Friday, 22 October 2010

From Flores to Faial

Outstanding views of Cory's Shearwaters today off Faial.

As we prepared to leave Flores today we bade farewell to the Azores's first Spotted Flycatcher, and notched up a vagrant House Martin in the process. Better still on the journey to the airport was the pukka female American Black Duck finally pinned down on its favoured pool, with two male-type hybrids also present for direct comparison.

Joel Bried releases a young Cory's Shearwater on our pelagic - some
5,000 are rescued annually in the Azores by the SOS Cagarro scheme.

A short while later, we were on Faial for an excursion offshore. No pelagic rarities this time, but it was good to be back on the sea again, and great to have Joel Bried on board too. He brought along a companion - this young Cory's Shearwater (above), picked under the SOS Cagarro project, to be released at sea. It had quite a nip on it, as a marauding Atlantic Gull quickly found out.

A Loggerhead Turtle surfaces next to the boat.
As well as big numbers of Cory's Shearwaters, other marine wildlife highlights included two Sperm Whales, a sizeable mixed pod of Common and Striped Dolphins, and a Loggerhead Turtle which swam right alongside the boat. Thanks to Norberto and his crew for doing a great job today - particularly with preparing and distributing the chum, which is about the grimmest task in birding in my book.

The group watching dolphins off the coast of Faial.  

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