Friday, 31 October 2014

Azores days 6 and 7 - goodbye to Corvo for another year

So that's it. Another autumn on Corvo done, just writing this from the airport on Terceira before a late flight to Lisbon. It's been another enjoyable one - with the obvious highlight being the Northern Shrike (as well as the en-route Willet). But again, a swine of an Eastern Crowned Warbler has turned up and caught me with my pants down once more. I'll be back in London not soon enough (as TAP are on strike so I've been re-routed via Madrid, and as a result, trying to get back quicker wasn't an option) but if it's there tomorrow then I'll be in Cleveland for dawn Sunday...
Long-billed Dowitcher on the airstrip, Corvo 31st October 2014

But anyway, here's the update from the last couple of days on the rock. And I'll start with today - where a walk around the village fields pre-flight produced a lovely Long-billed Dowitcher on the airstrip. Birds right up until the last, and with a cargo ship seen passing east, sure there'll be some new yanks on the island. Just nobody to find them, as we all left the rock this afternoon.

So what about yesterday? Not much really. Started off at the reservoir, where there was a single White-rumped Sandpiper and a Snow Bunting to show for my efforts. I then headed down into Lapa where there was a Monarch butterfly whipped through, stirring up memories of those halcyon days on Scilly in the 90s - where these orange beasts, and other yanks, were more or less taken for granted. I also located a Chiffchaff in Lapa too, and while this was going on, the Germans had relocated the Scarlet Tanager in Tennessee Valley. For me, despite an afternoon vigil, there was no sign and I descended down into the village as the sun started to set.

With a few hours to kill in Terceira this afternoon, it was rude not to head to the hotspots. The Short-billed Dowitcher at Cabo da Praia made it a double dowitcher day, while other stuff there included single Pec and White-rumped Sands, a couple of Semipalmated Plovers and Euros such as a Redshank, Little Stint and two Curlew Sandpipers. Around at Paul da Praia, there was a female Lesser Scaup and Blue-winged Teal to round things off.

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