was first reported at Estanque del Mattorral, Gran Canaria, in November 2015 was still present in March. On the same island, an exhausted firstwinter Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni, picked up at Las Nieves on 10 January, was the fourth for the archipelago. A Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumenifer was reported at Istmo de la Pared, Fuerteventura, on 25 December (per Dutch Birding 39: 44). An immature Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia stayed at Alajeróm, La Gomera, in March (RBa & VRC) and an immature Purple Heron Ardea purpurea at Tejina-Bajamar ponds, Tenerife, on 11 May (RBa). A first-winter Brown Booby Sula leucogaster photographed off Las Puntas, El Hierro, on 2 January was the second for the Canaries (the first was in September 2012), whilst another immature flew past Puerto Colon, Tenerife, on 28 April (per Dutch Birding 39: 50, 205). A Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus was found between Valle de Guerra and La Barranquera, Tenerife, on 31 October–1 November 2016 (Fig. 5); another remained at TejinaBajamar ponds from 6 November until 3 December (RBa, ES, DT, BR et al.). A Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa was at Las Galletas, Tenerife, on 21 January, with another (or the same individual) near El Médano on 16 February (Fig. 6; RBa, DT, ES & MLo). A Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus at Arrecife, Lanzarote, on 25 March was the second for the archipelago (per Dutch Birding 39: 206).

A Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis was observed near TejinaValle de Guerra ponds, Tenerife, on 1 February; the species has been present here in very small numbers since 2008 (RBa & DT). A female or immature Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus flew over Los Rodeos, Tenerife, on 24 March and 6 April (BR, RBa, VRC & JV), whilst a Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus was also observed there on 15 and 17 February (RBa, VRC, JV et al.). The second Bluecheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus for the Canary Islands, an immature, was photographed near Jandía, Fuerteventura, on 9 April (Fig. 7; VRC & FS). On Tenerife, an adult European Roller Coracias garrulus was seen at Los Rodeos on 18 April (RBa & JV). Two of the three (presumably ship-assisted) Pied Crows Corvus albus that were first seen at Las Palmas harbour, Gran Canaria, on 26 October 2016, remained until at least 2 December (per Dutch Birding 39: 53). A Brown-necked Raven C. ruficollis at Teguise, Lanzarote, on 5 February may be the first record for the archipelago (per Dutch Birding 39: 128). A Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica was noted at Lomada de Tecina, La Gomera, on 14 March (VRC & RBa). During February, at least 12 Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus were present in the Canary Islands, including up to five at Pájara, Fuerteventura (per Dutch Birding 39: 128).

An adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva was at Pájara on 19 April (VRC). Still at Pájara, a nestbuilding male Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus was observed on 22 December–8 February; two previous ones—on Tenerife in the 1990s (exact date unknown) and on 7–10 March 1998—were presumed to be ship-assisted (per Dutch Birding 39: 60, 129). A male Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola at Golf del Sur, Tenerife, on 6 April was the third for the Canaries (per Dutch Birding 39: 211).

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

In May–December 2016 the following were reported. The first Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus for the Canary Islands was a male photographed at Pájara, Fuerteventura, on 27 December (per

A group of 16 Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea on El Río saltpans, Lanzarote, on 25 October was one of the largest flocks recorded on the island (RB, JR & GT). On Gran Canaria, Pied-billed Grebes Podylimbus podiceps, first reported here in November 2015, remained at Estanques de Aldea Blanca, San Bartolome de Tirajana, until early June (two), and for more than a year at Estanque del Matorral (one). In May, c.20–25 Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus were counted on Fuerteventura, with 8–9 pairs breeding; just two nonbreeders were recorded in 2014–15 (elsewhere in the archipelago, single pairs breed occasionally on El Hierro and Lanzarote). The third Black-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta tropica for the Canary Islands was photographed at Banco de la Concepción, off Lanzarote, on 4 September; previous records were also off Lanzarote, in 2011 and 2012. Three Cape Verde Shearwaters Calonectris edwardsii were recorded: on Gran Canaria (trapped) on 18 July; on Montaña Clara islet, off Lanzarote, in late July; and at Playa del Matorral, Fuerteventura, on 30 July (photographed). A subadult Red-footed Booby Sula sula was photographed off Puerto Colón, Tenerife, on 4 August (per Dutch Birding 38: 394–398). On Tenerife, a female Ruff Calidris pugnax was seen near Las Maretas de El Río, on 11 October (RB & ES). A South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki was reported off Tazacorte, La Palma, on 1 October (per Dutch Birding 38: 455).

During a census of the endemic subspecies of Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus majorensis, 62 occupied territories were counted, of which 90% were on Fuerteventura, with the rest on Lanzarote and the Chinijo archipelago; there were just 21 territories in 1998 and in 2015 the total number of individuals was estimated at 277 (per Dutch Birding 38: 405). An immature Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus was observed near Ye, Lanzarote, on 25 October (RB, JR & GT) and a pale-morph adult Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae flew over Garajonay National Park, La Gomera, on 24 September (RB). Three Pied Crows Corvus albus at Las Palmas harbour, Gran Canaria, on 26 October were presumably ship-assisted (per Dutch Birding 38: 462). Fields at Los Rodeos, Tenerife, held an adult Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla on 31 October, two Tawny Pipits Anthus campestris on 29 September (RB & ES), two Meadow Pipits A. pratensis on 17 November (RB, BRo & JV) and a Whinchat Saxicola rubetra on 9 September (RB & ES). A male Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus was found in Garajonay National Park, La Gomera, on 23–24 September (RB) and a Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus at the Tejina-Bajamar ponds, Tenerife, on 29 September (RB & ES).

from ABC Bulletin 23.2

Records from the period November 2015–May 2016 include the following. A female Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea with 13 large pulli was at a dam near El Médano, Tenerife, on 2 April (RB & ES), with another female at Tejina ponds on 30 January (RB et al.); the species is slowly expanding west. Three Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris, two males and a female, remained at Tejina ponds, Tenerife, throughout January (RB et al.). Two Pied-billed Grebes Podilymbus podiceps were present at Estanques de Aldea Blanca, Gran Canaria, from November until late April (per Dutch Birding 38: 105, 186, 240).

An immature Purple Heron Ardea purpurea flew over Tejina ponds, Tenerife, on 21 May (RB, SE & RH). An Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni was found at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, on 17 December, whilst a first-year was killed by a cat on Lanzarote on 27 January, and another there was picked up exhausted on 18 February (per Dutch Birding 38: 105, 186). Male Ruffs Calidris pugnax were seen on Tenerife near Las Galletas on 2 April and at San Isidro the next day (RB et al.), and on Fuerteventura at Tesejerague ponds on 16 May (RB, SE & RH). A Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica was observed at Rosa del Taro, Fuerteventura, on 17 May (RB, SE & RH). An Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni was reported from the same island on 7 February (per Dutch Birding 38: 193). On Lanzarote, an adult male Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus was observed at Órzola on 14 April (RB & FS).

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

Records from the period late May–late November 2015 include the following. The first Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis for the Canary Islands was a female photographed at Janubio salt pans, Lanzarote, on 7 November. Four Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris, three males and a female, were at Tejina ponds, Tenerife, from early November. A first-year Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps at Estanques de Aldea Blanca, Gran Canaria, on 14 November was the second for the archipelago. Three immature Northern Gannets Morus bassanus flew past Punta de Jandía, Fuerteventura, on 9 June. On 22 May, an adult Red-footed Booby Sula sula was seen off El Hierro. Four pairs of Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus with seven young were counted on Lobos islet, Fuerteventura on 11 June; breeding on this islet was confirmed for the first time in May 2014. An adult female Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus atrifrons was found on Lanzarote, on 7 August. On Tenerife, three juvenile Eurasian Dotterels C. morinellus were at Los Rodeos on 1 October and a juvenile Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii at a dam near Las Galletas on 17–25 September. A first-winter Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus was present on the same island on 9 October–13 November. A South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki was observed at sea between La Palma and Tenerife on 25 October. A Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica was noted at a reservoir near El Médano, Tenerife, on 9 July. Two pale morph Booted Eagles Hieraaetus pennatus flew over Lobos islet, Fuerteventura, on 11 June. An immature female Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus was seen at Los Rodeos, Tenerife, on 30 September and 3 October.

