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Caleta de Fuste, Fuertoventura

Saturday 9th Feb 2002 until Saturday 16th Feb 2002; John Newnham

Panorama package Holiday staying at Villa Florida in Caleta de Fuste.  Flights from Gatwick (1350hrs)and return 1900hrs with Airtours international.  Family holiday with Denise and Robert;  pattern of days very similar with early morning outing with Robert (0800hrs–0945hrs); later morning spent swimming and lounging in pool area; after light lunch pm spent out looking around island.  From Monday to Saturday am hired a car (Renault megane from AVIS) so went further afield. 

Weather – warm and sunny for entire week but two showers on departing Saturday.  Often windy but not humid – evenings slightly cooler and some early mornings were bracing dressed in shorts and tea-shirt!

Used various tour guides to Fuertoventura, map provided by AVIS and “A Birdwatchers Guide to the Canary Islands (Clark and Collins Prion Guide).


Day 1 – Arrived in apartments at 1900hrs.

Day 2 – Sunday 10th – early walk around beach area of Caleta de Fuste; day spent in holiday resort.

Day 3 – Monday 11th – early walk along sandy and rocky shores to south of Caleta (here plenty of development with new hotels and apartments in construction and sites earmarked for a McDonalds and new garage).  Very baron area with the shoreline providing the only birds.  Pm Drove slowly N to Corralejo along well maintained roads – spent time amongst incredible sandunes; looked around the harbour and town before driving to Lalajes and El Cotillo on the west (and more rugged coast).  Mostly dry rocky plains and hills but occasional cultivated areas with more plant (and bird life).  Took track at El Cotillo as described in C&C  (site 2)– became rather too rough for standard car but with 4 wheel drive should be able to get to Tindaya. (Looked hard on plains here for plain species).  Pleasant evening drive back via Roque, La Oliva, & Tetir to The main by-pass road around Puerto del Rosario and the airport.

Day 4 Tuesday 12th – early walk in the Barranco de Torres (Site 7); started east of suggested point but construction work here suggests a dam may be planned for this area.  Excellent cover with pools and tamarisks after negotiating difficult cliffs to get into valley.  Afternoon took very new tarmacked road between Nuova Horizonte to Triquivjata ; noted new lake by damming of the Boca del Resco on south side of road. Looked around Antigua and then Bentancuna after  spend some time at a high viewpoint between the two townships.  Returned via mountain route (but good road) to Pajara; Tuineje, Tiscamanita but visited Las Penitas (C&C Site 4) en route.

Day 5 Wednesday 13th – early trip to the salt pans just south of Caleta and walk up the eastern end of the Barranco de Torres (not as good as the area more inland).  The saltpans were disappointing (Redshank and Dunlin only).  Afternoon excursion to LA Oliva – looked around town before spending a long while on the plains to the west of the town at the Rosa de los Negrines  (C&C site 3) – there were several large lorries and motorbikes running along these tracks undoubtedly disturbing the wildlife. On way home visited  Los Molinos ( C&C Site 1 -track beyond dam area blocked and fenced off ).  Returned via Cassilas del Angel.

Day 6 Thursday 14th  – early am spent exploring plains and lake in Boca del Resco.  Afternoon spent looking south firstly at Costa Calma and then the area around Le Parid  (C&C Site 6).  Returned via Catalina Garcia (C&C Site 5).  Good and fast road to south of island.

Day 7 Friday 15th – early morning looking at top portion of the Barrnaco de Torres (started at white hut as described in C&C) – easy parking by side of road and away from the construction road nearer the coast).  Afternoon a short excursion to Triquivjata; found two pools on road to Puerto del Rosario near Rosa del Taro (B).  Both look promising with vegetation around each.  Early return with evening sea-watch from Caleta de Fuste (pod of Cetacea well offshore).

Day 8 Saturday 16th – Early morning scanning plains in Boca del Resco and viewing lake (A).  Rest of day spent in resort  prior to straightforward flight home.

List of birds seen

Little Egret

Beach @ CdF & single at 5

Grey Heron

Single on two mornings @ CdF

Ruddy Shelduck

Singles @ 1 and A


8 @ A

Egyptian Vulture

1 over Bentancura; 1 over apartment & 2 @ 7


1@ A and 1 near Tetir


2 @ B; otherwise occasional singles

Barbary Partridge

One seen well @ 7


Heard calling in lush grasses near Laijares & at B


Single at A and 20+ at 1

Houbara Bustard

Despite hours watching NONE seen

Cream-coloured Courser

2 @ 3; 2 in flight just W of Nuova Horizonte and close view of one at 6

Little Ringed Plover

Pair at 5

Ringed Plover

Several on beach at CdF

Kentish Plover

Several on beaches at CdF + pair at 5

Grey Plover

1-2 on beach @ CdF


Up to 6 on beach at CdF + one saltpans


3 @ B


One or two on beach @ CdF.


Single on saltpans


2 @ 7 and 1 @ A

Green Sandpiper

1@ 7

Common Sandpiper

Possibly most widespread wader with birds on beaches, 7 (up to 5) and 1 (at least 3).


Several on CdF beach

Lesser Black-backed Gull

2-3 in Correlejo harbour

Yellow-legged Gull

Most locations – even far inland

Sandwich Tern

Seen regularly passing south at CdF (no other seabirds seen)

Black-bellied Sandgrouse

2 seen well on ground + 7 more in flight at 6

Rock Dove

Several sites + hosts of feral pigeons

Collared Dove

Several in urban areas

Turtle Dove

Up to four in 7

Plain Swift

Up to 6 with Pallids at 1 and 2 with Pallids at 5

Pallid Swift

Most frequently encountered Swift – seen in several places


Several at Costa Calma; Le Parid and single @ B

Lesser Short-toed Lark

In song and numerous on plains


Northerly passage over apartment (30+) on 10th; seen in smaller numbers most days

House Martin

About 20 over fields near Laijares.

Berthelot Pipit

Seen at most sites- good views in CdF

Grey Wagtail

Singles at 1 and 7

White Wagtail

Two @ 5


Two or three in 7

Black Redstart

Smashing male @ 1

Canary Island Chat

At least 4 pairs (with young) giving excellent views in 7; pair with young at B and near 1.

Song Thrush

Up to seven seen regularly @ 7

Spectacled Warbler

Several @ 7 and @ B

Sardinian Warbler

Several in 7 but wherever sufficient scrub


One or two (in song) @ 7


Singing in apartments and several @ 7

Great Grey Shrike

Several – excellent views @ B


One or two seen most days

Spanish Sparrow

Ubiquitous (except on parched plains)


Small party in pines at Costa Calma


Few seen – mostly in Bentancuna region

Trumpeter Finch

Excellent views virtually daily; up to 12 @ 1 and several @ 7

Corn Bunting

Several @ B and in fields near Laijares

John Newnham (Feb 2002)