Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Showing posts with label Canary Islands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canary Islands. Show all posts

Saturday 8 August 2015

CREAM COLOURED COURSER (Cursorius cursor ) Pájara, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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World-wide, there are eight species of Courser and they occur in arid semi desert type habitat. Five are confined to Africa, Burchell’s Courser (Cursorius rufus), Heuglin’s Courser (Rhinoptilus cinctus), Temminck’s Courser (Cursorius temminckii), Two-banded Courser (Rhinoptilus africanus) and Violet-tipped Courser (Rhinoptilus chalcopterus). Two are mainly restricted to the Indian sub-continent, Indian Courser (Cursorius cormandelicus) and Jerdon’s Courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) which was thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in 1986. The Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) has a scattered distribution across North Africa, the Middle East and  South West Asia. It is also resident on the Eastern Canary Islands where some authorities recognise Cursorius cursor bannermanii as an endemic subspecies. Text ©

Tuesday 21 July 2015

RUDDY SHELDUCK (Male) (Tadorna ferruginea) Los Molinos Reservoir, Las Parcelas, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Central Asia is the main stronghold of the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) where it is a summer resident which winters predominantly on the Indian sub-continent and in South East Asia. There are five other species of shelduck, none of which are found in the Americas. The Common Shelduck (Tadorna Tadorna) occurs in Europe, North Africa and Central Asia. Four species are resident in the Southern Hemisphere, Cape Shelduck (Tadorna carna) in southern Africa, Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) in south east and western Australia, Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) in the East Indies and northern Australia and Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna varigata) in New Zealand. A seventh species the Crested Shelduck (Tadorna cristata) was found mainly in northern Korea and was last reliably reported in 1964.There was a further report in 1971 but it is now probably extinct. Ruddy Shelduck has recently been discovered breeding in the Ethiopian Mountain. In the Eastern Mediterranean, the stronghold is Turkey. In the Western Mediterranean, there are two small populations in North West Africa, one in Tunisia and the other in western Morocco. Formally a vagrant to the Canary Islands, it first bred on Fuerteventura in 1994 where it has now become established. Text ©

Monday 13 July 2015

YELLOW LEGGED GULL (Larus michahellis subspecies L .m. atlantis) 1st summer plumage at Corralejo, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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 Click external link here to see distribution map and to hear calls
The Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis) is of the family Laridae which is in the genus Larus. Up until recently it was considered as a race of Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) but has now been given full species status. Post breeding populations disperse north and east. From July onward it occurs in good numbers in southern Britain but is an uncommon and scarce species in Ireland. The above record may be the same individual that was present at this location during August 2021.
There are two subspecies recognised:
  • Larus michahellis michahellis - breeds in parts of western and southern Europe, as well as the Mediterranean Basin.  
  • Larus michahellis atlantis - known as Atlantic Gull, breeds on the Atlantic coasts of France, Iberia, Morocco, Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores where a dark headed form occurs.
 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
Yellow Legged Gull (Larus michahellis) distribution map

  Year round resident         Breeding        Non breeding-winter
Cephas, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday 21 June 2015

SMALL WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris rapae) Tindaya, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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The Small White Butterfly (Pieris rapae), also known as Small Cabbage White Butterfly, occurs very commonly through out Asia, Europe and North Africa. It is also found as an introduced species in Australia, New Zealand and North America. This very worn individual is nectering on European heliotrope (Heliotropium europaeum).

Monday 4 May 2015

COMMON LINNET [Male] (Linaria cannabina subspecies L. c. harterti) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Click external link here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Linnet (Linaria cannabina) or Common Linnet is of the family Fringillidae which is in the genus Linaria.
 It derives its name from its fondness for the seeds of the flax plant which is used to make linen. This small finch occurs in Europe as well as Western Asia but is absent from northern latitudes and has a limited distribution in North West Africa and the Middle East. 

There are seven subspecies :
  • Linaria c. autochthona - occurs in Scotland     
  • L. c. cannabina - occurs in the rest of Britain, Ireland also northern Europe, eastwards to central Siberia. It is a partial migrant, wintering in north Africa and southwest Asia
  • L. c. bella - occurs in Middle East, eastwards to Mongolia and northwestern China
  • L. c. mediterranea - occurs on the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Greece, northwest Africa and on the Mediterranean islands
  • L. c. guentheri - occurs on Madeira Island
  • L. c. meadewaldoi - occurs on the Western Canary Islands (El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria)
  • L. c. harterti - occurs on the Eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura)

Friday 9 January 2015

SARDINIAN WARBLER [Female] (Sylvia melanocephala leucogastra) Las Penitas, Barranco de las Penitas, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) is a small mainly insectivorous warbler of the family Sylviidae which is in the genus Sylvia. It is commonly encountered in southern and eastern Europe as well as in countries bordering the Mediterranean Basin. It is also resident on the Canary Islands. Some authorities recognise up to five subspecies. The female, typical of most sylvia warblers, has drabber plumage, it is grey headed with brownish upper parts and the under parts are washed buff. This species normally occurs in shrubby type habitat as well as in parks and gardens.
The Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala leucogastra) that occurs on the Canary Islands is an endemic subspecies. The Spectacled Warbler (Sylvia conspicillata orbitalis) is the only other warbler that breeds on Fuerteventura and it is also classified as a Canary Island endemic subspecies.
After a considerable wait, this female hopped out briefly onto a Tamarisk bush and I managed to fire off half a dozen shots before it disappeared back into the thicket. The photo above being the best of a bad lot.

    Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw 
Up to five subspecies are generally recognised:
  • Sylvia melanocephala melanocephala - Iberia across the northern Mediterranean to western Turkey. Extends into the Maghreb from Iberia, and into Libya from Italy via Sicily. Migrates to the Sahel and oases in the Sahara in winter.
  • Sylvia melanocephala leucogastra  - Canary Islands, resident, probably some vagrancy between eastern islands and Maghreb.
  • Sylvia melanocephala momus - Near East. Resident, some local movements. 
  • Sylvia melanocephala norissae - Fayyum Warbler - probably only a local morph of momus  - Nile Delta region. Extinct since around 1940.
  • Sylvia melanocephala valverdei - Morocco south to the Tropic of Cancer, inland to the edge of the Sahara. Resident, but some seasonal movements.