Thursday, 30 September 2010

Round 2 on Terceira

Nailed down on the second day: juvenile Western Sandpiper.

I started with a similar route to yesterday, beginning at Paul da Praia before going on to Cabo da Praia, then hit the centre of the island before returning to the Praia area at the end of the day.

Paul da Praia was very quiet, with unfortunately no sign of either the Belted Kingfisher or the Great Blue Heron. The latter is likely to still be in the area, having been present for months, and it seems unlikely that the Belted Kingfisher will move on quickly given the lack of freshwater habitat elsewhere. However, if it finds the harbour to its liking, then it could prove very hard to pin down. Good luck to Ernie Davis, who arrives on the island as I leave tomorrow.

Praia produced five juvenile Pectoral Sandpipers compared to yesterday's three, and three Semipalmated Plovers compared to yesterday's two. Neither White-rumped nor Semipalmated Sandpipers were in evidence, but on the plus side a juvenile Western Sandpiper was a real bonus. This was certainly the peep I registered only distantly yesterday, so a made an effort to dig it out - it's good to be able to put that one to bed. Simon Buckell had a juv Western not far away last week - could it be the same individual? Also present at Cabo were the putative Green-winged Teal and the four Blue-winged Teal, plus three snipe which I photographed extensively - more anon once I've had time to analyse the photos on a proper screen.

Juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper at Lagoa Ginjal.
The reservoir at Cabrito was bird-free, but Lagoa Ginjal had just enough water to attract a juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper (with a damaged leg). I returned via the cliff north of the harbour, only to very distantly scope a couple of Little-type Egrets. One was a pukka Little, but the other had extensive yellowish-green coloration on its tarsi. The lores were certainly not bright yellow, but seemingly green-tinged - whether this bird could really fit juvenile Snowy remains to be seen. Another one for research on my return.

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