Friday, 2 November 2012

They think it's all over... it is now

Last day of birders being on Corvo this autumn, and just like last year Arthur and I were the last to leave. With the American Robin still lingering around yesterday, I just wanted to check out Lighthouse Valley one more time this morning. Dropping Arthur and Jari at the caldeirao, this gave me enough of a chance to see the 3 Cranes feeding in the bottom albeit distantly. Ilkka was then dropped off, and did a 3 hour stint sitting on the bridge at Da Ponte (seeing naff all) while in the 'magic junipers' - having hosted Prairie, Golden-winged, Yellow, Black-and-white and Yellow-rumped Warblers this autumn - all I could manage was the first Chiffchaff of the autumn there. Going back up the track, I stumbled upon a Lapland Bunting which was a new Azorean bird for me.

It was certainly 'friendly', so as the Birding World article suggests this is a feature of the North American/Greenland race subcalcaratus, then it probably was. You really can't make that sh*t up, can you.
Made in Leicestershire? Nope, I don't think so - a true adult Azorean Gull
Heading back down the island, I had a search above the miradouro, as well as looking around the power station and middle fields (and photographing Azorean Gulls at the rubbish dump), while Arthur located the longstaying (but elusive) Night Heron at the west end of the airfield. And, it literally was birding til the plane took off. Having checked in, we walked the 100 metres or so to the old harbour and located a 1st-winter Semi-p Sandpiper and 2 Semi-p Plovers.
Already booked myself in again for the late stint next year - anyone fancy it? Good to see everyone again too - Katt and Manuel especially. One thing these last few days taught me is that, unless you go when everyone else is on Corvo, there really is no room for passengers on the island. Corvo is tough, and those Finns found that out - they'll be taking up good beds in peak season, waiting for you all to find them their birds, just like we did for them!
Corvo - view from the plane as we left the island today

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