Signs of Spring on Tenerife

Mon, March 2nd, 2015 - By Jack Montgomery

By Tenerife standards it’s been a long and unusually cool winter in the Canary Islands. I know visitors are used to expats and locals telling them ‘it’s not usually like this’ when the weather isn’t behaving. But in this case it really isn’t usually like this. The Spanish Meteorological Office rolled out statistics about it being the coolest winter for a decade or more.

Whilst we’re being a bit namby pamby when we say it’s been cold, a week or so in Yorkshire put temperatures into perspective for us, it’s generally not been the sort of weather to encourage exposing too much of the peelie-wally bits. This happens sometimes during our coolest period (January to February), but this year it’s been more prolonged.

However, there’s a change in the wind. I don’t need to look at a weather forecast or even a calender to know that winter is packing its bags and spring is jauntily skipping closer.

There are signs across Tenerife of a change in the seasons.


Hoopoe, north Tenerife, Tenerife


The first was a couple of weeks ago in the skies above Puerto de la Cruz when we spotted some swifts  heading north. The first of them seemed early this year and we wondered if it meant that Northern Europe was in for a good spring. Sure enough, last week there were weather reports that Europe was in for a warmer and drier spring than usual. By everywhere I mean everywhere in Europe except Britain and Ireland who the weather gods seem to have taken against.

Then, on the first day of March we awoke to the unmistakeable ‘hoop, hoop, hoop’ of the first hoopoe we’ve heard sing this year. This lovely little bird is a spring/summer visitor and his arrival is usually a good indication of things warming up.


Bee on avocado tree, Tenerife


…and the Bees
Whilst walking in the hills between San Miguel de Abona and Vilaflor recently, we passed bushes that were alive with industrious bees collecting pollen. Our avocado tree sounds as though it’s humming a soothing tune there are so many bees doing their ‘shopping’ from its flowers. Which reminds me, I must pick up a jar of avocado honey.

The Flowers
Where you’ve got a lot of bees, you’ve usually got wonderful floral displays. In March, in some areas of Tenerife like Teno and around Santiago del Teide, the countryside bursts spectacularly into bloom as wild flowers wake up and brighten up hills and valleys that are lovely and lush after the winter rains. The signs are already there that there could be some stunning displays this year.


Wild flowers in Teno, Tenerife


As soon as we hear scuttling in the undergrowth we know that there’s been a change in the air temperature. We have a few different species of lizards in our garden and living under the roof tiles. They hibernate all winter. But in the last few days, the sounds of creatures running across the tiles has started again and a few scaly fellows have decided it’s warm enough again to take up their sunbathing positions on the stone border of our herb patch where they’ll remain throughout spring and summer.

The Sun
The most obvious sign of all – the sun simply is hotter. As soon as March arrives, temperatures go up.


Tenerife lizard, north Tenerife, Tenerife


Hello spring, it’s so nice to see you again.

Posted : Monday, March 2nd, 2015 at 12:06 pm
Category : about tenerife
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