Lanzarote - 2nd to 12th November 2018

Published by Mark Graham (helen.graham7 AT

Participants: Mark Graham


We went to Playa Blanca, Lanzarote for 10 days, at the beginning of November, staying at the Marconfort Atlantic Gardens, adult only apartment hotel. It lies just off the promenade mid-way between the port and the lighthouse. A very peaceful hotel set in well kept gardens.

The weather was hot and sunny most days with light winds.

We used the reliable buses from the port bus stop to get out and about.

Yaiza to to La Degollada.

A pleasant, quiet valley with plenty of scrub and some greenery,some low level arable farming and a good number of birds to be seen.

Bus 60 or 161 goes to Yaiza every hour. Fare 1.40 euro. Catch the bus from the port roundabout on the hour. It returns from Yaiza,at 25 minutes to the hour.

Walk 1

If you get off at the Aljibe de Yaiza bus stop, walk back to the start of the well marked Camino de Parque Naturel and turn left at the top of the steps.

Head towards the edge of Yaiza. The first birds you’ll notice [apart from Collared Dove] are the Berthelot's Pipit. A Common Kestrel and Great Grey Shrike were soon seen.

As we reached the end of the track near the graveyard,I was surprised to find a Barbary Falcon, perched on a tree, halfway up the hill on the right. It stopped long enough to give me a good identifying view.

In the garden next to the graveyard there was a pair of Hoopoe perched in a tree, 2 Berthelot's Pipit, a Common Kestrel and a flock of Spanish Sparrow.

We carried on along the quiet road to La Degollada and saw more Berthelot’s Pipit and 1 Great Grey Shrike.

An interesting looking track, barred to vehicles, turned right off the road opposite the arable field bounded by a netted fence, about half a mile from La Degollada.There was plenty of scrub and it looked good for Spectacled Warbler.

Sure enough,I found 6 very active and noisy Spectacled Warbler, plus, 2 Linnet, a Common Kestrel and another Great Grey Shrike.

There were 4 more Berthelot’s Pipit, giving a total of 12 for the whole walk.

Returning to the road to head back to Yaiza 3 Cattle Egret were nearby. In the centre of Yaiza there were 4 Linnet behind the Aloe Vera museum and some Spanish Sparrow.

Walk 2

We enjoyed the first walk so much, we returned two days later to explore the other side of the valley.

This time we walked along the road to La Degollada, returned along the road, and turned right towards the small weather station. The rough track then goes behind a hill and eventually turns left back to the road.

A party of 4 Raven flew over Yaiza and there was a pair further on up in the hills.

As we returned from La Degollada a Stone Curlew called, near the arable field bounded by the netted fence, to the right, halfway between La Degollada and Yaiza. I scrambled over a bank to locate it, but wasn't to be seen. There was yet another Great Grey Shrike though.

I counted 19 Berthelot’s Pipit, the most recorded on one trip.

A Spectacled Warbler called from some dense scrub near the road before the weather station.

Also seen: 2 Barbary Partridge,5 Great Grey Shrike, 3 Common Kestrel, 2 Linnet, 1 Cattle Egret and some Spanish Sparrow and Collared Dove.

Salinas De Janubio

The number 60 bus leaves Playa Blanca port roundabout every hour, on the hour. Get off at Rotunda La Hoya and the salinas are about 5 minutes from there [fare 1.40 euros single].

The bus returns around 25 minutes to the hour.

We walked anticlockwise round the salinas viewing them from the car lay-by viewing areas and the beach at the far end.

There was a large flock of Black-necked Grebe,and some Black-winged Stilt,Ruddy Shellduck, Greenshank, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Sanderling,Yellow legged Gull and and some Berthelot's Pipit on the edges.

Out to sea there was a raft of Cory’s Shearwater.

On our way back to the bus I noticed a flock of 10 Barbary Partridge by a track, barred to vehicles, on the opposite side of the road to the restaurant.

We decided to explore that area a couple of days later and found, 11 Berthelot’s Pipit, 3 Great Grey Shrike, 2 Raven, some Spanish Sparrow, and the party of Barbary Partridge.

Playa Blanca

There were always something to see on the rocks below the promenade, when the tide was out, especially in the area near our hotel, between the Natura Palace and Timanfaya Palace.

A resident Ringed Plover was loyal to the same area and a couple of Turnstone were always about.Two Common Sandpiper were seen most days as well as a Little Egret and a Whimbrel.

The tamest Cattle Egret you’ll ever find, was often seen resting on a rockery on the prom within inches of hundreds of passing promenaders. When it wasn’t there it could be found amongst the sunbathers on the lawns of the Iberostar [with two Hoopoe].

An enterprising Hoopoe was a regular on the floor of the giant budgie cage in the grounds of the Rubicon Palace. A flock of Spanish Sparrow broke in too, pinching the budgie seed.

There was another Hoopoe on the Timanfaya Palace lawn.

When the tide came in I found a Common Sandpiper on the lawns of Rubicon Palace and another one which had adapted to the ornamental fountain and pond in the middle of the marina shopping area.

There were plenty of Collared Dove, Spanish Sparrow and up to 3 Common Kestrel in our hotel gardens.

The best place for sea watching is the lighthouse area where a raft of Cory’s Shearwater loafed around during the day [largest count, 250]. Yellow Legged Gull were seen in good numbers and Sandwich Terns were a daily occurrence. A maximum of 5 were spotted between our hotel and the lighthouse on the 10th November.Two Great Grey Shrike and 3 Berthelot’s Pipit were found near the lighthouse.

A solitary Gannet was about all week, flying through the straits between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. After about 5 pm, most days, some of the Cory's Shearwater drifted into the straits from the lighthouse area.