The Partridge Family on La Palma

Barbary Partridges, Alectoris barbara koenigi
September 11, 2019

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…

Read More >>

What to Feed Lizards on La Palma

August 20, 2019

Yesterday I discovered that the local lizards (Gallotia galloti palmae) are fond on watermelon on a hot day. Figures. Unlike most lizards, they eat quite a lot of plants, especially ripe fruit, to the point where they can become a nuisance in vinyards. I recently discovered that we only have one species of small lizard here. What I thought were two species is one, with different colours for males and…

Read More >>

Los Tilos Waterfall

June 13, 2019

Canarian waterfalls aren’t common. There are lots of temporary waterfalls after heavy rain, but they tend to be very short-lived. But La Palma has two, pretty much year round. This one is in the Los Tilos biosphere reserve. From the visitor centre, you follow either the ravine or the water channel upstream. (If you follow the ravine, be prepared for some scrambling. If you follow the channel, bring a torch…

Read More >>

Ferrets on La Palma

April 6, 2019

Ferrets are a common pet here. They’re mostly used for hunting wild rabbits, which are plentiful. The trouble is that occasionally they escape. Since there are plenty of wild rabbits, they do rather well, so we also have a population of wild ferrets. In fact, in 2010 scientists found that La Palma was the island with the highest number of wild ferrets in the Canaries. The scientists say that, “the…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Wildlife in the Caldera

Little Perez's frog in the Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 1, 2018

La Palma popped up out of the ocean only 3 million years ago, so the wildlife either flew here by itself, floated here by itself, or hitched a lift with humans. Consequently there are no bears or wolves or deer. For all that, there are some interesting insects in the Caldera. For example, there are the blue dragonflies, pictured above. They’re really quite common, although they zip around so fast…

Read More >>