donderdag 2 augustus 2012

Day 2: Exploring the North

19th of July:

We left the apartment around 10:00 in the morning. Near the apartments I see two Red-rumped Swallows, a nice species to start the day with! After some 30 km driving we arrive at the Mirador del Rio. A really great viewpoint! You stand on the edge of the 500-600m high cliffs looking down to the sea and the nearby islets, La Graciosa, Alegranza and Montana Clara.This Mirador is very spectacular and surreal!

There was a strong wind blowing, a northern wind, 6 beaufort strong. I tried to do some birdwatching but it was hard with the strong wind. The sight wasn't very good either, it was very hazy. We didn't see any Barbary Falcons here, despite the fact that it's described as one of the best spots for this species on the islands. Birds observed from here were: Atlantic Yellow-legged Gulls, Berthelots Pipits and some Rock Doves.

 The islet La Graciosa, seen from the Mirador. Despite the haze you can see the two other islets behind it.
Standing on the edge of the cliffs..
When you see it...... (in the salinas on the bottom of the cliffs)

After the visit to the Mirador del Rio, we continued to Orzola. This small village lies in the north-eastern corner of the island. It has a very sheltered position (with a northern-nw wind), making it very pleasant to reside there. 
Orzola and its harbour.

We walked into the village to the harbour. While standing in the harbour my dad suddenly noticed a falcon coming from the south. A light morph Eleonora's Falcon! It flies past us at a reasonable distance but the light was terrible, hence the highly edited images :) The second lifer in two days time! In the harbour I found a Lesser-black Backed Gull, not that common in summer I presume? 
The Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae), light morph

Along the houses near the shore we see some swallows: 2 Barn Swallows and 15 House Martins. Around 12:30 we decided to eat something at a restaurant - we had a very good fish plate! 

When our bellies were filled we drove along the coast to the south. We stop at a nice point along the road. From there I see at least 15 Cory's Shearwater flying by on the sea. 
Lava beach near Orzola.
And this is where all the lava trash came from: Monte Corona. 

We drove back to the village Yé and we park the car near the church. From there we start the climb to the Monte Corona. One of the highest volcanoes on this island. The temperatures weren't too high, so the climb went well. Another hunting Eleonora's Falcon is observed (probably dark morph but difficult to see with bad light conditions), Berthelots Pipit's are everywhere, a Spectacled Warbler male is showing really well, and next to that, we had a nice overview.
 Berthelot's Pipit (Anthus berthelotii)
 Berthelot's Pipit (Anthus bertelotii)
Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata)

In the evening, while swimming in the lovely sea at Costa Teguise, we observe 500+ Cory's Shearwater flying north, some quite close to the shore. 

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