Bird watching in Lanzarote, December 2019

The following is a gallery of videos and photos from bird surveys I undertook in Lanzarote during December 2019. The first three videos are from the El Jable plain. This is a semidesert ecosystem used by steppe birds. The videos below show the Annex I Houbara Bustards Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae, Southern Grey Shrikes Lanius meridionalis koenigi, and also Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus insularum. 

The last two videos are from Salinas de Janubio. This is a salt evaporation pond and is an important location for migratory seabirds. The videos include Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus. Some of the clips in the final video are from Arrecife Harbour.

I also have also included a photo gallery below from my trip which includes additional bird species – including the Annex I listed Cream-coloured courser Cursorius cursor. It was nice to see several Annex I Houbara and Coursers during my visit – but was also sad to see the problems that they face here – especially habitat loss/fragmentation and disturbance.

This is a nice video of Southern Grey Shrikes Lanius meridionalis koenigi also from  the El Jable plain.

The above video is of Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus insularum near Soo, Lanzarote, December 2019. This is an endangered sedentary sub-species only found in the eastern Canary Islands.

This is some nice footage of Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus at Salinas de Janubio, Lanzarote, December 2019.

Finally this is a video of Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Grey Plover, and Black-winged Stilt at Salinas de Janubio and also Arriciefe Harbour.

There has been much development on the Island and some of the major roads have fragmented the habitats. The remaining areas are crossed by many small tracks and trails and they are been used by motorbikes, quad bikes, runners, mountain bikes and walkers. There is also disturbance from locals taking short cuts across the desert to get from one side to another. The land use is changing and there are ongoing agricultural activities here – including major clearance of some of the desert areas. There are large goat herds being grazed across the desert areas. Extensive areas are affected by sand extraction. I have also seen hunters with dogs – even though this is a protected SPA. There are some signs to tell people to stay on the main trails – but most of the signs are very faded and there are new trails becoming established. I set up two trail cameras and recorded feral cats even out in the middle of the desert.

Further information:-

PS: I recorded Houbaras in the distance on the trail cameras I set but the footage was not very good. However, I did get this nice footage of North African (Algerian) Hedgehogs Atelerix algirus. The Algerian hedgehog is an introduced species in the Canary Islands. It was introduced to Fuerteventura from Morocco in 1892, but was subsequently spread to the other islands though other introductions.

It was disappointing pick up several feral cats on the trail cameras in the middle of the desert and they must be having an impact on Houbara chicks.

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