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

Monday, 3 August 2015

BARBARY GROUND SQUIRREL (Atlantoxerus getulus) Betancuria Marker Mirador, Municipio de Betancuria, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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The Barbary Ground Squirrel (Atlantoxerus getulus) is native to the North West African countries of Algeria, Morocco and Western Sahara. Due to their isolation, less than twenty land mammals which include six species of bat are found on The Canary Islands.  Over 50 years ago Barbary Ground Squirrel was introduced onto Fuerteventura where it is quiet commonly encountered. Text © www.rawbirds.com

Thursday, 30 July 2015

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax subspecies C. c. canariensis) Las Penitas Mirador, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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The Common Raven or Northern Raven (Corvus corax) has a widespread distribution across the Northern Hemisphere. A minimum of eight subspecies are recognised including Corvus corax canariensis  which is confined to the Canary Islands. It is smaller in body structure, has a smaller more decurved bill and shows an oily brown gloss to its plumage. Ravens are normally very wary but at this location, they are tame because titbits can be scavenged from the tourists which pull in at this mirador (viewing area). This area overlooks the lush valley and reservoir at Las Penitas, an important area for wildlife on Fuerteventura.Text © www.rawbirds.com

Sunday, 26 July 2015

BARBARY PARTRIDGE (Alectoris barbara subspecies A. b. koenigi) Las Parcelas, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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The Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara) is a North African gamebird. It is also native to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. On the Iberian Peninsula there is a small colony at Gibraltar. The endemic subspecies Alectoris barbara koenigi occurs on the Canary Islands. On Fuerteventura, although uncommon, it is found throughout the island where at times it can be difficult to locate.
Text © www.rawbirds.com

Saturday, 25 July 2015

CANARY ISLANDS CANDLE PLANT (Kleinia neriifolia) Barranco de Betancuria, Betancuria, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain


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There are nearly 1300 species of plant found on the Canary Islands but fewer than 800 of these occur on Fuerteventura Island. The Canary Islands Candle Plant (Kleinia neriifolia) is one of 43 plants that are endemic, 13 of which are confined to Fuerteventura. This perennial succulent is found in scrubby semi-arid type habitat and can grow up to 3 meters in height. Also known variously as Mountain Grass, Verode or Berode. Its Spanish name is Vero de Canarias. Text © www.rawbirds.com

Saturday, 18 July 2015

SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis subspecies L. m. koenigi) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Great Grey Shrike comprises nine subspecies. Nominate excubitor occurs in northern and central Europe whilst homeyeri (sometimes known as ‘Steppe Shrike’) breeds from south-east Europe through the Ural mountains into western Siberia. Further east, sibiricus (‘North Siberian Shrike’) breeds in central and eastern Siberia, with leucopterus, mollis, bianchii and funereus occupying restricted areas in Central and East Asia. Two subspecies – borealis and invictus (known collectively as ‘Northern Shrike’) – occur in North America. A further eleven grey shrike forms are currently treated as ‘Southern Grey Shrike’ Lanius meridionalis (Cramp et al. 1993).The taxonomy of the ‘Great Grey Shrikes’ is in a state of considerable flux. DNA evidence fails to support the current two species split, and at least six potential species have been identified though not formally proposed (Olsson 2010). In particular, a deep genetic divide is identified between a clade containing (amongst others) excubitor, homeyeri and leucopterus and one containing (amongst others) sibiricus, mollis, bianchii, funereus,borealis and invictus. This suggests a split between a new more tightly-defined ‘Great Grey Shrike’ encompassing the former three subspecies and ‘Northern Grey Shrike’ Lanius borealis encompassing the latter five. See full text reference at  http://www.bbrc.org.uk/species-information-riact/owls-to-shrikes

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

COMMON BLUE BUTTERFLY [Male] (Polyommatus icarus) Barranco de Betancuria, Betancuria, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain


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The Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) is a small butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It occurs throughout the temperate regions of Europe (including The Canary Islands) Asia and North Africa. In Europe, it is absent from Iceland, the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores. As its name implies it is one of the most widespread and commonly encountered blue butterflies in the Palaerarctic  region. In 2005, it was discovered breeding in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada and it has since increased its distribution there. In southern Europe, it is on the wing from late March to early November but it has a shorter  flight (May to September) season in the northern parts of its range.  
Text © www.rawbirds.com

