Sunday, 10 March 2019

Fuerteventura: Day 3 - Tindaya Plains

On our third day on Fuerteventura we made the short journey south from El Cotillo to Tindaya Plains. This is possibly the best site on the island to catch up with the desert specialities, and on our first visit we definitely were not disappointed.

The key to viewing at this location is to slowly drive along the tracks in the car, scanning every so often. The birds can then often be seen at close quarters from the car. Once we arrived it wasn't long until we spotted a pair of Stone-curlews sat just metres from the track. They were totally unfazed by us despite the incredibly close range. We were treated to our best views of the species by a long way!

We continued west along the main track, and quickly picked up a group of four Houbara Bustards. One female cam particularly close. Berthelot's Pipits and Lesser Short-toed Larks were both present in good numbers across the plains.

We reached a crossroads, and here we located a loose group of very smart Cream-coloured Coursers numbering six in total, including two juveniles. This was also a particularly good place to see Lesser Short-toed Larks.

The track continues all the way down to the coast (although deteriorates and is almost impassible in places) and we decided to drive down its full length. We saw a total of five more Houbara Bustards including one which flew past the car and another which just sat preening close by. Our first two Black-bellied Sandgrouse of the trip flew over too along with a Ruddy Shelduck.

On reaching the end of the road, we had a look offshore where around ten Cory's Shearwaters were milling around and nineteen Gannets flew past north. A Barbary Falcon flew over our heads here.

Encouraged by our success here, we decided to head back to Barranco de Rio Cabras for another go at seeing the Dwarf Bittern. Again there was no sign, but I did find a Spotted Crake under the tamarisks and a Greenshank was also new, along with most of the birds on my previous post.

Houbara Bustards (ssp. fuertaventurae)

Lesser Short-toed Lark (ssp. polatzeki)
Cream-coloured Courser - I was after more photos later in the week!

Stone-curlews (ssp. insularum)
Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Berthelot's Pipit in the only ten minutes of rain during the trip!
Barbary Falcon
Spotted Crake
Little Ringed Plover

No comments:

Post a Comment