Geckos on La Palma

June 23, 2017

This is a gecko (Tarentola delalandii). Geckos are quite common in the warmer parts of La Palma. They like to live in warm buildings or on sunny walls outside, and this one lives in my house. I think he must have got too close to one of my cats because his tail’s regrowing. You see, if they’re in serious danger of being eaten, their tails come off and provide a…

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Strange Caterpillars

April 26, 2017

Yponomenta gigas caterpillars and web. I’d never heard of caterpillars that make cobwebs before, but these do. Like many others caterpilars in the family of ermine moths, they form communal webs. I suppose it discourages birds from sticking their beaks in. My book on Canarian insects doesn’t mention them at all, but then they aren’t easy to find unless you know where to look. They live on the Canarian Willow,…

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Wild canaries

Wild Canary in a juniper tree, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
October 22, 2016

 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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Wildlife in the Caldera

Little Perez's frog in the Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 2, 2016

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…

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Cubo de la Galga

May 22, 2016

Cubo de la Galga is a very pretty walk along the bottom of the Galga ravine, between Puntallana and Los Sauces. By Palmeran standards, it’s an easy walk. There is now a car park at the beginning of the walk, on the road at km 16. You’re unlikely to get lost for the first kilometre or so, because the path’s actually asphalted, never mind signposted. It’s a matter of taste,…

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A “wasp” in the Caldera

Look what I found on a walk in the Caldera. It’s huge for an insect – that body is about as big as my thumb. It was fluttering along as though it had only just come out of its chrysalis and its wings weren’t quite working yet, so I managed to get several photos. I thought it was a moth because of the fluttering movements and the thick body, but…

May 13, 2013
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