Fortuitously, a few days after booking, the Western Palearctic's fifth Dwarf Bittern was found just a stone's throw from the airport, and it was no surprise then that this proved the first target on arrival on Friday afternoon. I was accompanied by Ed Stubbs, who'd been tempted to book his flights when the bittern broke, and we were enjoying this mega Afrotropical vagrant within minutes of arriving on site on Friday afternoon.
Dwarf Bittern, Llanos Pelados, Fuerteventura, 8 December 2017
Ed had booked a very reasonable apartment in Puerto del Rosario (£20 pppn) - dodgy door aside, it was excellent value. After some tapas and a few cervezas with Ed and Alan Lewis, we got our heads down.
We were at Tindaya for first light and had soon bagged a couple of Houbara Bustards - a new bird for both of us. We saw a total of five, but none was really close enough to be well photographed. Just a single Cream-coloured Courser was seen plus a handful of flyover Black-bellied Sandgrouse and the usual Southern Grey Shrikes, Berthelot's Pipits, Lesser Short-toed Larks and Trumpeter Finches. It was then back to the airport to collect Rich Bonser and chauffeur him to the bittern which, again, was showing on arrival - sounds like we've been quite lucky as there are stories of birders waiting for hours. The bittern showed terrifically, albeit in the strong early afternoon sunshine, as did a pair of Fuerteventura Chats.
Dwarf Bittern, Llanos Pelados, Fuerteventura, 9 December 2017
Fuerteventura Chats, Llanos Pelados, Fuerteventura, 9 December 2017
We spent some time searching sites along the coast, all of which turned to be absolutely pants, so we headed over to the reservoir at Los Molinos. Here there was a throng of noisy Ruddy Shelducks, a male European Stonechat and a few Spoonbills and Snipe.
Ruddy Shelducks at Los Molinos, 9 December 2017
Houbara Bustard, Tindaya, Fuerteventura, 10 December 2017