The 03:30am start was not going to deter me from birding straight from the airport. Straight into the hire car and off into the semi-desert in search of my trip targets.
I've been to Fuerteventura before, back in the days when lounging around on the beach doing something called relaxing with the odd excursion out of the resort to a local attraction. No purposeful inclination to explore further than the restaurant or the poolside bar. Maybe not to these extremes perhaps but the point here is about relativity. This wasn't going to be relaxing.
The first day was a reconnaissance mission, a familiarisation exercise of the roads to navigate and the sites to target - these birds can be extremely elusive.
The afternoon was frenetic, trying to see as much as possible and charging from site to site. With only two and a half days on the island, scoring early was the intention. The more common island birds were relatively easy to see. Plenty of Berthelot's Pipit and Lesser Short-Toed Lark on the rocky/sandy plains. Raven croaked overhead in conjugal partnership, and Spanish Sparrow were locally present in good numbers. A couple of BARBARY PARTRIDGE were flushed out as the hunkered low behind the sparse vegetation. One down.