Friday, 23 November 2012

Fuerteventura - Final day, 21 Nov 12

As my flight was leaving at 2pm, I decided to get up well before dawn (05.20) and head off to the south of the island to see if I could get some photos of the displaying male Houbara Bustard that had shown so well near La Pared a few days earlier. I arrived at the site (near the windfarm) just as the first glows if light had started to highlight the horizon and plunked myself down by a nearby bush. As the sun started to rise and the desert sand started to get lighter I was aware of a Bittern-like booming coming from nearby. I looked up to the top of the slope (from where I'd been watching a few days previous) and saw this....

The Houbara was displaying at the top of the ridge, perfectly silhouetted against the rising sun behind it. I sat and watched/listened as it tucked back it's black feathers, (which it normally lie down the side of the neck) around the back of its neck and fluffed out its white breast feathers giving its booming display call. As the sun rose and the plain started to lighten up, the Houbara made its way down the slope and started to feed. Over the next hour or so it fed in my general vicinity, always slightly wary of me, but never looking startled or dashing away. It put on quite a nice show and I managed to get some nice photos and videos.

It was then off to Costa Calma to see what was in the woodland and to check on the OBPs from the other day. A had a few new birds for my trip - Redwing and Chaffinch and the OBPs were still there. They were feeding at the base of a palm tree where the sprinklers had created some small puddles with lots of ground cover. I flushed one as I approached the spot, which seemed to fly east down the wood, but the other 3 birds remained and stayed around the spot, flying off when walkers came past but then returning when the coast was clear. I nice way to end off the trip.

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