Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Corvo rocks

Ok, so we flew to Corvo today. Finally, and after dumping the bags at the Comodoro, Arthur and I headed out straight away. Vincent, Josh and PAC had given me the lowdown on where to go for any potential lingerers this year and little more than 200 metres from the guesthouse the Mourning Dove flew over heading into fields near the Cape Verde farm. Corvo magic again, and bizarrely my third of this species in the WP (following birds in the Outer Hebs in 1999 and Galway in 2007).

So, then literally two minutes later, we headed just down the hill to look for the dove when Arthur calmly says 'I've got an American sparrow' and within seconds there was a really rather nice diminutive Lincoln's Sparrow scrubbing around - the third for the WP, presuming it is different from the bird at the power station a couple of weeks ago (which it may or may not be). To be honest, we were both rather shell shocked as we'd put in some effort over the last couple of days on Flores with little reward and back on this magic island things were very different. This was a new bird for me, so made up with it and we got some nice views. Our initial luck abated somewhat, as we could only muster a Willow Warbler and the three Cranes that locals had seen (and photographed) earlier had headed north from the village - only the second record for the Azores. So 2 hours birding on Corvo and already 2 quality yank passerines. I'll say this again, anyone else fancy doing the late show here next year too? Just the two of us and two Finns, so loads of scope to find your own stuff.

Lincoln's Sparrow - a true Corvo special with all WP records coming from this small island
Almost forgot about Flores, but the morning was pretty decent - a nice Monarch butterfly looking pretty screwed at Ponta Delgada, a bit of a scare with a Moorhen near a ribeira at the most northwest point of the island, the drake Wood Duck, 5 American Wigeons, 2 Black Duck/hybrids, Ring-billed and Med Gulls, 7 Semi-p Plovers and 3 White-rumped Sands. You get a little complacent out here.
Azorean autumn 2012 wader selection - White-rumped Sand and Semi-p Plover

adult Ring-billed Gull, Ponta Delgada
The weather has quietened down here (thanks for the text Mum), so we'll be hitting the east side of Corvo hard tomorrow to see whether there are any new/lingering megas. And hope those Cranes show up too!

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