This is the second part of my recent holiday blog to Lanzarote, which deals with the salt pans and lagoon at Salinas de Janubio. It is a popular place for birds, both resident and migrant and although salt is still produced here, there is very little disturbance to wildlife. I visited the lagoon four times during my stay, all on consecutive Sundays when salt making is closed and no workmen are about, so you have the place to yourself. Although Spring and Autumn are the best times to see the maximum amount of migrants, my visits in August still produced a good amount of birds. At any time of the year you can expect to see BLACK WINGED STILTS which are resident. The largest total that I saw was thirty, beautiful birds with their long red legs and black and white plumage. On the second of my visits and accompanied by my daughter, I had just parked the car in the very handy car park on the northern side of the lagoon next to the Atlantic Ocean, when I noticed a very large raptor flying towards the lagoon from the ocean and appeared to be clutching an object in its talons. A quick look through my binoculars revealed an OSPREY with a very big fish. It flew across the lagoon and landed on a piece of tall derelict machinery which must have been used at one time for salt production. The OSPREY then began to eat its catch. I managed to get reasonably close to it and saw that it was a juvenile. After thirty minutes or so it took off with what remained of the fish and flew off. I never saw it again on my subsequent visits. It was probably just passing through on its way to Africa. Also seen during my visits were BARTHELOT'S PIPIT, GREENSHANK, SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE, KESTREL, YELLOW LEGGED GULL, COMMON SANDPIPER, DUNLIN, RINGED PLOVER, CURLEW SANDPIPER, WHIMBREL and SANDERLING. The salt pans are a lovely peaceful place and well worth a visit for birding.
Just back from a family holiday at Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, my favourite get away from it all destination. The weather was cloudy at first but then got back to being its usual hot and sunny self, with a cool Atlantic breeze to cool it down a little. Light conditions for bird photography as you can guess were superb. I have divided the blog and new photos into two parts, this one will deal with birds seen in Playa Blanca and in two or three weeks time, I will publish another blog and photos of birds seen at my favourite birding sight on the island at 'Salinas de Janubio', the salt pans and lagoon, which are about eight miles north of Playa Blanca on the west coast. By experience from previous holidays, I found that the best place to see birds at Playa Blanca is along the wide promenade that stretches from the lighthouse at one end to Papagayo at the other, about nine miles. On one side you have the Atlantic Ocean, with some sandy beaches but mainly of large lava rocks and on the other side
hotels, villas, bars and restaurants and some areas of waste ground. The rocks are good for YELLOW LEGGED GULLS, WHIMBREL, TURNSTONE, COMMON SANDPIPER and BARTHELOTS PIPIT. On one particular day when out walking with two of my grandsons, a male ELEANORAS FALCON was seen hunting migrants over the sea. The grounds of the hotels are always good for a scan, as they have mature trees, shrubs and large areas of grass, ideal HOOPOE habitat and I was not disappointed as on several occassions I saw this beautiful bird on grassed areas searching for food. Around the bars and restaurants you can normally find COLLARED DOVES and SPANISH SPARROWS. KESTRELS can be found hunting in most areas along with SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKES. Although August is a bit early to see returning migrants, which were conspicuous by their absence, the months of September and October are much busier when anything can turn up on its way to Africa.
Hi, I'm Roger Milligan. I have been interested in birds since I was a boy growing up in south east London, which was a long time ago. I now live in Farnborough, Hampshire.