donderdag 2 augustus 2012

Day 1: Hola Lanzarote!

Came back yesterday from a two week trip to Lanzarote with my family. All in all it was a great trip. After visiting two other Canary Islands, Tenerife and La Gomera, back in the summer of 2007, Lanzarote and a one-day trip to Fuerteventura were a nice addition to the list, as these two islands differ completely from Tenerife and La Gomera.

I'm going to write a trip report about what we did everyday, birding stuff and non-birding stuff. Starting with day 1 in this blog post!

18th of July (day 1):


Lanzarote here we come! Our plane departured at 6:40 in the morning from Weeze Airport, just past the border in Germany. This meant we had to get up very early, just like with ringing!

The plane was one time and we arrived at 10:10 (11:10 Dutch time) Arrecife Airport, the capital city of Lanzarote. We picked up our rental car at Goldcar, a well-used red Seat Léon. From Arrecife Airport we drove to Costa Teguise, just north-east of Arrecife. We had hired an apartment there for the two weeks, at the apartment complex El Moline de Guatiza. After some food around noon and a nap in the early afternoon, we headed out in the late afternoon to explore Lanzarote a bit!

From Costa Teguise we drove north in the direction of Guatiza, where we stopped to have a look at all the cactus fields. Here I heard my first Spectacled Warbler of the trip. From Guatiza we drove through Mala to Arrieta. There we took the road to Tabayesco that goes through Barranco the Chafaris and if you keep following this road you end up in Haría. This is what we did. We stopped at Mirador de Haria, from where you have a great overview to the north and to the east:

 View from Mirador de Haria towards the east. An overview over Barranco de Chafaris. The village Tabayesco is at its end, with Arrieta on the top-left end.
Also taken from Mirador de Haría. Here a look towards the north, with Haría in view; probably the greenest village of the island. Palm trees, bushes and nice cultivated fields around it.

From the Mirador some more birds could be added to our list: Canary, few Turtle Doves, Berthelot's Pipit and I almost forgot to mention I saw an Barbary Partridge just outside Tabayesco. From the Mirador we drove further south. We drove back to Costa Teguise via Teguise.

While in the driving car I suddenly discovered 4 Houbara Bustards walking in a lava field next to the road!! I shouted 'Kraagtrappen' outloud and we managed to stop the car at some sort of parking spot. From there we had great views of the birds, albeit a bit distant. We had to look at them with the binoculars as we had left the scope in the apartment. During the observation some birds even did some displaying. Below are some of the 'recordshots' of the birds in the lava field.

 Houbara Bustards (Chlamydotis undulata fuerteventurae)
And another one.

We hadn't expected to bee seeing these bustards so easily! What a great life bird for us! Already on the first day we had one of our target species! While we drove back to Costa Teguise I also saw Southern Grey Shrike and some Kestrels of the ssp dacotiae.

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