A few Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus were observed on Fuerteventura on 7 November, following a large influx in western Europe. Also on Fuerteventura, a Western Olivaceous Warbler Iduna opaca was photographed on 7 June, with a Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta also there on the same date. A male Capian Stonechat Saxicola maurus hemprichii was reported from La Graciosa on 22–23 October. An adult Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus at Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, between 29 September and 2 October was the second for the Canary Islands; the first was in 1984.

from ABC Bulletin 22.2

Records from December 2014 - May 2015 include the following. On Tenerife, an adult Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides was observed at Tejina-Valle de Guerra on 19 May and an adult Purple Heron Ardea purpurea at Tejina-Bajamar on 29 April, with an immature at the same pond on 19 May. At Los Rodeos airport, at least four Lesser Kestrels Falco naumanni (two adult males, an immature male and an adult female) stayed on 9 - 22 April. An influx of Red-footed Falcons F. vespertinus occurred in May at Los Rodeos on 17th (c.30 the previous day), but sadly c.20 died, mainly due to collisions with aeroplanes, despite efforts by the airport personnel to avoid this; the last record was of three on 25th. Also at Los Rodeos, an adult Eurasian Hobby F. subbuteo was seen on 17 and 21 May, up to three adult Collared Pratincoles Glareola pratincola on 16–21 May, a Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica on 13 April and a Whinchat Saxicola rubetra on 18 May. On Gran Canaria, an African Crake Crex egregia was photographed at Puerto Rico on 26 December 2014. On Fuerteventura, an Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni was found in the garden of an hotel at Costa Calma on 4 March, whilst a Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was photographed on 27 January. On La Palma, a Purple Heron was observed on 31 March - 4 April and a Dunlin Calidris alpina, photographed in March, had been ringed in Estonia, c.4,600 km away, on 4 May 2011.

from ABC Bulletin 22.1

The first Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis for the archipelago was heard and photographed at Barranco de la Torre, Fuerteventura, on 13 June. Other records from June–December 2014 include the following. Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels Oceanodroma monorhis were photographed during pelagics off Lanzarote on 16 August and 11 September. An adult female Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors was at a small dam at Ricasa, Tenerife, in November–December. A flock of six Gadwall Mareca strepera - an irregular winter visitor to the archipelago - was found at Las Martelas, La Palma, on 6–7 November. A juvenile Black Stork Ciconia nigra was photographed at El Médano, Tenerife, on 1 October.  A juvenile Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus was observed at Las Galletas, Tenerife, in September, with another at Las Martelas, La Palma, from 27 September until at least 7 October; the species is an irregular winter visitor to the Canaries. A Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, colour-ringed in the Netherlands, was photographed near the airport on La Palma on 5 October.

A Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla was photographed at Fuencaliente, La Palma, on 6 September. Single juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers C. melanotos were recorded on La Palma (at Las Martelas on 10 September), Lanzarote (at Tías Golf on 14–18 September and Arrecife on 28 September) and Tenerife (at Las Galletas, from October until at least 2 November) - this American vagrant has become almost regular in autumn. White-rumped Sandpipers C. fuscicollis were photographed on Gran Canaria (two at Juncalillo del Sur on 20 October; one at Maspalomas on 23 October) and La Palma (two at Fuencaliente on 21–22 October; one at Las Martelas on 22 October). Single juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes were observed on Tenerife (at El Médano on 8 October and Las Maretas de El Río on 2 November) and Lanzarote (at Órzola on 24 October). A Wilson’s Phalarope Steganopus tricolor was present at El Médano, Tenerife, from 28 October until 9 November at least and a third-winter Herring Gull Larus argentatus at Fuencaliente, La Palma, on 22 December.

An adult female Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis was seen at Tejina ponds, Tenerife, on 22–23 September. A juvenile Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola was at Tías Golf, Lanzarote, on 23 September, with another at Las Galletas, Tenerife, on 29 September–3 October. A Saharan Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida reiseri, photographed at Barranco de la Torre, Fuerteventura, on 14 June, was the first for the Canaries. A Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla was photographed on La Graciosa on 31 October. 

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

Records from October 2013 - March 2014 include the following. The first Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinicus for the archipelago was discovered at Barranco de la Torre, Antigua, Fuerteventura, on 9 June; it was present until 13 June at least. The first Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus for the Canaries, discovered on La Palma on 4 October, was still present on 4 April, whilst the first Wilson’s Snipes Gallinago delicata remained on Tenerife from October 2013 until 17 February at least. A Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus flew past the harbour at El Cotillo, Fuerteventura, on 16 March. Black Storks Ciconia nigra were reported from La Palma on 17 October (one) and Gran Canaria on 21 October (two) and 27 February (two). A male Green-winged Teal Anas (crecca) carolinensis was at Armenine Reservoir, Tenerife, on 9 February. A female Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis stayed at Embalse de Frontera, El Hierro, on 7 - 29 November. Eleven Common Scoters Melanitta nigra were at Playa Bastian, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, on 3 March, with a Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia also there the next day. A Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus was photographed at El Médanio, Tenerife, on 13 January. A Bonaparte’s Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia was at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, from 15 February into March; there are only three previous records of this American vagrant for the Canaries. A second-winter Audouin’s Gull Ichthyaetus audouinii was observed on Tenerife on 13 November. Single Glaucous Gulls Larus hyperboreus were reported from La Graciosa on 25 - 30 January, Tenerife, on 24 January - 21 February, and Gran Canaria on 18 February - 2 March. The first Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus for La Palma was photographed at Fuencaliente on 9 April; there are only ten previous records for the archipelago. Up to 26 Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus wintered on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. An African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti, first reported on 30 October, remained on La Graciosa until at least 26 November.

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

Two species were recorded for the first time in the archipelago: Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus (one at the airport of La Palma from 4 October to at least mid - December 2013) and Wilson’s Snipe Gallinago delicata (two at the reservoirs of Tejina and Bajamar, La Laguna, Tenerife, from 17 October until the year-end).

Other records from June - December 2013 include the following. A Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii was trapped in the Cory’s Shearwater C. borealis colony on Montaña Clara islet, north of Lanzarote, on 28 June. A Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates (=Oceanodroma) monorhis was reported from the Lanzarote to Gran Canaria ferry on 13 August. On Lanzarote, a pair of Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus remained at a nest at Órzola from 9 April to at least 19 July; a chick was seen on the last date. A Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus was at a reservoir near El Médano, Tenerife, from 21 September to 10 October. A Black Stork Ciconia nigra flew south over Telde, Gran Canaria, on 14 December. A female Mallard Anas platyrhynchos remained on a reservoir between Tejina and Valle de Guerra, La Laguna, Tenerife, between 5 August and 17 November, and a male Green-winged Teal A. (crecca) carolinensis was at Embalse de Armeñime, Adeje, Tenerife, on 9 - 14 December. A Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus flew over Los Rodeos plains, La Laguna, Tenerife, on 27 September. A Spotted Crake Porzana porzana was at Tejina ponds, Tenerife, on 12 September - 24 October.

Rare waders on Lanzarote included an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica at Salinas de Cocoteros on 12 - 13 October; two Pectoral Sandpipers Calidris melanotos in October; a White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis at Salinas de Janubio on 29 August; and a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius at Ancones on 10 August, with another at San Miguel de Abona, Tenerife, in October - December. A Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii was claimed from El Hierro on 8 October. On Gran Canaria, a first-winter Audouin’s Gull Ichthyaetus audouinii was observed at San Bartolomé de Tirajana on 9 November.

Two Laughing Doves Streptopelia senegalensis were at La Laguna, Tenerife, on 16 October. A Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola was discovered on El Hierro on 8 October. On Tenerife, a male European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola was at La Laguna on 1 November, whilst three Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus were in Teide National Park on 5 December. On La Graciosa, an African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti was reported on 30 - 31 October, and ten Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus and a Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva on 2 November. Eleven Yellow-browed Warblers were counted on Lanzarote in December.

from ABC Bulletin 20.2

Records from December 2012 - May 2013 include the following. A Puffinus shearwater photographed between La Gomera and Tenerife on 14 December exhibited characters of either Macaronesian Shearwater P. baroli boydi or Audubon's Shearwater P. Iherminieri, which would be the first for the archipelago. On Lanzarote, two Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus were apparently breeding in April - May. An unringed Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumenifer was seen on Fuerteventura on 7 December and on Lanzarote on 15 December. On Gran Canada, an immature Black Stork Ciconia nigra was noted on 5 January. On the same island, the long-staying immature Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus, first seen on 17 September 2011, was still present in February. An adult male Green-winged Teal Anas (crecca) carolinensis was photographed on Tenerife on 14 April. An adult male Blue-winged Teal A. discors in full breeding plumage stayed at Los Molinos Reservoir, Tenerife, from February until at least 1 April; at the end of 2012 the bird was still in eclipse plumage.A female / first-winter was still at Los Abrigos golf course, on the same island, on 13 January (from October 2012). Single female Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris were at Tejina Ponds, Tenerife, from December until at least 1 February, Los Silos, Tenerife, in December-March, and at Los Molinos Reservoir, Fuerteventura, in January - March. On Gran Canaria, a male Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus was observed on 18 May and a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius on 24 May. A Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla was at Tejina Ponds, Tenerife, on 9 - 10 May. A Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis was photographed near Arrecife, Lanzarote, on 24 February. Three of the four Olive-backed Pipits Anthus hodgsoni observed on Fuerteventura from mid November 2012 were still present on 4 March. A male Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola was seen on Lanzarote on 1 April. One of the two Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus found at Costa Calma, Fuerteventura, in late December, was still present on 8 March, with another at Betancuria on 2 February and.two more on Lanzarote on 27 March - 1 April.  An Iberian Chiffchaff P. ibericus was seen in a garden at Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, on 8 - 9 February.

