Saturday, March 03, 2012

Tenerife weekend, La Gomera, Saturday 25th February 2012

We had decided ahead of the visit that a highlight would be a Pelagic trip, i.e. sea-bird watching from a boat.

There are two boats, the fast one:

And the slow one we caught, between Tenerife and La Gomera. Well the quick one was quicker but seeing birds would be much tougher. On the trip across we weren't disappointed, spotting our first ever Shearwater, this one a Cory's Shearwater:



It was the only species of Shearwater we encountered in either direction...

La Gomera is another volcano though this one extinct (Tenerife last blew in 1909 apparently!). The views on the way inland were stunning:





This one is much higher up:



We stopped at the visitors' centre in the national park, for a planned walk, and enjoyed seeing the local Chaffinch really close:



As far as I'm concerned this should be a distinct species, it certainly looks like one, but right now it's considered only a race of the species. Humbug. Anyway the local Goldcrest is endemic and a species in its own right, the Tenerife Goldcrest or Tenerife Kinglet, depending on your taxonomic preference:


Part of the the forest was overtaken by lichen:


The strong sunlight illuminated parts of the forest:


The volcano may be extinct/inactive but all is not well on La Gomera:



After our walk, lunch and some more stops, we settled in a natural inlet/harbour area for drinks, enjoying the local
Canary:


More of the endemic Canarian Chiffchaff:


And of course Berthelot's Pipit, which really are quite common:



On the trip back we added Yellow-legged Gull:


We also saw distant dolphins both ways on the trip. We thoroughly enjoyed our day trip to La Gomera and made it back to the hotel only 30 minutes before dinner, somewhat sunburned and salty from the seawater while sea-bird watching. A quick turnaround for dinner and then another early night.

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