Birds in Spain
Photos: Juan Sagardía / Lanzarote Pelagics
Lanzarote Pelagics is a Spanish company run by fellow birdwatchers undertaking seabird trips off Lanzarote island, Canary Islands primarily to the area known as 'Banco de la Concepción', an area designed IBA according to its interest for seabirds (read more in the Rarebirdspain blog here). During 2011 the trips there produced 3 South-Polar Skuas (Stercorarius maccormickii), already accepted by Spanish Rarities Committee (see its twitter account here) and only the 2nd ever Western Palearctic record of Black-bellied Storm-petrel (Fregetta tropica), on 10th September 2011 (also accepted as the 1st for Spain).
On 18th August 2012 the trip to the Banco de la Concepción sea area has produced another sighting of Fregetta tropica and unlike the 1st, more photos have been obtained (Juan Sagardia / Lanzarote Pelagics).
This species breedis mainly October - April mainly S of the Antarctic Polar Front on Antarctic islands and sub antartic islands of the Atlantic. There is some northward movement in April - May which continues north May - September with some of the population moving to 10ºN in the Atlantic (Flood & Fisher 2011, Multimedia id guide to North Atlantic Seabirds). These recent Canarian sightings, and the other WP record from Madeira in 2011 too, have surely something to deal with these northward movements to reach who knows how frequently WP waters.
Last year the Black-bellied Storm-Petrel (Fregetta tropica), 1st for Spain and 2nd for the Western Palearctic seen on 10.9.2011 c.40 nautic miles N of Lanzarote at Banco de la Concepción area was voted in the Rarebirdspain blog as the rarest of the rare birds seen in Spain in 2011. The 83 people voting in the blog poll gave 36 votes to this species. Who knows if it will be the rarest of the birds seen in 2012 but what it's more probable is that both September 2012 and all 2013 venues of Lanzarote Pelagics will certainly be more crowded by wishing-to-be observers of ultimate ticks such as this magnificent one. Congratulations to all observers.
See a number of photos below (© Juan Sagardia / Lanzarote Pelagics).
All photos: © Juan Sagardia
In this last shot, the Black-bellied Storn-petrel is near another Spanish rarity: Long-tailed Skua (Stercorarius longicaudus)
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Black-bellied Storm-petrel at Banco de la Concepción, Lanzarote in August 2012: 2nd for Spain and 3rd for the Western Palearctic
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