Birds in Spain
Edited by Ricard Gutiérrez
On 9.6.2014, while visiting Barranco de la Torre, Antigua, Fuerteventura at c.10 AM to look for Canary Islands Stonechat Saxicola dacotiae, the author saw 'a blue lightning' on his left. The bird landed on a bush and he was able to identify a roller. Coming from S France, though, he was confident he was not watching an European Roller:
'...despite not having a bird guide, I was practically sure that it was an Abyssinian Roller because: - The Klein’s blue of the bird (that we noticed in Ethiopia: it is a marvellous bird). - The presence of 2 streamers when the bird fled away.'
The author managed to take a poor picture (thumbnail right in which a blurry Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis in flight can be seen) and he could be able to return to the site on 11.6.2014 c. 11 AM before taking his plane, when he took better pictures of the bird enclosed below and take notes already submitted to the Spanish Rarities Committee and this page too:
Clearly a Roller. Klein’s blue, especially on the wings, tail and belly: a blue lightning in flight . White forehead and face, Two streamers but not so long that In Ethiopia: there is a cline of increasing streamers from west to east of range. So, this individual appears to be of the western range.
Once news were broadcasted (the scarce) local observers from E Canaries went to see the bird. Follow updates in the news page of this website and on Aves Canarias blog here, a post in Spanish explaining the record too, with more information and photos.
Despite a species that might seem to come from collections,nothing indicates so, since the bird behaves wildly and shy according to observers and it has no sign of having been in captivity. Zoos and collections are being contacted though. It may have gone undetected for days, even weeks, in the area. The species is in the WP List and it reaches from time to time Mauritania. This is the 1st record for the Canary islands and Spain.
All photos below: © Alain Pataud, 11.6.2014. Thumbnail in right column, © Alain Pataud, 9.6.2014.
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Abyssinian Roller at Fuerteventura, June 2014: 1st for Spain
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