Monday 1st November - Sunday 7th November 2010
After arriving the evening before, the first day was spent in and around Los Gigantes, a very pleasant town deriving its name from the impressive cliffs to the north. The first avian sound as I awoke at daybreak was a familiar one, and looked out from our apartment balcony to see two Collared Doves. The balcony was a great place to see birds from and I soon clocked up teneriffae African Blue Tit, canariensis Blackbird, Canary Islands Chiffchaff, canarensis Grey Wagtail, Spanish Sparrow and a female Blackcap, plus distant parakeet-like calls - more on them later.
|Canary Islands Chiffchaff, Los Gigantes|
|Long-tailed Blue, Puerto Santiago|
|Canary, Los Gigantes|
As I said, the balcony was good for birding, and I was delighted to see a pair of Sardinian Warblers foraging in the shrubs nearby. A morning stroll around the town revealed Canaries to be everywhere. There are many boats offering guaranteed cetacean sightings operating from the harbour, and with that promise on offer we booked ourselves on the Nashira Uno. We headed first out to sea two or three miles, and the promise was soon fulfilled as we duly encountered a pod of maybe 20 or more Short-finned Pilot Whales. I couldn't get Linda to share my almost equal level of excitement at seeing my first Cory's Shearwaters though, at least 20, sharing the fish with the whales. We were then taken back towards the coast and to the fish farm beneath the cliffs, and here had good views of Bottle-nosed Dolphins. Two Little Egrets were also on the circular pontoons along with c15 Yellow-legged Gulls and c12 Sandwich Terns. Snorkeling off the boat in Masca Bay was brilliant, with many types of fish see including types of Sea Bream, Wrasse and a Pipe-fish - next time I'll get an underwater camera.
|Short-finned Pilot Whale, Los Gigantes|
|Cory's Shearwater, Los Gigantes|
|African Grass Blue, Los Gigantes|
|Los Roques, foreground, and Mount Teiede|
|Blue Chaffinch, Las Lajas|
|Teneriffae African Blue Tit, Las Lajas|
|Canariensis Great Spotted Woodpecker, Las Lajas|
|Canaries, Las Lajas|
|Tenerife Lizard, Masca|
|Canary Speckled Wood, Garachico|
|Laurel Forest, Erjos|
|Sardinian Warbler, Erjos|
|Canary Island Kinglet, Erjos|
|Monarch, Icod de Los Vinos|
|Common Green Darner, Los Gigantes|
From the balcony, three Little Egrets were seen in flight over the town. A walk around the town produced a surprise Blue Chaffinch which took me some time to see clearly as it foraged high in the roadside pines, apparently fly-catching insects.. A small party of Spanish Sparrows were on a wild area nearby and a Sardinian warbler was heard calling.
|Blue Chaffinch - more photos here|
|Female Canariensis Grey Wagtail, Guia de Isora|
|Monarch, Los Gigantes|
On our final day, I made a concerted effort for one more bird I hadn't managed to see yet, and reckoned there was some good looking habitat above the town. My hunch was right and I soon got good views of a male Spectacled Warbler, superb, followed by another male and a female.
|Spectacled Warbler, Los Gigantes|
|Red-veined Dropwing, Los Gigantes|