domingo, 26 de diciembre de 2010

Sightings in November and December 2010

Group of 6 Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula)

Migratory ducks tend to arrive on La Palma later in the year than waders. There have been several interesting species on the island this autumn.
A group of 6 Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) appeared in Las Martelas on Nov 25. Within a few days, two of the birds had left the group, possibly to find themselves another pond, or perhaps to continue their southward journey. At the time of writing, 3 birds remain at their original location.

The solitary Garganey (Anas querquedula) above was also photographed in Las Martelas, and is possibly still on the island, although has not been seen recently.

The rather drab Gadwall (Anas strepera) above has been in Las Martelas since Oct 29, but was recently joined by a group of 4 shown below, which arrived on, or just before Dec 12.

Group of 4 Gadwall (Anas strepera)

I assume the above bird is a Eurasian (Anas penelope), rather than an American (A. americana) Wigeon, simply because of the reddish-brown tones on the head and neck. First seen on Nov 25, the bird is still on the island.
However, on Dec 18, two individuals were discovered at different locations. They eventually joined up in the same basin, as can be appreciated in the image below. The second bird to arrive is much greyer in colouring....a female, perhaps?
Even out of its full breeding plumage, the Shoveler (Anas clypeata) is an unmistakable species.
The following male, moulting into winter plumage, was photographed in Las Martelas on Dec 4.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

There have also been up to 18 Common Teal (Anas crecca) in Las Martelas in recent weeks, and, at the seawater pools near the airport, the juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) was discovered on Nov 18, later to be joined by a second bird. Both are still present at the time of writing.
My apologies to all followers of this blog for the lack of new posts in recent weeks. I am presently experiencing serious technical problems with my Internet connection at home, and am having to use other people's computers and Cyber Centres. Hopefully the problems will be solved by early 2011.