Friday, 13 February 2015
Myself and Deb (The Boss) decided to escape the winter gloom and treat ourselves to a week in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote. After a short flight we were soon on our way to the hotel, birds seen en route were Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Southern Grey Shrike, Collared Dove and Yellow legged Gulls. After booking into the hotel a quick walk to the beach produced Kestrel, Linnets, Stonechat, Chiffchaff, Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Little Egret and Spanish Sparrows. For those who are not aware Houbara Bustard has eluded me on two previous trips to the Canaries so it had to be third time lucky surely? I had booked a trip with Lanzarote Active Club prior to coming on holiday so on our third day we were picked up at 8.00am by Carmen Ernest in her Land Rover and after picking up two Dutch birders we were soon on our way to the desert of Soo. First birds seen were Berthelot's Pipits then several Lesser Short Toed Larks (or rocks as Phil calls them) then after approximately half an hour I spotted the holy grail of "chickeny things" a Houbara Bustard!!!!, well to say I was happy was an understatement as the lads in all fairness have never once mentioned me dipping previously! A further two hours of searching produced another five Houbara's, several Cattle Egrets, two Southern Grey Shrikes, five Raven and a few Linnets. Carmen said this area is normally good for Coursers and Stone Curlew but none were seen on this trip. After a fantastic lunch at a local restaurant washed down with a few glasses of wine we then drove to the south of the island to Janubio saltflats where we picked up Avocet, Redshank, Greenshank, Black winged Stilt(30+), two pairs of Ruddy Shelduck and an incredible (24) Black necked Grebe. It was my first time in a Land Rover which had a quite impressive ground clearance with one step before getting into the vehicle, no problem all day getting in and out until returning to the hotel I missed the step completely and found myself sprawled on the pavement much to the amusement of several people stood outside reception! Carmen had mentioned during the day that the beach area in Arrecife was a good place for birds so we visited this area twice picking up Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, Sandwich Tern, Common Sandpiper, Grey Heron, Black headed Gull, Whimbrel and at least 300 Yellow legged Gull, on the way back to the bus we also saw Cattle Egret(10), Chiffchaff and a Southern Grey Shrike. The remainder of the holiday I just birded around the hotel and beach not picking up any new birds, final total for the week was (33) species and four bruises.