Birding on Fuerteventura

The Island of Fuerteventura is not only home to Guirres, but inhabited by several other spectacular bird species, most of them being subspecies that differ from the nominate form because they have been living in isolation for many years. Overall, however, the total number of bird species breeding on Fuerteventura is rather low. This is partly due to the empty and desert/ semi-dessert conditions requiring specific adaptations, but  as opposed to most other island systems, the island has also always been isolated by the sea from the mainland. The island holds an interesting amount of steppe-birds that are relatively easy to see compared to other places in the world and usually in large numbers (Houbara, cream-coloured Courser and Bleack-bellied Sandgrouse).

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Houbara

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Cream-coloured courser

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Black-bellied sandgrouse

Other specialities include Fuerteventura blue tit (East Canary subspecies), Berthelot’s pipit (Macaronesian endemic) and Canary island stonechat (Fuerteventura endemic).

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Fuerteventura blue tit

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Canary island stonechat (male)

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Canary island stonechat (female)

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Berthelot’s pipit

Strong winds from the east, called ‘Calima’, may sometimes blow many songbirds on the island during migration periods, resulting in some common Northern European garden birds to be seen on the rocks and cliffs along the sea, or patches of Canary Tamarisk being full of chiffchaffs and pied flycatchers.

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Chiffchaff

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Pied flycatcher

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Spotted flycatcher

There is always a chance to see someting interesting

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Barbary ground squirrel drinking nectar from a flower of the Tabacco tree

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The Monarch is locally common

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Portuguese war-ship at the coast of Cuchillos de Vigan in February 2016

 

Below some examples of the different habitats to watch birds, followed by a list list of bird species seen on Fuerteventura during our fieldwork trips. These birds are mainly seen during evening strolls in the centre of the island (Barranco de rio Cabra, Barranco de la Torre,  Rosa del Taro, the plains surrounding Triquivijate and the area around La Caldera).

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Barrancos

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Plains

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Cliffed coast

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Beach and rocky coast

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Villages

Local/Breeding birds

Little Egret (uncommon)

  • 2 birds at Puertito de Los Molinos, 20-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Salinas de El Carmen, 1-2-2016
  • 1 bird at Los Molinos, 8-8-2016
  • 1 bird near El Cotillo and 1 bird near Faro de Toston, 16-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Salinas de El Carmen, 13-9-2016
  • 1 bird at Pozo Negro, 26-9-2016

Cattle egret

  • 7 birds at Morro Jable, 4-9-2016
  • 1 bird at Barranco de la Torre (near routa del Queso), 26-9-2016

Blue heron (uncommon)

  • 5 birds at Los Molinos 5 ex on 20-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Cuchillos de Vigan on 2-2-2016
  • 2 birds near Tiscamanita , 7-2-2016
  • 1 bird at Los Molinos, 7-2-2016
  • 1 bird visiting the feeding station, 13-2-2016
  • 1 bird at Barranco de rio cabra, 9-8-2016
  • 2 birds near Tiscamanita on 29-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Salinas de El Carmen, 13-9-2016
  • 2 birds at the coast of Morro Jable, 28-9-2016

Cory shearwater (common, large numbers between March and October)

Rudy Shelduck (common)

  • Usually large numbers at Los Molinos (up to 100+)
  • 1 individual with 8 small chicks at Los Molinos on 7-2-2016

Egyptian Vulture (uncommon)

Canary Buzzard (common)

  • 10 individuals together in Barranco de rio cabra on 10-8-2016
  • 14 individuals together at the feeding station on 19-8-2016

Kestrel (common)

Barbary Falcon (uncommon)

  • 1 adult (male?) at Barranco de la Torre, 1-2-2016
  • 1 bird at Casillas del Angel, 7-8-2016
  • 1 adult female hunting on doves at Barrance de rio Cabra near Casillas del Angel (31-8-2016)
  • 1 bird at the coast near Tindaya, 4-9-2016

Barbary Partridge (common)

  • A group of 22 individuals at Casillas del Angel on 14-8-2016

Moorhen (always a few in barrancos with some water)

  • 3 birds at Los Molinos on 20-9-2016
  • 3 birds at Barranco de rio cabra, 10-8-2016
  • 5 birds at Barranco de la Torre, 13-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Rosa del Taro, 26-9-2016

Coot (common in reservoirs with permanent water)

  • Los Molinos and Rosa del Taro

Houbara Bustard (uncommon)

  • 2 birds at Tindaya, one male displaying on 23-9-2015
  • 5 birds at Triquivijate, 2 displaying males very close to the car on 3-2-2016
  • 2 birds at Triquivijate on 7-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Triquivijate on 31-8-2016
  • 4 birds near Antigua, 24-9-2016

Black-winged stilt (common)

Stone curlew (common)

