Several Moorhens and a Eurasian Coot failed to get the pulse racing, and in fact the place seemed particularly quiet. A female Northern Pintail swam into view, but immediately went down in my estimation by consorting with a mongrel barnyard duck. It was all looking a bit dire.
Then a movement in the sky made me glance to the left, and my heart almost stopped for a moment. A pied-looking, Jay-sized kingfisher flapped in silently on big wings and dropped in at the back of the marsh. WTF?? Was I dreaming this? It was impossible, surely. For the first time ever, I almost pinched myself.
Then I panicked - the bird was no longer visible from where I was, so I had to run back to the car, drive round to the far side and look back east up a narrow channel. In running towards where I thought it was, bizarrely I flushed 25 Black-tailed Godwits which were roosting among tall weeds (go figure). Then a White-winged Black Tern flew past at close range. And finally, I found the bird again, perched on a low post and preening, and fired off some record shots. While I watched, I kid you not, a Great Blue Heron flew into view, seeing off a Grey Heron. The tern and heron are long-stayers in the area, but the kingfisher was new in, and utterly sensational. I managed to get closer still for the shot shown here. What a shame Gerby wasn't on the island.
|Serendipity: the fly-in Belted Kingfisher at Paul da Praia.|
|Great Blue Heron seeing off an intruding Grey Heron.|
|Adult Semipalmated Sandpiper - at least two Semi-ps seen today.|
|The adult White-rumped Sandpiper also at Cabo da Praia.|
|Presumed Green-winged Teal - more research needed, but for|
starters note the un-Common Teal-like head pattern.
PS Now I know why they changed that genus name to megaceryle.