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

American Golden Plovers Pluvialis dominica were reported from Gran Canaria on 13 October (four), Lanzarote on 9–12 October and 7–9 November (one), and Fuerteventura on 1 November (one). White-rumped Sandpipers Calidris fuscicollis were observed on La Palma on 9–10 October (four); Fuerteventura (at least one), Lanzarote (up to two), Tenerife in  November and Gran Canaria on 17 November (two). A Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos was on La Palma on 9–10 October, a Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes on Tenerife from 29 October until 2 November, whilst up to four Spotted Sandpipers Actitis macularius were on El Hierro on 23–27 October, with one there on 1 December. Two Red Phalaropes Phalaropus fulicarius were seen c.45 nautical miles north of Lanzarote on 18 August. Single Audouin’s Gulls Larus audouinii were observed at Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, on 20 August and at Puerto de la Palmas, Gran Canaria, on 3 November, whilst single Ring-billed Gulls L. delawarensis were seen on Lanzarote in July - August and on Gran Canaria on 1 December. A moribund Common Guillemot Uria aalge was found at Punta Larga, Tenerife, on 19 December; it died the next day. 


Records from June - December 2012 include the following. A first for the Canaries was recorded during the period: an immature Red-footed Booby Sula sula twice perched aboard HMS Protector between Tenerife and Gran Canaria on 23–24 September. Single female Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris were noted on La Palma, Tenerife and Fuerteventura in December; on the latter island a male was also present. A male Moussier’s Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri was at Las Lajas, Tenerife, on 25 August. 

Single African Desert Warblers Sylvia deserti were observed at El Medano, Tenerife, on 19 - 20 March 2012.

Vagrant shorebirds included two Semipalmated Sandpipers Calidris pusilla at El Médano, Tenerife, on 12 September 2011. A Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos was observed at El Médano, Tenerife, on 11 May 2011.

An African Crake Crex egregia landed on a boat off Santa Cruz on 5 Januar 2011, but died after it was taken into care. A Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla was seen at Tejina ponds on 6 March 2011.

A Wood Duck Aix sponsa was at Erjor Ponds on 18 August 2009 and a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos was at an irrigation pond near El Médano on 7 October 2009. A Bar-tailed Lark Ammomanes cinctura was found with a Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus near Roquito del Fraile on 9 October 2009.

A female Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens was reported between Tenerife and La Palma on 16 September 2008. After staying at Playa de las Canteras, Gran Canaria, from 15 November to 2 December 2007, the firstTricoloured Heron Egretta tricolor for the islands, a first-winter, moved to Tenerife, where it remained at Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos harbour until at least 15 May.

A Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii was claimed from El Médano on 12 October 2008. A first-winter Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni was found exhausted at Santa Cruz on 19 February 2008; it was taken into care but died two days later. On 3 February 2008, a Dunlin Calidris alpina presumed to be of the race hudsoniawas photographed at El Fraile reservoir.

A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was reported at Igueste de San Andrés on 15 December 2007.

A pale-morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was at Las Canteras, near La Laguna on 11 July 2007. A dark-morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was east of Playa Paraiso on 2 January 2007, at Buenavista on 15 April and at El Río on 20th. A pale-morph Booted Eagle was at El Fraile on 20 September 2006.

Two Fulvous Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna bicolor found at Embalse de Ciguaña in late July 2007, were considered to be escapes.

The second and third African Crakes Crex egregia for Tenerife were adults found moribund at Radazul harbour, El Rosario, on 15 November 2006 and Almeida, Santa Cruz, on 16 November; the first was a moribund adult in November 2001.

Vagrant waders in September - October 2006 included a juvenile Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus at Punto Teno, a Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos at El Fraile, a Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicusat Punta Cruz, and a Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor at El Fraile.

An Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina was observed at Amarilla Golf Course, Tenerife, on 23 September 2006.


A potential first for the Canaries was a Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates seen briefly between Lajares and La Oliva, Fuerteventura, on 22 July 2012; this species is not kept in captivity on the islands and weather conditions in previous days were favourable to a natural arrival. On Fuerteventura, four Olive-backed Pipits Anthus hodgsoni were observed on 19 November, with three remaining there until the end of the year; there was an influx of this species into Western Europe during autumn 2012. Also on the same island, in December, two Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus were found, with another on Lanzarote. A Brambling Fringilla montifringilla was observed at Costa Calma on 20 December.

A Blue-winged Teal Anas discors was still at Catalina García, Fuerteventura, in early March 2012. A total of seven (White-spotted) Bluethroats Luscinia svecica were on Fuerteventura on 12 - 17 March 2012. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus wintered at Costa Calma, Fuerteventura, from December 2011 until at least 17 February 2012. The first Hume’s Leaf Warbler P. humei for the Canary Islands was seen on Fuerteventura on 6 April.

A Baird’s Sandpiper C. bairdii at Los Molinos, Fuerteventura, on 7–16 September 2011. On Fuerteventura, a first-winter Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola remained at Catalina García on 12–16 September and a Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus on 17–18 December, with another at Costa Calma on 18–30 December.

A Eurasian (Great) Bittern Botaurus stellaris was at Catalina García, Fuerteventura, on 7 December 2011, with a first-winter / female Blue-winged Teal Anas discors also there until 19 Decemberat least. Up to 130 Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea and two Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris were at Los Molinos, Fuerteventura, in December. A Spotted Crake Porzana porzana stayed at Catalina García, Fuerteventura, on 7–30 December, with an Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni also there on 5–23 December.

If accepted, a Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus seen and heard in a flock of Black-bellied Sandgrouse P. orientalis on Fuerteventura on 20 April 2011 will be the first for the archipelago.

A Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus was observed at Playa del Pozo Negro, Fuerteventura, on 20 December 2010.

Rare ducks photographed on Fuerteventura on 4 February 2011 include a Blue-winged Teal Anas discors at Rosa Catalina García and a Ring-necked DuckAythya collaris at Caleta de Fuste.

The first Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia for the Canaries was photographed at Oasis Park on 18 December 2009 and a Yellow-browed WarblerPhylloscopus inornatus was at Pajara on 15 December 2008.

The long-staying male Ring- necked Duck Aythya collaris at Catalina García was still present on 20 February 2008. A Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura ‘of unknown origin’ was photographed on Fuerteventura on 8 December 2007. A pale-morphBooted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was seen on 7 February 2008.

A Corncrake Crex crex was at Caleta de Fuste golf course on 15 May 2008. Three adult Audouin’s Gulls Larus audouinii were at Salinas del Carmen on 5 February 2008. A Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica was observed at Jandía on 3 February 2008. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was reported at Jandía on 9 February 2008.

A Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus found at Catalina García on 1–2 February 2008, could be the first for the Canary Islands, if accepted.

Wildfowl observed included Blue-winged Teal Anas discors (first-winter / female at Catalina García from 27 October 2006 until at least 13 January 2007. A Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis was at Salinas del Carmen on 2 January 2007. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was at Jandia on 4 - 7 January 2007.

A Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides was at Catalina García on 8 June 2006, with two there the following day, a Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus was also there on 25 September, a Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus at Moro Jable on 29 September, 38 Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea at Los Molinos on 6 June and 21 at Catalina García on 9 June, a Blue-winged Teal Anas discors at the latter site on 28–30 September, a Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris was also there on 25–30th and a dark-morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus on 25th.

An American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica at Los Molinos on 10 September 2006, a Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla at Playa de Sotavento on 28 September 2006, a Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos was at Catalina García on 25–29th September 2006, with two there on 30th and a Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes was at the same location on 25th September 2006.


Second reports for the archipelago included a Scopoli’s Shearwater Calonectris d. diomedea photographed north of Lanzarote on 30 June, a Black-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta tropica photographed at the Banco de la Concepción, c.45 nautical miles north of Lanzarote, on 18 August, and an adult Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini also there on 19th. Also at the Banco de la Concepción off Lanzarote on 18 August were six Wilson’s Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus, with seven there the next day, whilst two were at Banco de Dacia, 90 nautical miles north-east of Lanzarote, on 11 November.

At Tías golf course, Lanzarote, a Corncrake Crex crex stayed on 15 - 18 May 2012, an adult Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni from 22 December 2011 until 9 January 2012, and a male Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola on 5 - 6 April 2012. Single African Desert Warblers Sylvia deserti were observed at Punta Mujeres, Lanzarote, on 24 - 25 March 2012. A Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla remained at Teguise, Lanzarote, from 8 January until at least 8 March 2012.

A White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis at El Agujero saltpans, Lanzarote, on 6 November 2011. Single Buff-breasted Sandpipers Tryngites subruficollis were found on Tías golf course, Lanzarote, on 23 September. A Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus was photographed on Tías golf course, Lanzarote, on 19 September. Four South Polar Skuas Stercorarius maccormicki were present 57–65 nautical miles off Lanzarote on 11 September 2011.

A Black-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta tropica was photographed 43 nautical miles north-east of Lanzarote on 10 September. A dying immature Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus was found on Famara beach, Lanzarote, on 23 April 2011.

The first Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni for the Canary Islands was photographed on Lanzarote on 9 - 10 April 2011. Also on Lanzarote, the Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzovorus first seen on 21 October 2010 was still present on 25 December.

Three Swinhoe's Storm-petrels Oceanodroma monorhis were seen as close as 150 m offshore from Arrecife, Lanzarote, on 18 December 2010.

A pair of Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea with five young photographed at Janubio salt pans on 15 April 2011, constitutes the first breeding record for Lanzarote. A Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla were seen at Tías golf course on 15 April 2011.