  • A group of 20 individuals near Tindaya on 20-9-2015

Cream-coloured courser (common)

  • A group of 8 adult birds at the feeding station, 25-8-2016

Little ringed plover (common in barrancos with some water)

Kentish plover (uncommon)

  • 2 birds near Corralejo, 13-9-2016
  • 6 birds at the beach of Morro Jable, 28-9-2016

Yellow-legged gull (common)

Black-bellied sandgrouse (common)

  • A group of ± 100 individuals near Villaverde on 17-9-2015

Collared dove (common)

Laughing dove (locally common)

  • Vega de Rio Palmas
  • Barranco de la Torre
  • 1 bird in Tiscamanita, 24-8-2016
  • Up to 20 birds in Barranco de Rio Cabra near Casillas del Angel, 31-8-2016

Rock dove (common, but mixed with feral pigeons)

Turtle dove

  • 4 birds at La Oliva, 17-9-2015

Pallid swift (uncommon)

  • 1 bird at Puertito, 20-9-2015
  • 2 birds at the feeding station, 15-2-2016µ

Plain swift (uncommon)

  • 4 birds at Barranco de rio Cabra, 10-8-2016
  • 1 bird near Puerto del Rosario, 13-8-2016
  • 3 birds at Morro Jable, 4-9-2016
  • 3 birds at Barranco de la Herradura, 5-9-2016

Hoopoe (common)

  • ± 10 individuals together at Triquivijate on 3-2-2016

Lesser short-toed lark

  • Groups of up to 75 individuals near la Caldera de Gairia
  • A group of 100+ flying along the feeding station on 18-8-2016

Berthelot’s pipit (common)

Canary Island stonechat (common, especially in barrancos)

Sardinian warbler

  • Vega de rio Palma
  • Barranco de la Torre,
  • Pajara
  • Betancuria

Spectacled warbler (common)

African blue tit (Locally common)

  • Betancuria
  • Pajara
  • Vega de rio Palma
  • Barranco de rio Cabra
  • Morro Jable

Iberian Grey shrike (common)

Raven (common)

  • Largest group at the feeding station 64 birds

Spanish sparrow (common)

Linnet (relatively common)

  • Rosa de Taro, Oasis Park, Barranco de rio Cabra

Goldfinch (uncommon)

  • Some birds in Pajara

Trumpeter finch (common)

Corn bunting (rare)

  • Group of ± 10 birds near La Caldera Gairia, 19-9-2015
  • singing male near Rosa del Taro, 3-2-2016
  • 2 birds near Rosa del Taro, 21-9-2016

Escapes

Red-vented bulbul

  • Oasis park

Lavender waxbill

  • Oasis park

Monk Parakeet

  • Morro Jable

Ring-necked parakeet

  • Pajara

Hadada Ibis

  • Morro Jable

 

Migratory Birds

White stork

  • 5 birds at Rosa del Taro, 6-8-2016
  • 3 birds at Rosa del Taro 3, 13-8-2016

Booted Eagle

  • 1 bird at Los Molinos, 20-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Los Alares, 18-8-2016
  • 1 bird near Antigua, 1-9-2016

Peregrine Falcon

  • One adult female on 21-9-2015

Hobby (?)

  • One bird flying very fast and low hunting for short-toed lark at Triquivijate on 24-8-2016. Looked a bit buffy, no heavily scaled upperparts à (juvenile) hobby ?.

Corncrake

  • One bird flying away at approx. 5 meters, near Rosa del Taro 28-9-2016

Greenshank

  • 11 birds at Los Molinos, 20-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Los Molinos, 7-2-2016
  • 1 bird at Barranco de la Torre (near routa del Queso), 26-9-2016

Redshank

  • 1 bird at Los Molinos, 20-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Salinas de el Carmen, 1-2-2016
  • 1 bird at Los Molinos, 7-2-2016
  • 3 birds at Salinas de el Carmen, 23-8-2016

Common sandpiper

  • Common on rocks along the coast
  • 9 birds Los Molinos, 20-9-2015

Green sandpiper

  • 1 individual at Los Molinos, 20-9-2015
  • 3 birds at Los Molinos on 8-8-2016
  • 5 individuals at Barranco de rio Cabra, 9/10-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Barranco de Rio Cabra, 30/31-8-2016

Whimbrel

  • 1 bird at Pozo Negro 2,2-9-2015
  • 2 bird near Caleta de Fuste, 20-2-2016
  • 1 bird near Puertito, 28-8-2016
  • A group of 17 birds at La Jandia, 4-9-2016
  • 5 birds at Salinas de El Carmen, 13-9-2016
  • Frequent along the coast in September

Ringed Plover

  • 2 birds at Salinas de El Carmen, 23-8-2016
  • 1 bird near Correlejo, 12-9-2016
  • 1 bird at Salinas de El Carmen, 13-9-2016

Sanderling

  • Some near Corralejo in Februray
  • 14 birds near Cooralejo, 13-9-2016

Turnstone

  • 5 bird at La Jandia, 20-9-2016

Sandwich tern

  • 2 birds at Salinas de el Carmen, 1-2-2016
  • 4 birds at Morro Jable, 4-9-2016
  • 5 birds near Corralejo, 13-9-2016
  • 2 birds near Corralejo, 27-9-2016

Lesser Black-backed gull

  • 1 bird at Salinas de El Carmen, 23-8-2016

Short-toed lark (?)

