02.2018 | Fuerteventura
Christian, Lukas and I decided to escape the cold for a trip to the Canaries this February. Nothing too innovative for Central Europeans at this time of year, but these islands are not only popular among all-inclusive tourists. They are also a classic destination for naturalists. Fuerteventura, one of the two dry eastern islands, was our choice as it appealed to us the most for combining photography and birding.
Our main target of the trip was to see and when possible photograph desert birds such as Cream-coloured Cursor, Stone Curlew and Houbara Bustard. We spent most of our evenings on a vast desert plain near the village of Tindaya, which is a well-known area for all of these birds. Finding them required some patience and commitment, but we managed to get many nice views in the end.
Besides the desert plains we often visited some of the many barrancos on the island. Apart from the tourist resorts these normally dry riverbeds are the green oases of Fuerteventura. Specialities such as the endemic Canary Islands Stonechat and Fuerteventura Blue Tit were rather scarce, while other birds of the shrubs like Sardinian or Spectacled warbler were abundant almost everywhere. The barrancos also proved to be reliable spots to find Eastern Canary Gecko and Atlantic Lizard.
Some of the barrancos held a few shallow pools which were great for waders. Barranco de Rio Cabras was particularly good in this respect and we managed to get close to some Black-necked Stilts in beautiful morning light.
Fuerteventura also offered beautiful seascapes, particularly along the Jandia peninsula in the south-west of the island, while the dunes of Parque Natural de Corralejo gave us a taste of the Sahara desert. A fantastic trip throughout!