|North coast from NW corner towards NE tip|
|Caldera National Park from the ravine bed|
|Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)|
'Ever seen Red-billed Choughs perching in pine trees before? Neither had the experts at the 3rd International Workshop on the Conservation of the Chough, held on La Palma in October 2010. Everyone was impressed. With an estimated 2,800 resident choughs, La Palma has one of the highest population densities of this species in Europe, boasting about 4 birds per square kilometre! Flocks of 50-100 individuals are by no means uncommon.
On an average coach tour, you might even get a distant glimpse of a flock through your window, as you cruise along the road at 60km per hour...if you happen to be sitting on the right side of the bus. But surely it would be more rewarding to spend time leisurely observing the birds as they forage on the ground, or peck at the fruits of the prickly-pear (Opuntia) cacti, or home in towards one of their communal roosts at sunset? If you enjoy wildlife photography, you'll need time to try different angles and camera settings. Standard coach tours and hikes, by definition, do nor cater for special interests.
|Coastal vegetation on the southern tip of the island|
|Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus)|
1. Booking a holiday with a reputable wildlife/birding company. Choice of dates will be limited, prices will be relatively high.
2. Doing things independently, in your own hired car. Feasible, but requires research beforehand, reliable information, and, ideally, a smattering of Spanish.
3. Coming to the island on a conventional cruise or package holiday and booking the services of a local English-speaking guide on a flexible, day-by-day basis. A resident guide who is similarly motivated by nature observation and can take you to the key spots for Laurel Pigeon, Bolle's Pigeon and Barbary Falcon, or to the most spectacular, natural landscapes, or to virtually untouched areas of native vegetation...
|La Palma lizard (Gallotia galloti palmae)|