Saturday, 19 January 2019


I flew into Fuertoventura on 12th January & Delana was there to meet me. What a contrast in the weather, it was wet cold & windy in Leeds when I left, & glorious sunshine on arrival. We sped through the traffic & out onto the open road. The whole island is volcanic & very barren.

El Cotillo

Spanish Sparrows were common in the town.

Sunset from the beach bar.

Anica, myself & Delana

I settled into my accommodation & we explored the small town of El Cotillo which was our base for the next week. I met Anica Delana's sister & Ronelle a friend from South Africa. This was not a birding trip, but I was hoping to see a few good birds & enjoy a bit of winter sun after my time in the UK.

One of the many beautiful bays close to the town.


Delana & Anica: sisters.

Ruddy Turnstone


We took a brief look at the lighthouse just outside town & the many scenic bays close by.  Birds were scarce but a few Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Ringed Plover & a Whimbrel were on the rocks.

Berthelot's Pipit

A couple of Berthelot's Pipits were feeding among rubbish in the car park! My first tick of the year!

Looking towards Linjares

The walk around the volcano.


Views from close to the top.


The surrounding landscape.

Walking up the crater.

At the top!

The impressive crater.

On the crater rim.

Barbary Ground Squirrel

Common Buzzard

Northern Raven

Trumpeter Finch

On 13th we took a walk around an extinct volcano close to the small town of Lijares. This proved to be an excellent hike, very scenic & with a few birds: Common Buzzard, Raven & several small groups of Trumpeter Finch were the highlights. Barbary Ground Squirrels were common around the crater rim.

Enjoying a drink at the 
end of the day.

We walked south from El Cotillo along the coast.

The plains south of El Cotillo.

One of the old forts 
on the edge of town.

Skeleton of a Common Beaked Whale

Eurasian Kestrel

Northern Raven

Common throughout the island.

Bertholet's Pipit

On the terrace at the apartment.

Evening drinks at the harbour.

The rest of the week was similar: we went for coastal walks & lots of drinking/eating in & around the town.

The track to the La Olivia Reserve

Common Buzzard

The big prize!

Fuertoventura Chat

A nice male. The only one we saw!

Spectacled Warbler

Spanish Sparrows were drinking at a local well.

Around 60 birds seen here.

Many males singing.

El Cotillo at dusk from our apartment.

On 15th Delana & I explored the La Olivia area seeing 6 Cream coloured Coursers, a European Golden Plover & 2 Barbary Partridge. But the undoubted highlight of the day was a male Fuertoventura Chat on a barren hillside. This turned out to be the only sighting of the trip!

Berthelot's Pipit

Spectacled Warblers were common in any
patch of scrub, on the arid plains.

Whenever we walked across the steppe-like plains we saw flocks of Lesser Short-toed Lark, the odd Trumpeter Finch & in scrub Spectacled Warblers.

The cliffs at Los Molinos.

The girls in the village 
at the start of the walk.

The old fishing village is quite interesting.
 It shows how life used to be not so long ago.

At the pub in the old village. 
You have to walk across the beach to get here!

On 17th January we went to Los Molinos for a walk along the cliff top. Didn't see much bird life but it was a nice day out.

Sundowners on the roof of our apartment. 
It was freezing!

On my last two days we were hampered by very strong winds & occasional downpours but we did see a couple of Barbary Falcons. Then all too soon my little trip was over. An excellent week but next time i will do some birding!