Monday, 29 October 2012

Failure to get onto the rock

It all started so well this morning on Terceira, with a juvenile Surf Scoter showing nicely in the inner harbour at Praia da Vitoria. The handful of immature Common/Black Scoters were also still about, though all the roosting gulls had dispersed despite looking at dawn.
Surf Scoter at Praia da Vitoria, Terceira
A trip to Cabo da Praia revealed the usual suite of yank waders - you get complacent here, especially this year with the quick 'chip' of White-rumped Sandpipers being the commonest call in the quarry. Nice to see a few vagrants lingering, and in years gone by, if they're here this late on then they may well winter at Cabo.
1st-winter White-rumped Sandpiper - really variable regarding their moult

Little and large - Lesser Yellowlegs and White-rumped Sandpiper at Cabo da Praia
The middle of Terceira was, as is often the case, shrouded in fog so there was no chance of looking at Lagoa do Junco or Cabrito. So instead, we headed to Angra where the Pied-billed Grebe was still doing its usual thing around the boats in the marina. Then it was back to the airport where there were a couple of Snow Buntings, a juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper and yesterday's Golden Plover. Not too much wind, a pleasant day with expectations of getting to Corvo high. Flight left on time, arrived on Corvo where a hair-raising landing signalled that things weren't going to go to plan. After a couple of hours waiting, SATA announced that they'd cancelled the flight and Wednesday was the next opportunity to fly on. So, stuck here on Flores - it could be worse with SATA picking up the bill for the inconvenience and being on the westernmost European island, but it is still not Corvo...

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