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African Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii) at Tenerife, Canary Islands, August 2002. Fourth for the Western Palearctic 

Photos  by Ludovic Scalabre
Text by Ricard Gutiérrez


The last report of the Spanish Rarities Committee, CR/SEO, (Ardeola 49(1),2002: 141-171) deals with the only accepted record of (African) Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii in the Western Palearctic: a 1st winter bird seen and photographed at San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands on 21-30 January 2000 (M.A.Suárez Farias et al/SEO-Gran Canaria). 

The Martín & Lorenzo (2002) book list another sighting from the XIX century also from the Canaries. The bird was shot and remains in a collection and in this moment a description is being prepared for its avaluation by the Spanish RC (J.A.Lorenzo in litt.). This would be the 1st for the WP. Besides, there appears to be another hunted and kept in a collection bird, just found, shot in the 70s in Charcas de la Tejina, La Laguna, Tenerife, photos of which are also being sent to the CR/SEO. 

News of a bird in Tenerife in August 2002 were broadcasted through the net: an immature had been  found at Erjos Ponds, Tenerife, on 23.8 (Rami Lindroos, Lauri Nikkinen, William Velmala). See the august page. This bird would be the 4th for the Western Palearctic, as other records from mainland Europe had been regarded as escapes. 

Ludovic Scalabre visited the Erjos ponds on 25.8 and took the following pictures of the African Dwarf Bittern, what will certainly be the 4th for the WP.


All photos depicting African Dward Bittern at Erjos Ponds, Tenerife, Canary Islands by Ludovic Scalabre.

Dwarf Bittern  Ixobrychus sturmii. Erjos Ponds, Tenerife, Canary Islands. 25.8.2002 (© Ludovic Scalabre). 
Avetorilo Plomizo Ixobrychus sturmii.Charcas de Erjos, Tenerife. Islas Canarias. 25.8.2002 (© Ludovic Scalabre).
Martinet nan Ixobrychus sturmii. Basses d'Erjos. Tenerife. Illes Canàries. 25.8.2002 (© Ludovic Scalabre).

RG wants to thank Ludovic Scalabre for sending these photos that will undoubtely contribute to the acceptance of this record by CR/SEO. RG quiere agradecer a Ludovic Scalabre el envio de estas fotos que sin duda contribuirán a homologar este avetorillo plomizo por el CR/SEO. RG vol donar les gràcies  a Ludovic Scalabre la tramesa d'aquestes fotografies que sense dubte contribuiran a homologar aquesta cita pel CR/SEO.

Buy Aurelio Martin & Juan Antonio Lorenzo recent book on the Birds of the Canary Islands from (32,75 EUROS)

Aves del Archipiélago Canario
Francisco Lemus Editor, 800 pages, 300 colour photographs, 2002

A basic and much needed reference for the Canary Islands avifauna. With detailed accounts of species status and phenology, including all rarities. All sellings profits of this book are donated to SEO/Canarias to help Canary Islands birds.

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African Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii) at Tenerife, Canary Islands, August 2002: fourth for the Western Palearctic


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