Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Lanzarote 3

The very dry character of the Lanzarote weather means that it not teeming with wildlife so any sighting is a special pleasure. We've spotted Hoopoes in the distance a few times but have never got so close as last week on the island of Graciosa off the north west coast of Lanzarote. It was a surprise to find an example of this exotic species rooting around on some waste ground in the back streets of the main village, Caleta del Sebo. There is no mistaking the thrush sized bird with a strong crest and black and white barred wings. Apart from gulls, which bear a strong resemblance to the herring gulls in the North of Scotland, the bird we noticed most was the Eastern Canary  Kestrel, which is very similar to our own native Kestrel except that its diet consists mainly of lizards, of which there are plenty on Lanzarote. We also saw Ravens and a large unidentified raptor that may have been a Vulture, the latter soaring in the Timfanaya National Park.
Walking round the cone of Caldera Blanca we were astonished to come across a small flock of sheep, apparently wandering at will, although hemmed in by lava fields they didn't have many escape options. They were effectively trapped in a tiny strip of cultivable land, between the cone and the fresh lava from the nineteenth century eruption. There was ample evidence of this eroded ancient volcanic soil having been cultivated in the past.  
By far the cutest animals that we encountered were the three cats that we came across in the back streets of Haria at the end of our walk there. This was definitely our Ahhhh.. moment of the trip.
Last report tomorrow on the Island of Graciosa

The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder published by Willow Moon. E-book at and Paperback at

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