Odds and Ends

A few pictures of some of the birds we saw on our recent holiday in Lanzarote.

Spanish Sparrow

This chirpy critter started singing at dawn directly outside our room. He kept up his attempts
 to attract a mate all day long. Apparently the prowess of the males is dictated by the extent of
their black bib.......you see size does count! This particular bird was in pristine breeding garb
 - heavily streaked both along the flanks and all over his back with a bright and bold head pattern.
Hope he was eventually successful.  


This is the bird we tracked as it was fishing along the coast. I think it is
probably a male bird (very little breast marking) which hatched last year
(white flecking in upper wing feathers). Note the moulting
 primary No 4 and the central tail feathers.



Lovely bird. This species over-winters around the Canaries. It can be separated from
the curlew by its smaller size, much shorter beak and crown stripes. This one looks
like it is part way through its moult prior to departing for its northern breeding grounds.


We watched this bird dismember a poor crab it had caught on the rocky shoreline of Fuerteventura

Cory's Shearwater

One of the birds I managed to photograph from the ferry to Fuerteventura.

Cory's Shearwater

The birds nest in the numerous small offshore islands.

Stone Curlew

Just to show how effective their camouflage is.

Stone Curlew

This pair were in the process of selecting a nest site. The female (on the left)
was making a small depression amongst the rocks.

Stone Curlew

The bedraggled male.

Rose-ringed Parakeets

These females were flying from lamp to lamp searching diligently under the metal
overhang presumably for moths and other insects attracted by the light the
previous evening.

Great Grey Shrike

These butcher birds are quite common on the island, but form a separate race koenigi
which is darker and smaller than the nominate race. It also has a pale eyebrow which
can be clearly seen on this individual. 

Short-toed Lark

These cryptically plumaged birds are common all over the island and were breeding
on the hills by our hotel.