The first Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii for the Canaries was trapped in a Cory's Shearwater C. diomedea borealis colony at Montaña Clara, Chinijo, Lanzarote, on 6 June 2010. An exceptional 21 White-faced Storm-petrels Pelagodroma marina were seen from the Lanzarote to Gran Canaria ferry on 7 July. An adult tropicbird Phaethon flew past the same ferry on 14 July. Single American Golden Plovers Pluvialis dominica were observed at Saladar de la Santa and at Tias golf course on 13th - 21st October. Firsts were an Isabelline Wheatear O. isabellina on the El Rubicón plains from 26 November into December and a Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus at Tias golf course on 21–23 October.

The Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio picked up exhausted on Gran Canaria on 2 October 2009 and ringed and released on 25 October was photographed on Lanzarote on 31 December. The third Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus for Lanzarote, first seen 23 October, was still present at Uga on 8 December. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was observed on Lanzarote from 23 October to 19 November 2009 at least.

Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus were observed off Arrecife on 27 May (one), at Costa Teguise on 7 July 2009 (two), and again off Arrecife on 14 November (a first-year). A Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis was found dead on Lanzarote on 11 March 2009. Up to three Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus were photographed at close range near Puerto del Carmen between 26 April and 2 May 2009.

A first-winter Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini was at Punta Pechiguera on 30 January 2009. A Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis was seen at Haria on 2 April. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus stayed on 27–30 January.

A Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla was at Tias golf course on 1 November 2008, whilst a Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor stayed at Salinas de Janubio from 24 September until at least 15 October 2008. A male Black-headed Wagtail Motacilla flava feldegg was seen on 5 May 2008. A first-winter Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus was at Los Ancones on 3 March 2008.

An adult male Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola was at Famara on 19 March 2008. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was reported at Puerto del Carmen on 5–12 February 2008. Two Rock Martins Ptyonoprogne rupestris were reported from Costa Teguise in late January 2007. Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris, a female at Salinas de Janubio in late January 2007 was still present in March 2008. A single White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis was at Salinas de los Cocoteros on 23rd September 2006.


On 9 July 2010, 43 Bulwer's Petrels Bulweria bulwerii were observed from the La Gomera to Tenerife ferry.

Gran Canaria

A Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel Oceanodroma monorhis was observed at Banco de la Concepción on 15 September 2012. An immature Black Stork Ciconia nigra was at Santa Lucia, Gran Canaria, on 24 November. The long-staying immature Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus, first seen at Charca de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, on 17 September 2011, was still there in early December.

A Black Stork Ciconia nigra stayed at Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, from 3 December 2011 until at least 10 March 2012.

On Gran Canaria, a Black Stork Ciconia nigra remained at Maspalomas on 3–23 December, whilst a Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus was seen at several sites in September–December 2011. An Audouin’s Gull Larus audouini stayed at Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, in December 2011.

Two Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus were observed Tallarte, Teide, Gran Canaria, on 9 March 2011.

Two adult Black Storks Ciconia nigra flew over San Bartolomé de Titajana, Gran Canaria, on 16 October 2010, with an immature also there on 23rd. Also on Gran Canaria in October was an American Wigeon Anas americana at Maspalomas pond on 16 - 24th, with two others at La Majadilla on 21st - 24th. A male Seebohm's Wheatear Oenanthe o. seebohmi photographed at Castillo del Romeral, Gran Canaria, on 19 June was the first for the archipelago.

A Pied Crow Corvus albus on Gran Canaria on 22 January 2010 may involve a ship-assisted arrival. An adult Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla was at Charca de Maspalomas on 6–8 August 2009, and a juvenile Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca was near Las Palmas on 22–24 August 2009.

The male Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis, first found on 19 November 2008, was still present  on 14 March 2009. Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla were present on 15 February and 14 March. A pair of Lesser Scaups Aythya affinis stayed from 19 November 2008 until at least 6 December; the male was still present on 3 January.

A first- winter Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni was photographed at Maspalomas pond on 26 December 2008. An African Desert Warbler Sylvia (nana) deserti was at Maspalomas on 24 February 2008.

A Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis was trapped by a fisherman at Agaete on 7 October 2007 and released three days later. A first-winter Tricoloured Heron Egretta tricolor, the first for the islands if accepted, remained at Playa de las Canteras, Las Palmas from 15 November 2007 until 1 December at least.

A Red Kite Milvus milvus was observed at Teide on 8 July 2007 and a Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus was at Bartolomé de Tirajana on 4–20 January 2007.

On 2 - 6 May 2006, seabirds counted off Puerto Rico included 14 Bulwer's Petrels Bulweria bulwerii, two (Madeira) Little Shearwaters Puffinus assimilis baroli, one Great Shearwater P. gravis, two Wilson's Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus, ten White-faced Storm-petrels Pelagodroma marina, one Leach’s Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa and nine Madeiran Storm-petrels O. castro.

The fourth African Crake for the Canaries was caught at La Garita on 12 January 2007 and taken into care. A European Water Rail Rallus aquaticus was heard at Maspalomas on 15 January.

An adult Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus was observed in the laurel woods at Los Tilos on 24 March 2007, whilst two pairs of Laughing Doves Streptopelia senegalensis were nest building at Maspalomas in late January. A Eurasian Scops Owl Otus scops was calling at Arguineguín on 21 January. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was at San Barolomé de Tirajana on 1 October 2006.

La Palma

A Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus was at Punta Fuencaliente, La Palma, on 17 December 2011.

A Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes remained at Salinas de Fuencaliente from 27 October until 7 November 2011 at least. 

An adult Brown Booby Sula leucogaster was at Tinajo on 29 January 2011.

A Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus stayed near Tazacorte on 9–16 January 2009 and a juvenile American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica was at Las Martela ponds on 19 October 2009.

A pale-morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was observed near Breña Baja on 18 and 20 December 2008 (GPS).Up to two Little Stints C. minuta were at Fuencaliente saltpans on 14–19 December 2008.Three Common StarlingsSturnus vulgaris were near Breña Baja on 14 December 2008. An Arctic SkuaStercorarius parasiticus was seen off La Palma on 24 May 2008.

El Hierro

Records from June - December 2012 include the following. A first for the Canaries was recorded during the period: a first-winter Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus on El Hierro from 22 October through November. 


The following records from the period October 2005 - March 2006 were reported. Two Red-billed Tropicbirds Phaethon aethereus were seen off Playa de Papagayo, Lanzarote, on 18 March. Four pairs of Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea, two of which had seven and nine young, were at Embalse de Los Molinos, Fuerteventura, on 16 March. A Blue-winged Teal Anas discors stayed at El Fraile, Tenerife, from 21 October to at least 28 January, with another at Charca de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, from 17 December to at least 25 February, and one at Salinas de Janubio, Lanzarote, on 22 April. A female Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis was at Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura, from 30 December until at least 15 February, and a female Ring-necked Duck A. collaris at Embalse de Valle Molina, Tenerife, from 20 January to at least 20 February, with a male at Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura, on 25th.

A Red Kite Milvus milvus flew over Güimar, Tenerife, on 18 February. On 1 January, a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was reported from Corralejo Beach, Fuerteventura, with another at Salinas de Janubio, Lanzarote, from 12 January to at least 5 March, and one at Punta Hildago, Tenerife, on 18 March. Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla were reported from Valle Gran Rey, Gomera, on 5 January (two) and from Castillo del Romeral, Gran Canaria, on 5 February (one). Several Mediterranean Gulls L. melanocephalus were found from late November into December, including five on 26 November; on 2 February, five were seen at Arrecife, Lanzarote. On Tenerife, the Ring-billed Gull L. delawarensis from Playa Los Cristianos, present since November, was still there in February, with a second also at that site during that month; one was also found at Garachico. A first-winter Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola remained at Arrecife, Lanzarote, from 20 November to at least 18 January. A male Red-backed Shrike Lanius colluriowas at Amarilla Golf, Tenerife, on 19 March. The long-staying Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos at Arguineguin, Gran Canaria, first seen in November 2004, was still present on 21 January; it was trapped on 29 January and is now kept in captivity. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was at Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, on 13-18 November. The first HawfinchCoccothraustes coccothraustes for the Canary Islands was discovered at Barranco de la Torre, Fuerteventura, on 24 October; two females were present on Lanzarote on 16 December.

Records from Fuerteventura in April 2006 include the following. Three Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia and a Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola were at Catalina Garcia on 8th. Single Laughing Doves Streptopelia senegalensis were seen at Costa Calma, Jandia and Vega de Rio Palmas, on 3rd-10th. An African Collared Dove S. roseogrisea was at Vega de Rio Palmas on 8th. Two Red-rumped Swallows Hirundo daurica were seen at Costa Calma, on 5th, and five at Jandia the next day.

Records from pelagic trips off Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria, on 10-14 May 2005 included ten Bulwer’s Petrels Bulweria bulwerii, three Wilson’s Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus, 11 White-faced Storm-petrels Pelagodroma marina, four Madeiran Storm-petrels Oceanodroma castro, a Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus and six Roseate Terns Sterna dougallii.

Noteworthy records from July-December 2005 include the following. An adult Red-billed Tropicbird was seen close inshore off Roque Grande, El Hierro, on 9 July, and an adult Roseate Tern was off Tazacorte, La Palma, on 17 July. A Leach’s Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa was photographed 1 mile off Tazacorte, La Palma on 6 October.

