Tag Archives: Fuerteventura

Iberienzilpzalp auf Fuerteventura

IberienzilpzalpDer Kontrast zwischen der Kühle des Morgens und der wüstenhaften Trockenheit des Geländes kann nicht größer sein. Wir befinden uns auf einem Morgenausflug zur Landenge von Jandia. Plötzlich steht ein kleiner, olivbrauner Singvogel auf einer Trockenpflanze. Es ist ein Iberienzilpzalp (Phylloscopus ibericus).  Der Iberienzilpzalp ist hauptsächlich auf der Iberischen Halbinsel in Spanien und Portugal beheimatet. Er wandert jedoch im Herbst in den Süden. Dieser Zilpzalp ist heller, grüner auf dem Hinterteil und gelblicher als der „normale“ Zilpzalp (Phylloscopus collybita). Anfangs hieß der Iberienzilpzalp mit seinem lateinischen Namen Phylloscopus brehmii. Dann stellte sich aber heraus, dass der Typus dieses Taxons gar kein Iberienzilpzalp war. Diese Art ist ein Langstreckenmigrant, der jedes Jahr auf dem Rückweg von seinen Wintergebieten in Westafrika bis nach Deutschland kommt. So wurde z.B. in Zarrendorf bei Stralsund in der nordöstlichen Ecke Deutschlands im Mai 2012 ein solcher Vogel gefunden. Dies ist im Bundesland Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Weitere Irrgäste werden immer wieder – vor allem im Frühjahr – auch in anderen Teilen Deutschlands beobachtet.

Es war mir natürlich ein Vergnügen, einen Iberienzilpzalp im niedrigen Gestrüpp auf der sandigen Ebene auf der Landenge von Jandia in der südlichen Ecke von Fuerteventura / Kanarischen Inseln zu sehen. Zuerst dachte ich, ich hätte den Kanaren-Zilpzalp (Phylloscopus canariensis), den auf den Kanaren einheimischen Continue reading Iberienzilpzalp auf Fuerteventura

Hoopoes on Fuerteventura

As the plane gained altitude and the rugged, steep cliffs of the Canary Island of La Palma disappeared more and more in the haze, I decided to come back. Was it the allure of warm semi-desert with cactus like their spurge, the rugged caldera in the northern part of the island, which had thrilled me so, or it was the most overcast, cool bay-rainforests in the center of the island? Maybe it was because of the loud booming of the frogs that filled the night in the subtropical atmosphere. Eurasian HoopoeHowever, it could also Island Canary (Serinus canaria), also commonly known as the Canaries, the endemic subspecies of our chaffinches, the La Palma Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs palmae), the Canary Islands Pipit (Anthus berthelotii), the nasal flight calls of Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis) have been, or were there in the end, “only” the graceful Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops), which unfortunately I could not take pictures again as I had planned it all along?

Anyway, in the fall of 2011, I visited the Canary Islands again a visit. This time was the turn of Fuerteventura and now the Photo luck finally seemed to be on my side:

On a remote poultry farm with a lot of rotten and rusty agricultural machines, more precisely, on and around the corresponding dunghill with its many small, hidden, white grubs, not two, three Hoopoes had gathered – no, there were not fewer than 9 individuals. Running busily back and forth, they punted “nervous” in the soft decomposition products around. The birds often pushed the beak from the side, i.e. with inclined head in the manure inside. The beak is very sensitive to tactile stimuli. The reaction is a rapid collapse of the beak. When the tactile grip managed to feel the prey the caterpillar was swallowed as a whole. Hoopoes impress between meals like by placing her bonnet and tail compartments. If they threaten, they are spreading their wings in addition. This happened often with so many competitors for food in such a small space. Then aggressive reations are inevitable. So it was not surprising that the hoopoe with his usually horizontally carried rear bonnet fanned the bonnet suddenly when a conspecific rival dared to go through the accepted distance. In an extreme case, a bird raised the optically effective defense by increasing the body by sudden turning of the wing on the ground at the same time spreading the tail.

The image shown here succeeded Continue reading Hoopoes on Fuerteventura

Cream-colored Courser with young in Morocco

Beginning of June might be regarded as already quite late to look for birds in the deserts of Boumalne du Dades (called Tagdilt), Morocco. But The Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) a bird of dry open country, preferably semi-desert is hatching the offspring at that time of the year. Thus a good chance to take images of adult and young birds of this species. Here you see more!
Fortunately the spring 2002 had been quite rainy and the desert was still green enough to provide this very special wader in the pratincole and courser family with enough insect prey which is typically hunted by erratic running on the ground. Looking for larks, I spend a whole afternoon on a plateau at 1,600 m above sea level at the edge of the mountains called Ibel Sarhro when I stumbled over a pair of the Cream-colored Courser which explored the area with young chicks. After a while I found a juvenile individual in the same area, too. From inside the SUV I could photograph these usually shy birds from the immediate vicinity, although they always ran away pretty quickly. They moved on to the rocky, stony ground even faster than the Greater Hoopoe-Lark (Alaemon alaudipes), I had photographed some minutes before in more or less the same area. Again and again I had to move & stop the jeep. I only had a chance, if I catch the moment when they to come to an abrupt stop.  This worked best with the parents, because the young were even more mobile.

These coursers are found on the Canary Islands, too. There I saw 3 individuals on Fuerteventura in October 2011. These birds have long legs and long wings. They have slightly downcurved bills. The body plumage is sandy in colour. Some short description you will find here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cream-coloured_Courser

To track birds like larks or coursers in the endless deserts of Morocco is looking like the proverbial needle in a haystack. I had heard it before I left my hometown, and the initial experience confirmed this statement just too much. But the results so far of a photo safari through Spain and Morocco with my SUV in 2002 were very rewarding. With the help of fellow ornithologists, good maps and trip reports from the Internet, I had been in the High Atlas and photographed mega birds as Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus), Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris atlas, the southern form of the chemical also found in Scandinavian style), Continue reading Cream-colored Courser with young in Morocco

Iberian Chiffchaff on Fuerteventura

Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus (or P. brehmii  as it is called, too) is mainly found on the Iberian peninsula in Spain and Portugal but migrates to the south in fall. This chiffchaff is brighter, greener on the rump, and yellower below than Phylloscopus collybita. This species is a long-distance migrant, occurring every year on the way back from it´s wintering grounds in western Africa as far north as Germany. Right now a bird has been located in Zarrendorf near Stralsund in the north-eastern corner in Germany. This is in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Other vagrants has been found in other parts of Germany in the recent weeks, too.

It was a pleasure for me to see a Iberian Chiffchaff in low scrub on the sandy plain on top of the isthmus of Jandia in the southern corner of Fuerteventura/ Canary Islands.   Continue reading Iberian Chiffchaff on Fuerteventura

Eurasian Hoopoe

On the 14th of Oktober 2011 I drove with the car to the isthmus of Jandía. We took the curvy road inside Costa Calma village up tot he sandy plain. Up on the highest point we crossed a hiking trail. The trail is marked with red-and-white posts. Here I saw not only Houbara Bustard, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Eurasian Thick-knee, Lesser Short-toed Lark but also in total 6 Eurasian Hoopoe, which were feeding on the ground.