Wild canaries

Wild Canary in a juniper tree, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
October 8, 2018

 For some time I’ve been trying to identify the birds twittering in a Canary Islands juniper tree (Juniperus cedrus) at the Roque. It’s been frustrating because although you can frequently hear a whole flock of them twittering, they tend to stay deep inside the tree and it’s very hard to catch a glimpse of one. It’s even harder to get a photograph in order to identify them. As you can…

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The Dragon Tree Viewpoint

July 15, 2018

  There’s a rather nice viewpoint in Puntagorda, on the main road at km 78. Its most obvious attraction is the dragon tree, leaning much further over than the tower at Pisa. > But when I was last there, I was charmed by a tame red-billed chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax barbarus. They’re relatives of rooks and crows, but this particular sub-species only lives on La Palma where they’re called grajas. They’re…

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Tame birds

June 21, 2015

  I’ve mentioned the tame Canary chaffinches at Los Tilos forest three years ago, but they’ve got much tamer since. They were coming right up to us (as long as we didn’t move suddenly) and they’ll even eat from the hand of one of the park rangers. I also saw two other birds. The common blackbird came for bread too. But the robin was much more cautious.

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Summer

  It must be summer. The plain swifts (Apus unicolor) are back at the Roque de Los Muchachos. These birds are native to the Canary Islands and Madiera, but some overwinter in North Africa. I don’t know where these ones disappear to in winter, but it’s always nice to see them back, zipping acrobatically around the telescopes.

April 12, 2015
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