  • Some birds between 20-9 and 25-9-2015 near La Caldera de Gairia
  • 1 bird at feeding station (solitary, high), 26-8-2016

Swift

  • 6 birds near La Caldera de Gairia, 12-9-2015
  • 3 birds at Puerto del Rosario, 30-1-2016
  • 4 birds at Puerto del Roserio, 6-8-2016
  • 2 birds near the airport, 25-9-2016

Sand martin

  • 4 birds near La Caldera de Gairia, 21-9-2015

House martin

  • 1 bird near La Caldera de Gairia, 21-9-2015

Barn swallow

  • 35 birds between 21-9 and 25-9-2015, various places

Red-rumped swallow

  • 1 bird (1st year) at Barranco de la Torre (near routa del Queso), 26-9-2016

Red-throated pipit

  • A 1st winter near Casillas de Morales on 21-9-2015, exhausted and approachable at 3 meters

Yellow wagtail

  • 2 birds near Casillas de Morales, 21-9-2015
  • 8 birds at Rosa de Taro, 22-9-2015
  • 7 birds at Mal Nombre, 28-9-2016
  • Several small groups at the beach of Morro Jable, 28-9-2016

White wagtail

  • A group of 11 birds at the beach of Morro Jable, 28-9-2016
  • Some birds at the feeding station, 29-9-2016

Northern wheatear

  • 1 bird near Villaverde, 17-9-2015
  • 2 birds at the feeding station, 19-9-2016 (1 bird present until at least 26-9-2016)

Whinchat

  • 1 bird near Casillas de Morales, 21-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Barranco de rio Cabra, 29-9-2016

Common redstart

  • 1 bird at Vega de Rio Palma, 24-9-2016

Song thrush

  • 6 birds at Vega del rio Palmas, 31-1-2016
  • 4 birds at Barranco de la Torre, 1-2-2016

Blackcap

  • Pajara, 31-1-2016
  • Vega del Rio Palma, 31-1-2016
  • Pajara, singing bird, 29-9-2016

Whitethroat

  • 1 bird at Casillas de Morales, 21-9-2015
  • 2 birds at Rosa del Taro, 23-9-2015
  • 1 bird near Corralejo, 27-9-2016
  • 1 bird at Rosa del Taro, 29-9-2016

Subalpine warbler

  • Male and female on rocks at the coast at Pozo Negro, 22-9-2015, together with chiffchaff, willow warblers and pied flycatchers

Reed warbler

  • 3 birds at Rosa del Taro, 23-9-2015

Melodious warbler/ Icterine warbler (?)

  • 1 bird on the cliffs near Puertito, very dark legs, 8-8-2016

Willow warbler

  • Everywhere between 21 and 24-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Barranco de Herradura, 5-9-2016

Chiffchaff

  • Everywhere between 21 and 24-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Vega del Rio Palma, 31-1-2016
  • 2 birds at Pajara, 25-2-2016
  • 2 birds at Barranco de rio Cabra, 10-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Oasis Park, 15-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Barranco de rio Cabra, 29-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Vega de Rio Palma, 24-9-2016
  • 5 birds together near Corralejo, 27-9-2016
  • Up to 25 birds together at Mal Nombre, 28-9-2016
  • Many at various places, 28/29-9-2016

Pied flycatcher

  • Everywhere between 21 and 24-9-2015
  • 1 bird at Pajara, 15-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Barranco de Herradura, 5-9-2016
  • Several at Pajara, Vega de Rio Palma and Betancuria, 24-9-2016
  • 1 bird at Barranco de la Torre, 26-9-2016
  • Many at various places, 28/29-9-2016

Spotted flycatcher

  • 1 bird at Rosa del Taro, 22-9-2015
  • 4 birds at Pozo Negro, 22-9-2015
  • 3 birds at Rosa del Taro, 23-9-2015
  • various places between 20/25-9-2015, not as much as pied flycather
  • 1 bird at Barranco de Rio Cabra, 29-8-2016
  • 1 bird at Betancuria, 14-9-2016
  • 2 birds at Pajara, 24-9-2016
  • 1 bird near Corralejo, 27-9-2016
  • 5 birds together near Tuineje, 29-9-2016
  • Various places 28/29-9-2016

 

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