A few Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula and a female Pintail Anas acuta were on a pond by La Lajita, Fuerteventura, on 28 August; although they appeared to be wild these records are rather early in the year and the birds perhaps had escaped from a nearby zoo. A male Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris was at Catatlina Garcia, Fuerteventura, on 10 October. Two female Greater Scaup A. marila were at Salinas del Janubio lagoon on 16 November. A female Common Scoter Melanitta nigra was at Valle Molina Reservoir, Tenerife, on 26 December. On Fuerteventura, an Eleonora’s FalconFalco eleonorae flew over Corralejo on 27 August, and a Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus was seen near the lighthouse at El Cotillo on 30 August.

A White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis was reported from Salinas del Carmen, Fuerteventura, on 20-22 October. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis maculariuswas near Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, on 30 October. A presumed South Polar Skua Stercorarius (Catharactamaccormicki photographed 2 miles off La Palma on 6 October may be the first for the Canaries if accepted; the skua’s outer primary was in growth, indicating moult, which in late summer is strong indication of Southern Hemisphere origin.

Two Chimney Swifts Chaetura pelagica were on Tenerife on 29-31 October and five on Lanzarote on 1 November. A small ’fall’ of migrants on 4 September on the Jandia Peninsula, Fuerteventura, included several Olivaceous Warblers Hippolais pallida and two Melodious Warblers H. polyglotta; on Lanzarote several Melodious Warblers were also reported next day. The Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos at Arguineguin, Gran Canaria, was still present on 3 October; it was first reported in November 2004. A juvenile Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus was claimed from Alegranza, Lanzarote, on 1 October; if accepted, it will be the first for the Canary Islands.

Records from November 2004-April 2005 include three additions to the archipelago's list. A first-winter Grey-headed Gull Larus cirrocephalus was in Las Palmas harbour, Gran Canaria, on 2 February; the nearest breeding colony is at the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, almost 1,000 km to the south. The first Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos was reported from Arguineguín, Gran Canaria, in late March; this American vagrant had apparently been present from November 2004 and remained until mid April at least. The first White-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga was photographed at Fuencaliente, La Palma, on 11 January.

Other noteworthy records from the period include the following. A presumed hybridWestern Reef Heron Egretta gularis × Little Egret E. garzetta was at Aldea Blanca, Gran Canaria, on 18 February. Sixteen Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea were counted at Los Molinos Reservoir, Fuerteventura, on 6 February. A male American Wigeon Anas americana was at Aldea Blanca, Gran Canaria, on 1 March–1 April, whilst a male Green-winged Teal A. (creccacarolinensis was at Las Americas Reservoir, Tenerife, on 28 March. Two male Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collariswere at Catalina Garcia, Fuerteventura, on 15–18 December.

Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus reached La Pardilla, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, on 14 November. On 14 January, an exhausted juvenile Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus was picked up alive and taken into care at Mesa Mota, Tenerife. A Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was at El Fraile, Tenerife, on 28 March. On 31 March, a male Little Crake Porzana parva was found at Arminime Reservoirs. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius at Salinas de Fuencaliente on 29 November was the second for La Palma. In February, an adult Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii was seen at Salinas del Carmen, Fuerteventura, on 5th and a first-winter Ring-billed Gull L. delawarensis at Roquito del Fraile, Tenerife, on 3rd, and also at Las Galletas on 26-31 March. On La Palma, a Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica, reported at Todoque on 18 November, was the first for the island, whilst a Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis on 15-24 November and a first-winter Red-throated Pipit A. cervinus on 17-21 November at Los Llanos de Aridane were rarities.

Reports from the period June-October 2004 include the following. Seven Fea's Petrels Pterodroma feae, 48 Bulwer's Petrels Bulweria bulwerii and 21 White-faced Storm-petrels Pelagodroma marina were seen from the Cadiz (Spain) to Gran Canaria ferry on 21 July. Exceptional numbers of White-faced Storm-petrels were also seen from the ferries between the islands in late July: 12 (plus 48 Bulwer's Petrels) between Gran Canaria and Tenerife on 22nd, one between Tenerife and La Gomera on 23rd, and 27 (plus 13 Bulwer's Petrels) between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria on 29th. A single Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro was seen between Gran Canaria and Tenerife on 22 July.

The escaped Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis was still at Playa de Sotavento, Fuerteventura on 17 July. Up to 22 Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea were at Embalse de Los Molinos, Fuerteventura in July. Two male Ring-necked DucksAythya collaris, first photographed at Rosa de Catalina García, Fuerteventura on 14 October 2003, were still present in July. A Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus was observed at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 14 November. A first-year American Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica was picked up at Puerto Rico village, Gran Canaria on 19 October, taken into care and released on 2 November. A Desert Warbler Sylvia nana deserti was reported c5 km west of Corralejo, Fuerteventura on 23 July; if accepted, this will be the second or third record for the Canary Islands. Two Pied Crows Corvus albus at Las Crucitas, Gran Canaria on 15 June were presumed to be escapes.

Reports from the period October 2003 to May 2004. A Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro flew past El Cotillo lighthouse, Fuerteventura on 27 November. A Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica was close inshore off El Medano, Tenerife on 19 January. Two Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides were at Maspalomas, Gran Canaria on 5 March. On Lanzarote, single Western Reef Herons Egretta gularis were seen at El Golfo on 18 January and at Arrecife on 25 January; both were white morphs. One was at Charca de Maspalomas, Gran Canaria on 4 to 5 May. On Tenerife, two Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus were at Roquito del Fraile on 13 October, and at Presa de Bernardino from 29 December until 26 February at least. A Sacred Ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus was on Los Cristianos beach, Tenerife on 20 January. Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were observed at Amarillo Golf Course, Tenerife on 17­24 October, at El Cotillo beach, Fuerteventura on 30 November, at La Caleta de Famara, Lanzarote on 19 January, and at Playa Barca, Fuerteventura on 1 to 6 April. Three Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus flew along Tenerife's south coast on 20 February.

Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea were found at Los Molinos, Fuerteventura on 15 December (seven), 16 January (four), 18 February (five adults and nine ducklings), 1 March (nine adults and eight ducklings). Two were also seen at Catalina García, Fuerteventura on 19 December, with a pair with ten young there on 2 April. Other noteworthy ducks included two male Northern Pintails Anas acutaat Valle Molina reservoir, Tenerife on 17 February, a female Blue-winged Teal A. discors at Catalina García, Fuerteventura on 27 November, a male and female Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula at Valle Molina reservoir, Tenerife on 17 February, and a Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca at Castillo, Fuerteventura on 15 October. A female Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris was still present at Embalse de Valle Molina, Tenerife on 24 March and two adult males, photographed at Catalina García, Fuerteventura on 14 October, remained there until 16 February with one still present until 18 February at least. A Lanner Falcon Falco cherrug was observed at Los Cristianos, Tenerife on 24 February.

Three pairs of Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus were at Catalina García, Fuerteventura on 2 April. A White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis at Roquito del Fraile, Tenerife on 6 November, was with a second individual the next day until 15 November at least. Also there was a Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotoson 13 to 19 October. Single Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes were noted at Los Llanos, La Palma on 9 October and at Barranco de Tirajana, Gran Canaria from 2 November until 5 December. A Solitary Sandpiper T. solitaria at Embalse de Valle Molina, Tenerife on 18 March will be the first for the Canary Islands if accepted. On Lanzarote, single Spotted Sandpipers Actitis macularius were present at Playa Quemada on 22 January, and at Los Cocoterus salines, near Guatiza on 23 January. Five Slender-billed Gulls Larus genei were on Playa de Sotavento, Fuerteventura, on 17 February. An orange-billed tern on Fuerteventura on 2 April, was either a Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis or an Elegant Tern S. elegans. A Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis was with a flock of migrant European Turtle Doves S. turtur at Vege de Rio Palmas, Fuerteventura on 1 March.

Ten Lesser Short-toed Larks Calandrella rufescens, amongst which three were singing, were at Amarilla Golf, Tenerife on 21 February. Five Red-throated Pipits Anthus cervinus were still there on 24 December, with four remaining until 23 February at least. At the same site, a male Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrelliiwas found on 13 February. Red-rumped Swallows Hirundo daurica were also observed there, on 12 February (two), and at Guargacho, Tenerife on 13 February (two) and Catalina García, Fuerteventura on 2 April (two). A Fieldfare Turdus pilariswas at Erjos, Tenerife on 7 March, and four Redwings T. iliacus were at El Cotillo, Fuerteventura on 2 March. Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus were reported from La Laguna, Tenerife on 25 January, Golf del Sur, Tenerife until 24 February at least, and Costa Calma, Fuerteventura on 17 February. On Tenerife, single Common Chiffchaffs P. c. collybita were singing at Amarilla Golf on 10 February, and at Santiago del Teide on 15 February. A female Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva was at Ten Bel, Tenerife on 9 November. A Pied Crow Corvus albus of unknown origin was seen on Gran Canaria on 27 March; one was seen on the same island on 31 December 2002. A female Yellow-mantled Widowbird Euplectes macroura with three young was observed at Amarilla Golf, Tenerife, on 10 to 23 February. The first Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus for the archipelago was at Amarilla Golf, Tenerife on 15 to 30 November, the fourth Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla at Barranco de La Torre, Fuerteventura on 16 February, and the second and third Common Reed Buntings E. schoeniclus were at Las Galletas, Tenerife on 13 November, and at Barranco de La Torre, Fuerteventura on 16 to 17 February respectively.

