Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Bird

Although not a spectacularly rich area for wildlife, we did however, manage to see a few species of birds while in Maspalomas.  The ubiquitous Collared Doves and Blackbirds were always in evidence, but there were also a lot of Canary Island Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus canariensis) flitting about in the trees and palms.
The Canary Island Chiffchaff used to be thought of as a subspecies of the more familiar Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), but now its status has been elevated to being a separate and distinct species. So that's a nice new 'tick' for the list.
The pond in the park which supported the ducks and Moorhens, also had a resident Little Egret (Egretta garzetta).  This individual was extremely tame as he searched for small fish in the shallows and caused some alarm among the ducklings.
Constantly on the lookout for lizards (more of which tomorrow), the Kestrels of Gran Canaria and other Western Canary Islands, belong to a sub-species (Falco tinnunculus canariensis) and are of a more ancient blood-line than their Eastern Canary Islands cousins.
Another new 'tick' for me, came in the form of a small dove which, on the face of it, looked like a Collared Dove, but closer inspection revealed no 'collar' and a more diminutive size.  It was actually a Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis).
Named for its bubbling, 'laughing' call, it was also rather tame and these particular doves are supposed to be fairly common in dry, scrubby areas of sub-Saharan Africa eastward to India.
So, that's two new ticks for a start!
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