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, Houbara Bustard, Barbary Partridge and Trumpeter Finch plus many more.
During past tours to this fantastic island, we have encountered rarities and scarcities such as Dwarf Bittern, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Little Swift, Olive-backed Pipit, Desert Wheatear and Yellow-browed Warbler, proving that anything can turn up on this fantastic island!
This tour is designed specially 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 and transfer to our beautiful rural hotel in the heart of a prime birding area and after settling in, make our way to a nearby watch-point. We hope to find feeding Egyptian Vultures of the subspecies majorensis plus Trumpeter Finch, Spanish Sparrow, Laughing Dove 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 be 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 seen and heard 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 are in the scrubby areas and can offer great photographic opportunities!
Black-bellied Sandgrouse are common throughout the open plains which are 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 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 Duck from North America, overwintering Olive-backed Pipits and Yellow-browed Warblers from the east.
Peregrine Falcons and Egyptian Vultures can be found on the slopes of the higher peaks as can Common Buzzard of the subspecies insularum, looking 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 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 flower-rich parks and gardens hold Monarch and Geranium Bronze Butterflies. Dragonflies include Sahara Bluetail and Epaulet Skimmer.
Overnight: La Oliva
After breakfast we say farewell to our accommodation and spend the day birding before heading back to the airport, where we take our return flight to the UK after what will have been a great tour!
Full board accommodation for 3 nights
Ground Transport on Fuerteventura
Full guiding throughout
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1
Relaxed, one to two miles walking per day
Expect between 55 and 70 species
Tour Cost: £860 (excluding flights)
* Estimated Flight Cost: £375
Single Supplement: £90
*Please see our flights page for more details