Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Poor weather mid-Atlantic

The second update from this year's August Azores trip. Unfortunately though, the Azores High has long since departed and today (and especially tomorrow) is revved up wind wise. Leading a group of expectant birders and telling them that the weather's going to get in the way is never ideal, but that seems to be the case currently.

However, we managed to get out on the boat this morning in ever increasing seas. With a couple of circuits of Ilheu da Praia, I managed to safely locate target number one for several of the birders - Sooty Tern. A juvenile showed pretty well in the end, coming to the boat and the chum I'd thrown out. Really encouraging that for a second successive year, the species has bred on the island (the only breeding site in the Western Palearctic). No sign of either adults, though choppy weather didn't help...
juvenile Sooty Tern off Ilheu da Praia, Graciosa 25th August 2015
And so to that Azores' endemic - Monteiro's Storm-petrel. Having seen a couple of mid-distance birds on the Terceira to Graciosa ferry (along with two Long-tailed Skuas, a couple of Bulwer's Petrels and several Great Shearwaters), I managed to bring one in by chumming relatively close to Ilheu da Praia. I'm hoping that's not the only one of the trip, but as it stands, getting to the Bank of Fortune this year could be slightly problematic. We'll see...

Anyway, just one new wader to add since the last post - an adult Pectoral Sandpiper arrived at Cabo da Praia, Terceira on Sunday morning and was still about when we all left the site yesterday afternoon.
adult Pectoral Sandpiper Cabo da Praia, Terceira 23rd August 2015

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