Twitchers on Tenerife

Fri, November 1st, 2013 - By Andrea Montgomery

Although the vast majority of people who annually fly to Tenerife do so to catch some sun and a bit of rest and recreation, there are a dedicated number of twitchers who visit these shores to try to catch sight of some of its beautiful, feathered residents and visitors. Being just off the coast of Africa and on the flight path of migratory birds, Tenerife and the Canary Islands offer good birdwatching opportunities.


Little Egret, Tenerife


The twitcher’s bible for Tenerife is ‘A Birdwatcher’s Guide to the Canary Islands’ by Dave Collins and Tony Clarke in which they detail where to go to see the greatest variety of birds and what you can expect to find there. But you don’t have to be an avid birdwatcher, lying in wait in the rushes at the crack of dawn with a high powered telescope and a thermal flask to spot Tenerife’s birds, many species will oblige with sightings in parks, plazas, mountains and on shorelines.


Blue Chaffinch, Tenerife


Head up into the pine forest above La Orotava and to the picnic zone and walking area of  La Caldera and you’re likely to spot any number of Laurel Pigeons and if you’re lucky, the much more rare Bolle’s pigeon. Take a seat on the terrace of La Caldera Restaurant and watch while Robins, African Blue Tits, Blue Chaffinches and Canarian Chiffchaffs cheekily steal crumbs from the tables.


Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tenerife


You have to get up early to spot the Great Spotted Woodpecker. An early morning stroll through the woods above Vilaflor on a weekend camping trip provided us with a sighting of half a dozen of these pretty birds breakfasting on the pines. A great place to spot Barbary Partridges is on the perimeter of the golf courses of Golf del Sur where they lurk in the bushes hoping no-one’s shots will be too far off target.


Whimbrel, Tenerife


Shorelines of the east coast also yield rich, birdwatching pickings with sightings of Plovers, Turnstones, Whimbrels  and Cory’s Shearwaters all in evidence at El Médano and in the pretty little El Puertito on the coast below Guimar.

You don’t have to go far to spot the show-off common kestrels as they swoop close to ground to bag themselves lizards but you have to keep a keen eye open for the shy Hoopoe who largely feeds on the ground and is easily scared away. If you want to see the exotic Little Egrets and Grey Herons your best chance is around the agricultural reservoirs, or tanks, that dot the hillsides around the north of the island where they like to spend their time, or along the coastline of Puerto de la Cruz.


Canary in an Orchid Tree, Tenerife


And let’s not forget the beautiful little Canary birds which are so prolific they were named after the islands. There’s nothing like the sight of these little beauties going about their business to put a smile on your face for the whole day.

If you want to join the real twitchers, the Erjos Pools, Tejina Ponds and Punta de Teno lighthouse are apparently the best places on the island to catch sight of many of Tenerife’s winged jewels.

Posted : Friday, November 1st, 2013 at 11:00 am
Category : about tenerife
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