Friday 15th – Monday 18th February 2019 FUERTEVENTURA - ISLAND OF THE SUN
& Tuesday 19th – Friday 22nd February 2019 (PRIVATE TOUR)
Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands and being situated just 100km off the coast of Morocco it features some exciting species including the endemic Fuerteventura Stonechat that occurs in good numbers as well as Berthelot’s Pipit, Plain Swift, Cream-coloured Courser, Barbary Falcon, Houbara Bustard, Barbary Partridge and Trumpeter Finch plus many more.
During the winter of 2017/2018, the island was home to several Dwarf Bittern, Red-throated Pipit, Little Bunting, Tristram’s Warbler, Greater Hoopoe Lark and Ring-billed Gull which shows that anything can turn up on this fantastic island!
This tour is specially designed to see all the specialities that occur on Fuerteventura and although the bird list isn’t huge, it certainly makes up on quality.
Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 8
We take our morning flight from London Gatwick where we transfer to our beautiful rural hotel in the heart of a prime birding area and after settling in, we make our way to a nearby watch-point where we hope to find feeding Egyptian Vultures of the subspecies majorensis plus Trumpeter Finches, Spanish Sparrows, Laughing Doves and Eurasian Hoopoe amongst others.
Overnight: La Oliva
Days 2 - 3
During the next few days we will visit all the main birding sites on the island which is only 60 miles long by 20 miles wide, so they are within easy reach of our accommodation. One of our main targets will be the Houbara Bustard. This scarce species is declining throughout its range but can be seen in small numbers on the island. Houbara’s display at this time of year and we can assured of some good views! Cream-coloured Coursers also occur on the open, rocky plains in small flocks.
Arid, rocky areas provide home to the endemic Fuerteventura Stonechat which can be heard and seen singing from thorny bushes that border the rocky-river beds or ‘Barrancos’. Southern Grey Shrikes of the subspecies koenigi occur in the same area along with Spectacled Warblers that flit from bush to bush. Berthelot’s Pipits can be seen in the scrubby areas and offer great photographic opportunities!
Black-bellied Sandgrouse are common throughout the open plains which are also frequented by the very numerous Lesser Short-toed Lark. Trumpeter Finches utter their nasal calls as they fly over cultivated areas to feed. The elusive Barbary Partridge can be seen along the edges of rocky gullies and with careful searching we expect good views.
Wetlands are very much a scarce habitat on the island and these are home to migrant wildfowl which include Marbled Duck, Ruddy Shelduck plus the regular Common Moorhen and Eurasian Coot! Waders can include Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Common Greenshank and Common Sandpiper amongst others.
Being ideally situated off the west coast of Africa, Fuerteventura regularly attracts migrants including Ring-necked Ducks from North America, overwintering Olive-backed Pipits or Yellow-browed Warblers from the east.
Barbary Falcons and Egyptian Vultures can be found on the slopes of the higher peaks as can Common Buzzard of the subspecies insularum which look quite different from the Common Buzzards we are used to in the UK!
African Blue Tits can be found in towns and villages foraging amongst the many gardens, whilst both Pallid and Plain Swifts fly overhead and Eurasian Hoopoes feed in gardens and the more cultivated areas.
It isn’t just birds that we will be looking for as the island has other interesting flora and fauna. Barbary Ground Squirrels have been introduced from nearby Morocco, plus the flower-rich parks and gardens hold Monarch and Geranium Bronze Butterflies and Dragonflies including Sahara Bluetail and Epaulet Skimmer.
Overnight: La Oliva
After breakfast we say goodbye to our accommodation and spend the rest of the day birding before heading back to the airport, where we take our flight back to the UK after what will have been a great tour!
Flights from London Gatwick to Fuerteventura
Full board accommodation for 3 nights
All ground transport on Fuerteventura
Full guiding throughout
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1
Relaxed, two to three miles walking per day
Expect around 55-70 species
Ground Price: £710
*Air Price: £150
Total Tour Price: £860
Single Supplement: £90
*Please see our tours page regarding flight costs