Records from Fuerteventura from July to September 2003 include the following. A Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris was at Catalina García Reservoir, from 26 July until at least 19 September; this vagrant is usually observed between November and March, mostly on Tenerife, with only a few records from Fuerteventura. Also at Catalina García were a White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis on 16 September and a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos on at least 7 to 19 September. A Western Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli was observed in Corralejo on 15 September; this is a rather uncommon though regular passage migrant especially on the archipelago's eastern isles.

Records from the period October 2002-April 2003 include the following. A White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina flew past the La Gomera ferry on 22 March. A Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris was at Rosa del Taro, Fuerteventura on 15 to 18 March, and an American Bittern B. lentiginosus at Erjos Ponds, Tenerife on 28 February; the latter is thought to be the same individual (which constituted the second record for the archipelago) seen at that locality in December. The Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii, first reported and photographed at Erjos Ponds, Tenerife on 23 August (see Bull. ABC 10: 55­57) was seen again on 19 February and stayed there until at least 26 April. Two Black-crowned Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax flew past Punta de la Enrocadiza, Fuerteventura on 12 March. Up to two Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides were present at Rosa del Taro, Fuerteventura from 15-26 March. A Great White Egret Egretta alba was at Playa Barca, Fuerteventura on 1 January. The escaped Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis was still at Costa Calma, Fuerteventura in March. A Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia was noted at Playa Barca, Fuerteventura on 2 January. The Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber roseus that was first seen on 2 October at Salinas de Fuencaliente, La Palma was still present on 11 November. Up to seven Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea were at Los Molinos, Fuerteventura in mid-March. Long-staying Nearctic ducks include a female American Wigeon Anas americana at Los Silos Reservoir, Tenerife from 8 February until at least 23 March, a first-winter male Blue-winged Teal A. discors at Roquito del Fraile, Tenerife from 8 November until at least 19 February, with a female Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis also there from 29 December until at least 29 March. Vagrant raptors include a Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus at Barranco de la Torre, Fuerteventura on 11 February, a pale morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus near Gran Tarajal, Fuerteventura on 15 March and a Merlin Falco columbarius at Tiscamanita, Fuerteventura on 13 November. Up to three Spotted Crakes Porzana porzana stayed at Rosa del Taro, Fuerteventura from 16-26 March, with one at Las Peñitas on 26th. An adult Allen's Gallinule Porphyrio alleni, found at Erjos Ponds, Tenerife on 17 February, was last reported on 9 March. At Roquito del Fraile, Tenerife, four White-rumped Sandpipers Calidris fuscicolliswere seen on 21 October. A Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus at Triquivijate, Fuerteventura on 12 February, was only the second for the island. Records of rare gulls include an adult Laughing Gull Larus atricilla at La Bombilla, La Palma on 19 April and at Tazacorte on 22 April, four adult Slender-billed Gulls L. genei at Risco del Paso, Fuerteventura on 12 February, with one still present on 15 March, an adult Audouin's Gull L. audouinii at Salinas del Carmen, Fuerteventura on 11 February (up to four had been seen earlier in the month), a first-winter Ring-billed Gull L. delawarensis at Roquito del Fraile on 15 November and two first-winter on the beach between Los Cristianos and Las Americas, Tenerife on 19 February, with at least one still there on 22 March, and a second-winter Glaucous Gull L. hyperboreus, the second for Fuerteventura and the eighth for the Canary Islands, at Punta de Jandia on 18 January. A Common Guillemot Uria aalge was noted at Arrecife, Lanzarote on 6 December. Laughing Doves Streptopelia senegalensiswere seen around La Lajita, Fuerteventura, and at Barranco de Rio Cabras in March. A Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius was found in the hills south-west of Costa Calma, Fuerteventura on 1 January. A male Bluethroat Luscinia svecica was at Rosa del Taro, Fuerteventura from 16-26 March, with another at the same site on the 15th to 18th. A male Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius was present in Puerto de la Cruz Botanical Gardens, Tenerife from 25 to 27 March at least. A Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva was reported from Erjos Ponds, Tenerife on 9 March. On Gran Canaria, a Pied Crow Corvus albus was seen at Punta de la Aldea on 24 to 31 December; the only previous record for the archipelago was one on Fuerteventura in autumn 2000 which proved to be an escape.


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SIVERIO, M. (2006) Population status and breeding biology of Osprey Pandion haliaetus in Tenerife, Canary Islands (1997-2004). Alauda, 74(4) pp 413-419.

SIVERIO, M., GONZALEZ, E.I. & SIVERIO, F. (2010) Population size and status of Common Raven (Corvus corax) on the central-western islands of the Canarian archipelago. Vieraea 38 pp 123-132. *Download this paper.

SIVERIO, M., RODRÍGUEZ, B., RODRÍGUEZ, A. & SIVERIO, F. (2011) Inter-insular variation of the diet of Osprey Pandion haliaetus in the Canarian archipelago. Wildlife Biology 17 pp 240-247.

SIVERIO, M., SIVERIO, F., RODRÍGUEZ, B. & RODRÍGUEZ, A. (2011) Long-term monitoring of an insular population of Barbary Falcon Falco peregrinus pelegrinoides. Ostrich 82 pp 225-230.

SIVERIO, M., SIVERIO, F. & RODRÍGUEZ, B. (2007) Annual variation and breeding success of a threatened insular population of Common Raven Corvus corax (Tenerife, Canary Islands).Vogelwelt 128 pp 197-2001.

SIVERIO, M., SIVERIO, F. & RODRÍGUEZ, B. (2011) Observations on alloparental care of fledglings in Osprey Pandion haliaetus (Aves, Pandionidae). Vieraea 39 pp 105-110. *Download this paper

STENHOUSE, I.J., C. EGEVANG & R.A. PHILLIPS (2012): Trans-equatorial migration, staging sites and wintering area of Sabine’s Gulls Larus sabini in the Atlantic Ocean. Ibis 154: 42-51.

SUÁREZ, F., HERVÁS, I., HERRANZ, J. y DEL MORAL, J. C. (2006) La ganga ibérica y la ganga ortega en España: población en 2005 y método de censo. SEO/BirdLife. Madrid. 140 pp.

TRUJILLO, O. (1992) Los Sílvidos en Gran Canaria. Contribución al estudio de la avifauna canaria. Excmo. Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, Área de Política Territorial, Arquitectura, Medio Ambiente, Vivienda. 190 pp.

ZINO, F., R. PHILLIPS & M. BISCOITO (2011): Zino’s Petrel movements at sea – a preliminary analysis of datalogger results. Birding World 24 (5): 216-219.

* In order to view and print these articles, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader



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African Bird Club representative
Bird recorder and checklist compiler

Rubén Barone Tosco
C/. Eduardo Zamacois, 13-3ºA,
edificio Ipanema,
38005 Santa Cruz de Tenerife,
islas Canarias (Canary Islands),

Juan Antonio Lorenzo
La Laguna University,
Islas Canarias,


SEO / BirdLife

Delegación Territorial de Canarias

C / Libertad nº 22, Pueblo Sabanda,

38296 La Laguna, Tenerife,

Canary Islands

Tel. and Fax: (00) +34 922 252129


Sociedad Ornitologica Canaria (SOC)

Dr. Eduardo Garcia-del-Rey,

C / Enrique Wolfson 11-3,

38004 Santa Cruz de Tenerife,


Islas Canarias,

Tel.: (0034) 922 279958 or (0034) 661 213731


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Snow-capped Mount Teide, Tenerife. March 2011

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

The Canary Islands are one of the most extensively protected territories in Europe with 42% of the land mass falling under some category of park land. The four national parks are the Parque Nacional de las Cañadas del Teide, which includes Teide volcano; the Parque Nacional de Garajonay, a World Heritage Site; the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya; Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente.

There are however many threats to the conservation of the habitats across the Canary Islands. The native forest is greatly reduced and only 10% of the original area is left on Tenerife and less than 1% on Gran Canaria.

Inappropriate management of laurel forest, small-scale clearance, illegal hunting and introduced predators continue to threaten Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii, and Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae. In the western and central Islands, the protection of pine forest has resulted in Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea being judged as Conservation Dependent.

In the eastern Islands, the continuing natural desertification of Fuerteventura, together with water extraction and grazing by goats may damage the future prospects of Canary Islands Chat Saxicola dacotiae.

No cause is known for the disappearance of Canary Islands Oystercatcher Haematopus meadewaldoi from the eastern Islands, although competition from man for the intertidal invertebrates on which both once depended seems the most likely factor.

Books & Sounds

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A good European field guide will cover the birds seen in The Canary Islands as does the Birds of the Atlantic Islands.


Book image: 
Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of the Atlantic Islands, Tony Clarke, A&C Black, Softback.
Book description: 

The first comprehensive field guide dealing exclusively with the birds of this spectacular region, covering all resident, migrant and vagrant species found in Macaronesia. Over 450 species are illustrated with full details of all plumages and major races likely to be encountered. Concise text describes identification, status, range, habitats, climate, geographical isolation, endemism and conservation. 320 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Collins Bird Guide (2nd edition), Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström, HarperCollins, Softback, Hardback and Large format hardback.
Book description: 

The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain, Europe, North Africa, most of the Middle East, the Canaries and Madeira. Written by one of Europe's leading ornithologists Lars Svensson (with a translation by David Christie) and illustrated by two of the world's finest bird illustrators - Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström. This book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of year, with detailed text on size, habitat, range, identification and voice.

Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and colour illustrations (over 3500 in all) to show the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding). The book is fully integrated, so that all this information appears on one spread, the ideal structure for use in the field. Each group of birds has an introduction, which covers the major problems involved in identifying or seeing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which species, etc.

The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide, essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia, Eduardo Garcia del Rey, Lynx Editions, Hardback.
Book description: 

Covering all the species and subspecies of birds in Macaronesia (the Azores, Madeira, the Savage Islands, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde). 341 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
A Birdwatchers' Guide to the Canary Islands, Tony Clarke & David Collins, Prion, Softback.
Book description: 

1996. Provides detailed information on birding sites on this island archipelago, each site entry giving location and access, accommodation, birding strategy and species expected to be seen. Also includes additional useful information on planning a trip, such as travel, climate and clothing, health and medical facilities.

Provides the travelling birdwatcher with all the information he or she will need to make the most of a birdwatching holiday or tour. The guides are researched and compiled by expert birdwatchers with outstanding knowledge of the birdlife of the particular region or country.

Contains a comprehensive and up-to-date site by site list of the major, and many minor, areas of interest to birdwatchers. Each main site entry includes a map, information on permits and access restrictions, guidance on best visiting times and seasonal variations, and a list of the more interesting species which can normally be seen. Wherever possible mention is made of the other interesting wildlife at each site.

Each guide includes a selective bird list giving brief details on distribution and status of the uncommon birds which may be found, cross-referenced to site information, and a full species list for the region or country. Checklists of other wildlife are also provided when possible.

Other features include pre-tour information; transport details and advice; information on climate, clothing, food, accommodation, health, and medical and financial facilities. Care is taken to advise travellers of regulations and prohibitions which could adversely affect the trip. 110 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Multimedia Identification Guide to North Atlantic Seabirds. Storm-petrels & Bulwer's Petrel, FLOOD, B. & FISHER, A. (2011), Pelagic Birds & Birding Multimedia Identification Guides, in association with 212 pp. + 2 DVD.
Book description: 

The guide covers all the storm petrels present in the North Atlantic, and also Bulwer’s Petrel, with good videos and many high quality photos of all the species.


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Barranco (gorge) de Tajo and surrounding area, South East Tenerife

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

The saltpans of Los Agujeros, Lanzarote for waders, including a local breeding population of Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus.

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

The Majanicho Plains in Fuerteventura are frequented by some steppe birds like Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus, Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor and Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus. They are also used by some wintering waders, while the nearby coast is very good for many aquatic birds, including herons, spoonbills, shorebirds, gulls and terns.

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Birding tours

Birdfinders, BirdquestRockjumper and Sunbird organise tours to the Canary Islands.


Sociedad Ornitologica Canaria (SOC) run birding tours and pelagics, field trips and ringing holidays around the Canary Islands for its members and friends.


There are flights from many European cities and from mainland Spain to Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote. Flying between the islands is possible and although quicker than ferry, may not meet the needs of the birdwatcher. Each sland has its own bus services which go to the main destinations. There are a number of car rental companies. The roads are good and driving oneself is certainly an option.


See the following websites for the latest safety information:  US Travel and UK FCO.


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Montaña Roja Natural Reserve, South Tenerife

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Barranco de Ruiz gorge, Northern Tenerife. Typical habitat of diurnal raptors, owls and Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae as well as many other species.

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii, Montaña Roja Natural Reserve, South Tenerife.

Image Credit: 
John Caddick


Given the existence and availability of a significant amount of literature about the birds and key sites in the Canary Islands, it is probably not necessary to cover all sites and species here. Some birders will want to see the endemic and near endemic species and potential locations for these are documented in the IBA section. Others might want to search for vagrants and the possibility exists to see unusual birds from Europe, Africa and America. There is also the opportunity to travel between the islands on ferries and the chance to see a range of seabirds.


Tenerife is probably the best starting point for endemic species and Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii, Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae, Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis and Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea can all be seen.

There are good sites to see the pigeons in the north of the island such as the Barranco de Ruiz gorge. A number of miradors (viewpoints) such as Mirador de Lagrimones, Mirador el Lance and Mirador de la Corona have views over the forests and gorges where one or both of the pigeon species can be seen with patience.

A visit to a picnic site such as Lajas above Viraflor in the south of the island is a good way to see Blue Chaffinch as well as the distinctive local race of the Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major canariensis and Island Canary Serinus canaria.

Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii and Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis are common and can be found in many parts of the island such as the Montaña Roja Natural Reserve near El Medano and the Malpaisa de la Rasca in the south-west coener of the island. The lighthouse at the Punta de la Rasca is a good place for seawatching.


Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco


Istmo de La Pared sand dunes in Fuerteventura are one of the best habitats for steppe birds in the Canaries. They hold the biggest population of Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis in the archipelago, and also Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata, Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus, Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor, Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens and Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus. The great majority of the dunes are protected as Natural Park.

To see all the Canary Island endemics, it is necessary to visit Fuerteventura as it is the only place in the world that the Canary Islands Chat Saxicola dacotiae is found. It is worth visiting for other reasons however as it has an interesting range of species including Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides, Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara, in addition to those mentioned above.

Rosa de Catalina Garcia is a good wetland site with the possibility of Purple Heron Ardea purpurea, Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola and Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea.



Saltpans of del Carmen, Fuerteventura. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

These saltpans of del Carmen, or punta del Muellito, and its surroundings are good for shorebirds, and sometimes for other birds like ducks, herons, flamingos, gulls and terns. At the nearby coast there is a small breeding population of Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus.


Lanzarote was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 as it conserves one of the most exceptional ecosystems and volcanic landscapes in the archipelago. Birds of  the small islands to the north of Lanzarote, the Chinijo Archipelago, include Osprey Pandion haliaetus, falcons, petrels and shearwaters, however visiting these islands requires a special permit.



Plains of Rubicón - Playa Blanca in the south of Lanzarote. For steppe birds like Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata, Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor, Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus, Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens and Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus.

Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco




The saltmarshes of La Santa, Lanzarote. For migrant and wintering waders, herons and other aquatic birds, and a breeding place for Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus.

Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco



Gomera can be visited by ferry from Tenerife with the possibility of Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis, Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii as well as terns and gulls seen from the ferry. It has large populations of Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii, Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae (possibly easier to find here than on Tenerife) as well as Tenerife Kinglet Regulus (regulus) teneriffae.

Gran Canaria

Although it does not have any of its own endemics, Gran Canaria is a good place to see Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii, Island Canary Serinus canaria, Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis and Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea although the latter is very difficult to see due to restricted site access.

La Palma

La Palma is the only island in the archipelago where the Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax breeds. It also holds its own endemic subspecies of Blue Tit, Palma Blue Tit Parus caeruleus palmensis and Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs palmae.

El Hierro

Likewise, El Hierro also has an endemic subspecies Hierro Blue Tit Parus caeruleus ombriosus and Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs ombriosa. These two islands are the most westerly and can be reached by ferry or by plane from Tenerife. The extensive laurel forest on La Palma holds the largest number of Laurel Pigeons Columba junoniae. Being the most westerly islands means that they are possibility good places to find North American vagrants.


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On the cliffs of NW coast of Fuerteventura, there is an important colony of Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, and it is also a breeding place of Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis (the only one known so far on this island). Some raptors breed on this area, and is possible to find also Pallid Swift Apus pallidus and Rock Dove Columba livia.

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis Tenerife. This species is common on Tenerife and the photo shows some of the key identification features: long bill, long tail, short wings, dark brown upperparts and pale supercilium.

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

African Blue Tit Parus caeruleus teneriffae, Tenerife, Canary Islands. Some authorities raise this to species level. The dark blue crown and grey-blue mantle mentioned below are visible in this photo.

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Country checklist and status


We are delighted that our Corporate Sponsor iGoTerra has made its country checklists, including subspecies (IOC or Clements) as well as all other species groups like mammals, butterflies etc. available through the ABC website. The only thing required is a Basic membership / registration which is free of charge. Go to Canary Islands checklists. If you are already a member of iGoTerra, you will be taken directly to the country page. In case you are not a member, you will be redirected automatically to the registration form and from there can go straight to the country page.

The Checklist of the Birds of the Canary Islands covering 355 species can be purchased at NHBS or at any local bookshop in the Canary Islands.

Endemic species

Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii Tenerife, La Palma, Gomera, El Hierro
Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae Tenerife, La Palma, Gomera
Canary Islands Chat Saxicola dacotiae Fuerteventura
Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis Tenerife and western islands
Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea Tenerife, Gran Canaria

The status of Blue Tit Parus caeruleus is somewhat more complex. Some authorities raise the following to species level: Fuerteventura Blue Tit Parus caeruleus degener; Tenerife Blue Tit P.c.teneriffae; Hierro Blue Tit P.c.ombriosus; Palma Blue Tit P.c.palmensis. Other authorities suggest there are two species. The following is taken from ABC Bulletin Vol 11 No 1 March 2004: "analyses of molecular data from Blue Tits Parus caeruleus undertaken by W. Salzburger, J.Martens and C. Sturmbauer, suggest that it actually comprises two species: Eurasian Blue Tit P. caeruleus (Europe and Middle Asia) and African Blue Tit P. teneriffae (North Africa and Canary Islands). The latter can be distinguished from their European relatives by differences in plumage (darker blue crown, grey-blue mantle), morphology (e.g. wing / tail ratio) and call."

