Monday, 5 January 2009

Fuerteventura birds

Leaving behind the cold of Britain for a moment, we return to a few more pictures of Fuerteventura. Some of the bird life of the island is quite exotic looking, none more so than this fine Hoopoe. A bird we get in Britain from time to time in the summer months - although I have never seen one here.Other birds which are seen in Britain but which were very tame in Fuerteventura were the Ravens. Wonderful, huge, black birds with fearsome-looking beaks, they are absolutely magnificent when seen close to.Every morning we were greeted by a couple of Collard Doves on the balcony. Again, quite tame (one of which would even take food from your hand) they are another familiar bird of Britain.Great Grey Shrikes are also occasionally seen in Britain. They are also known as Butcher Birds after their habit of impaling their prey on thorns, sharp twigs, barbed wire, etc in order to facilitate dismembering. Delightful habit! And they look so innocent.A more unusual bird, seen almost everywhere on the island was the Fuerteventura Chat. Looking like a cross between the European Stonechat and Whinchat, it has become a distinct species only found on Fuerteventura. More here.Lastly, a small, inconspicuous bird seen all over the island was the Trumpeter Finch. Easily overlooked as it looks like a pale sparrow in a quick glance, when seen close up, it is quite beautiful with a pinkish colour all over, even in winter plumage. But it becomes more obvious that this is no ordinary finch when you hear it call. A strange, nasal note it is plain why it is called a 'trumpeter'.
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