The Dragon Tree Viewpoint

July 16, 2019

  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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Burr Marigolds

June 7, 2015

  My father was a botanist, so he really looked forward to his first trip to La Palma. One of the plants he most hoped to find were burr marigolds – Bidens alba. But he later said he was trying not to hope too much in case he was disappointed. That made me laugh, because they’re an extremely common roadside weed. In fact they’re a right nuisance for exactly the…

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Chatting to Carmelo the raven

Sheila holding Carmelo the raven and her book 'The Seer's Stone' at the Roque de Los Muchachos
March 3, 2015

              This morning when I finished work I went up to the Roque itself to relax and admire the view. Helen Loth kindly agreed to take a photo of me with my book and the telescopes.                     While we were doing that, Carmelo the raven came to say “Hello”. Well no, her really cae to…

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The Partridge Family on La Palma

I’ve seen lots more partridges near the Roque de Los Muchachos than last year. They mostly seem to live in the higher reaches of the pine forest, where they wander out onto the road sometimes. Earlier in the summer, I often saw families which all disappeared into the bushes before I could get my camera out. That makes it all the nicer to have caught this family before they flew…

September 9, 2014
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Carmelo’s Back!

I hadn’t seen Carmelo the raven for about a month, and I was starting to worry. I’ve seen lots of other ravens, but Carmelo’s easy to recognise by his ankle bracelet. He’s also much the friendliest (or maybe just the cheekiest) and I’m very fond of him. So it was quite a relief when he turned up on the heliport yesterday to guzzle most of my elevenses. Many thanks to…

May 25, 2014
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The Dragon Tree Viewpoint

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 something…

July 30, 2013
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