Near endemic species

Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii also Madeira
Island Canary Serinus canaria also Madeira and Azores
Plain Swift Apus unicolor also Madeira

The subspecies of Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae is found only on the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.

Threatened species

Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris Vulnerable
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Vulnerable
Canary Islands Oystercatcher* Haematopus meadewaldoi Extinct
Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae Vulnerable

*The islands once sheltered the Canary Islands Oystercatcher Haematopus meadewaldoi, a species probably now extinct with no confirmed sightings since 1968 despite extensive searches. Note that Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni is a rare passage migrant.

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Birds of the World Version 2.0 ® 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd. For further information on the Canary Islands threatened species, see BirdLife International and follow the links for Spain.

Important Bird Areas

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Los Rodeos plains in the dry season, North East Tenerife

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Las Mercedes, in Anaga massif, Tenerife

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Famara cliffs and islets, north of Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco


The Canary Islands are part of the Madeira and Canary Islands endemic bird area. On the western and central Canary Islands, laurel forest occurs at 400-1,300 m, and montane pine forest at 800-1,900 m. The lower-lying and arid eastern Islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are vegetated with semi-desert scrub.

The islands hold five endemic species including two pigeons which are laurel forest specialists, Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii and Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae, and Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea which is restricted to pine forest. Tenerife has the greatest number of restricted-range species including those already mentioned plus Canary Islands Chiffchaff Phylloscopus canariensis. Fuerteventura has its own endemic bird Canary Islands Chat Saxicola dacotiae. The islands also hold many endemic subspecies of widespread birds, notably the distinctive race of Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae, Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus majorensis which are confined to the eastern islands, Tenerife Kinglet Regulus regulus teneriffae and and races of Blue Tit Parus caeruleus.

The Canary Islands have over 60 Important Bird Areas (IBAs).


This is the typical habitat of Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus granti, Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii, Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola, Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs canariensis and Goldcrest the local race sometimes known as Tenerife Kinglet Regulus regulus teneriffae.

Anaga, La Playa and Garachico are all rocky islets located off the north coast of Tenerife and are important for seabirds especially breeding Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii. Los Gigantes coastal cliff on the north-west side of the island is a significant site for cliff-nesting seabirds and raptors. A number of sites have laurel forests which are important for Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii and Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae and other forest passerines. These are Las Mercedes, Mina y Yedra, Aguirre, La Goleta, and Pedro Alvarez mountains; Las Vueltas, Aguas Negras and Quebradas mountains; Mountain of Agua gully of Los Cochinos and gully of Cuevas Negras which also holds the main Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus breeding colony on the island, San Andrés, Pijaral and Anaga mountains; and Tigaiga slope. There are several pine forests which are important sites for Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea. These are Tágara gully;  Vilaflor pine woodland and Arico pine woodland. Los Rodeos-La Esperanza is the only site for Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens rufescens and the best area on Tenerife for grassland species. Rasca lava fields-Guaza mountain-Las Mesas plain and Centinela mountain and La Esquina plain are important sites for steppe species including Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara. El Médano coast is also important for steppe species and the gullies support breeding raptors and wintering waders.


Punta de Jandía is a good site for seawatching, as it is the extreme south of the Fuerteventura. It is possible to see both wintering and breeding seabirds, as well as herons, spoonbills and shorebirds at low tide. This site is protected as Natural Park. Photo: Rubén Barone Tosco

Several sites are important for breeding Canary Islands Chat Saxicola dacotiae including Gully of Ajuí-Betancuria; Río Cabras gully and Peninsula of Jandía. Island of Lobos is very important for seabirds, raptors and some steppe species. A number of sites are important for Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata with the possibility of Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis and Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor including Isthmus of Jandía sandy plain; Lajares sandy plain-Cotillo-Ezquinzo and Los Molinos gully-Plain of La Laguna. Cuchillete de Buenavista-gully of La Torre-Los Alares is also the most important area on Fuerteventura for Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis and holds the largest number of breeding Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus. A number of coastal sites are important including Tarajalejo mountain range with an important population of Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea as well as Canary Islands Chat; Coast between Corralejo and Tostón is also important for wintering herons, waders and other waterbirds; Coast of Esquinzo-Puertito de Los Molinos holds breeding Plain Swift Apus unicolor and Common Raven Corvus coraxCory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea and Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus; Pozo Negro mountain-Vigán for breeding raptors and for Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea; Sandy plain of Corralejo supports breeding Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea and Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus.


Famara cliffs are of special interest for raptors, the islets north of Lanzarote for pelagic seabirds and raptors, and for some steppe birds like Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata (only on La Graciosa) and Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus. The islets of Montaña Clara, Alegranza and Roque del Este are the only breeding place for Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae in the Canary Islands, and Montaña Clara and Alegranza support small colonies of White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina, the only ones known in this archipelago. This area is protected as a Natural Park (Famara, La Graciosa and Alegranza) and Strict Natural Reserve (Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste), free access being forbidden to this last protected area.

Lanzarote islets hold some of the highest numbers of breeding seabirds including Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis and Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro.

Famara sandy plain; Plains of La Corona-Las Honduras is one of the best sites; Plains of Mareta-Hoya de la Yegua is also important for other steppe birds including Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor and Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis. Janubio saltpans comprises saltpans and lagoons and is one of the best sites in the Canary Islands for migrant waders; Haría-Tabayesco is important for breeding steppe species, seabirds and migrant passerines with feeding opportunities for raptors.


Garajonay National Park is the largest continuous expanse of laurel forest in the Canary Islands and holds the highest numbers of Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii. Step rocks of Hermigua and Agulo is adjacent to Garajonay National Park and is one of the most important areas for forest passerines. Vallehermoso coast along the northern coast is important due to the potential for recolonisation by Osprey Pandion haliaetus, numbers of which are increasing on the island. Majona coast along the north-east is important for breeding Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, and is also used by wintering and passage waders. South-west coast of La Gomera is one of the most important areas for breeding seabirds and holds the majority of the island's population of Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii as well as one of the main Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis colonies.

Gran Canaria

Coast between Arinaga and Castillo del Romeral is a stretch comprising mudflats, sandflats and shingle beaches and is the most important area for wintering and migrating birds, especially herons and waders with resident Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus. Several pine forest sites are important for conservation of Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea: Pajonales, Ojeda, Inagua and La Data pine woodlands; Tamadaba pine woodland; Tauro pine woodland and Tirajana pine woodland.

La Palma

El Canal y Los Tiles laurel forest support the most valuable laurel on La Palma and is one of the most important sites on the island for the endemic pigeons and other forest passerines. La Palma laurel forest is a large mountainous area in the north-east and is one of the most important areas for Laurel Pigeon Columba junoniae and other endemic birds. La Caldera de Taburiente National Park is a mountainous area which supports both laurel and pine forests and is the most important area for breeding Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax. El Roque coastal cliffs is a small stretch of coastal cliffs with breeding seabirds. Garafía rocky islets is a group of three small islets off the north-west coast which is important for breeding seabirds and resident Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax. Negro rocky islet comprises a small offshore islet with an important Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii breeding colony.

El Hierro

Frontera laurel forest is the only area that supports Bolle's Pigeon Columba bollii as well as a number of endemic subspecies of several forest passerines. Ventejís mountain is a mountainous area surrounded by plains in the north-east of the island with scrub, heath, grassland, pine forest and holds the most significant Common Raven Corvus corax population in the Canary Islands. La Dehesa grasslands in the north-west is important for steppe birds such as Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus and for migrating passerines. Nizdafe plains is an area of mainly grassland in the north-east which is also important for Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus and endemic subspecies of several steppe passerines as well as a feeding area for raptors. Naos Bay-Hoya de Tacorón is a stretch of south-west facing coastline with sea cliffs and rock stacks. The site is important for breeding seabirds and raptors. Salmor rocky islets is a number of small rocky islets located to the north that is important for breeding seabirds, and is the second most important site for European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus in the Canary Islands. Western coast of El Hierro are cliffs and rocky islets and a very important area for breeding seabirds and raptors including an important Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea colony.


Sat, 01/12/2013 - 23:46 -- abc_admin

Anaga massif below Chinamada, North East Tenerife

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

Gomera from Tenerife

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

The Plains of Tiagua - Tinajo, Lanzarote

For birds like Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata and Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco

The Canary Islands are part of Spain situated to the west of Morocco, the closest point being 95 km from the African coast. There are seven main islands and six islets with a total land area of 7,447 km2 and a population of 1.84 million. The major islands are Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in the east, Gran Canaria and Tenerife in the centre and Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro to the west. The main languages are Spanish and Castillan. The islands are formed by the tops of a volcanic mountain range lying beneath the Atlantic Ocean. The highest volcano, Tenerife's Mount Teide at 3,718 m is Spain's highest mountain. The climate is temperate throughout the year with mean temperatures ranging from 18°C in winter to 24°C in summer.


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