Sunday, 28 June 2015

YELLOW LEGGED GULL (Adult) (Larus michahellis subspecies L .m. atlantis ) El Cotillo, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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EL COTILLO HARBOUR El Cotillo, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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Situated in the north west of Fuerteventura Island is the small coastal town of El Cotillo. It has largely escaped the tourism fueled building boom which has taken place on the south and east coasts. At the mouth of the harbour is the islet of Roca de la Mar. During the Spring it is carpeted with the yellow flowering fleabane Pulicaria canariensis which is endemic to the Eastern Canary Islands. It has now been joined to the mainland with a high sea wall which forms the western side of the harbour. This is a good area for early morning or late evening seabird watching. Birds regularly seen from March to September include Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis). On the lava coastline to the north of the harbour, a number of passage migrant/wintering shorebirds, including Sanderling (Calidris alba), can usually be found. South of the harbour, a Martello type tower was built in the early 1700’s and is now a tourist attraction. Further south, there is an extensive coastal stony arid plain where most of the sought after land bird species on Fuerteventura can be found, including Cream Coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) and Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata). Text © www.rawbirds.com

Thursday, 11 June 2015

EURASIAN STONE CURLEW (Burhinus oedicnemus Subspecies B. o. insularum) La Olvia, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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World-wide, there are nine species of Stone Curlew (also known as Thick-knee or Dikkop). They are found in both tropical and temperate regions. On the Iberian Peninsula, the Eurasian Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) is sedentary but in the rest of Europe it is mainly a summer resident which winters in North Africa. The endemic subspecies Burhinus oedicnemus insularum occurs on the Canary Islands and its cryptic coloration help it blend in very well with the semi desert type habitat on Fuerteventura. 


Thursday, 4 June 2015

SARDINIAN WARBLER [Male] (Sylvia melanocephala subspecies S. m. leucogastra) Barranco de Betancuria, Betancuria, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain


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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.
    Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

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.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardinian_warbler

Saturday, 16 May 2015

GREENISH BLACK TIP BUTTERFLY (Euchloe charlonia) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain


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The Greenish Black-tip butterfly (Euchloe charlonia) is found in North Africa, the Middle East and on the Canary Islands. A closely related species, the Spanish Black-tip (Euchloe bazae), first described in 1982, is scarce/vulnerable and is only present in two regions on mainland Spain. On the Eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and the Chinijo Archipelago) less than twenty species of butterfly occur. Because of the bare arid nature terrain  and frequently windy conditions on Fuerteventura Island, butterflies are usually encountered in sheltered valleys and lush gardens. Greenish Black-tip on the other hand tends to favour more open type habitat where photographing it is made all the more difficult by the ever present wind. It is on the wing from December to June. Text © www.rawbirds.com

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

SOUTHERN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis subspecies L. m. koenigi) La Oliva, Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Spain

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See below for detailed species information

Great Grey Shrike comprises nine subspecies. Nominate excubitor occurs in northern and central Europe whilst homeyeri (sometimes known as ‘Steppe Shrike’) breeds from south-east Europe through the Ural mountains into western Siberia. Further east, sibiricus (‘North Siberian Shrike’) breeds in central and eastern Siberia, with leucopterus, mollis, bianchii and funereus occupying restricted areas in Central and East Asia. Two subspecies – borealis and invictus (known collectively as ‘Northern Shrike’) – occur in North America. A further eleven grey shrike forms are currently treated as ‘Southern Grey Shrike’ Lanius meridionalis (Cramp et al. 1993).The taxonomy of the ‘Great Grey Shrikes’ is in a state of considerable flux. DNA evidence fails to support the current two species split, and at least six potential species have been identified though not formally proposed (Olsson 2010). In particular, a deep genetic divide is identified between a clade containing (amongst others) excubitor, homeyeri and leucopterus and one containing (amongst others) sibiricus, mollis, bianchii, funereus,borealis and invictus. This suggests a split between a new more tightly-defined ‘Great Grey Shrike’ encompassing the former three subspecies and ‘Northern Grey Shrike’ Lanius borealis encompassing the latter five. See full text reference at  http://www.bbrc.org.uk/species-information-riact/owls-to-shrikes