Hard day in the office

26 03 2012

“Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”

– T. S. Eliot

The migration is stopped. As soon as I admitted that fact, I concluded the only chance I had to find something interesting was going south. There had been a claim of a Desert warbler last week at el Médano and it seemed a good idea to look for that kind of birds through the hundreds of kilometres of tabaibal-cardonal. My idea was to go to el Médano by guagua (bus) and check the Amarilla Golf and Las Galletas grabel in the way to el Fraile, covering the southernmost part of the island. I had 2 days to do so, and I had worked out I would have to camp near the golf.

The day started awfully. The beach at el Médano was crowded and it seems everybody in Tenerife has either a dog or an hyperactive couple of sons. The best I could do was to seawatch, but after an hour of doing so and seeing nothing but Cory’s, I came back to re-check “la mareta”, a pseudo-natural lagoon in the inner part of the beach. There was a nice curlew sandpiper that was not present the first time and, since I don’t need so much, I suddenly got excited.

Then, a big walk until the Amarilla Golf seeing nothing but southern great grey shrikes, Berthelot’s pipits and spectacled warblers. A bit of seawatch from Los Abrigos produced a pomarine skua and lots of Cory’s again. A couple of them were doing display later in the afternoon, just a few meters from the shore. Nice to hear them once more! The only interesting bird, apart from the seabirds, was a wheatear and a willow warbler, if they can be considered interesting birds…

Today morning, more of the same. Another wheatear at the golf and nothing else… My hope resided on Las Galletas grabel and it fulfilled the expectations actually. There were 2 little and 4 greater ringed plovers, 1 wood and 1 common sandpiper, but the best was a tawny pipit. It was nice to campare the size with the incredibly common Berthelot’s pipit and notice it’s the double!

In the harbour and the pond near el Fraile, nothing but yellow-legged and lesser black-backed gulls, some coots and a greenshank. I am already waiting for the next wave of migrants.

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