Monday, 12 November 2012


Well I am back from a week in Tenerife and it didn’t turn out to be the relaxing week I was hoping for. Flew out with Thompson on the 2nd November – if you are taking hand luggage – beware. Their limit is 5kg with the suitcase weighting about 2kg, plus a telescope, bins and camera. Unless you can survive for a week on a couple of pairs of “skidders” and the clothes you fly in – then don’t go with them!

Having had my suitcases rifled at Birmingham Airport in the past I am reluctant to fly from there with anything apart from hand luggage. When you go to a surprise birthday party taking everyone’s birthday cards to surprise a sister-in-law and find on arrival that all the cards have been opened and the money taken, it tends to make one cautious. Plus, despite emailing the airline and airport authorities and never having a reply I tend to think sod you!

Arrived in Tenerife £60 lighter (thank you Thompsons) no pun intended on the word “lighter”. It was pouring with rain. We decided that we would have a car for a few days and try and photograph some Canary Island endemics. If you have ever birded the island before you can work quite hard and see barely 40 species. That was the case with us with four day’s birding we amassed only 32 species, that was mainly because we were trying to get photo’s of Bolle’s and White-tailed Laurel Pigeons. Although we saw the former we missed the latter mainly due to the weather which was invariably raining in the north  where the main sites are. The Arjos site is a 5.8k walk but now after about a 1k walk on a sharp left hand turn by a red marker “7” there is a footpath which leads to a felled area which overlooks the Laurel forest. We checked this out on the return leg and had several views of Bolle’s I assume that White-tailed would occur here as well and it takes 40 minutes off the walk. However, one thing to bear in mind is that it faces west and the sun did hamper viewing in the evening so it would be best earlier in the day.

I did get a tick out of the week with my first Rock Sparrow closely followed by around another 50 or so. Apart from the obvious birds Blue Chaffinch, Bertholot’s Pipit, Canary Island Blue Tit, Tenerife Goldcrest, Canary Island Chiff-chaff, Cory’s Shearwater and Atlantic Canary the best bird we had was Barbary Falcon and the similarly named but not nearly as exciting Barbary Partridge!

We also came across a few of the subspecies that abound – Kestrel, Buzzard and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Bertholot’s Pipit


Rock Sparrow

Atlantic Canary

Blue Chaffinch (female)

Blue Chaffinch (male)



Susan Murphy said...


I've just found your Blog whilst searching for good birding sites near to the NEC (I'll be dropping off my husband there for a day looking at old bikes! Can you please give me any tips on where I may find a Willow Tit at Shustoke or nearby? I'm only visiting for the day, and unfortunately most of the reserves appear to be for members/ permit holders only.

Sue Murphy

Pete Forbes said...

That is difficult they have become rare now at Shustoke. The only guaranteed site is Ladywalk NR (Willow and Marsh Tit visit the feeding station. As is the case with Whiteacre Heath NR. If you email the West Midlands Bird Club they may well allow you access to Ladywalk. If you decide to try Shustoke they area around the fishing huts is the best. But I haven’t seen one this year. But they are more common in the winter.

Susan Murphy said...

Thanks for the info. I'll try emailing the Bird Club.