Monday, 18 October 2010

It's all about context

The near-endemic Atlantic Canary occurs in good numbers on Flores.
Our first day on Flores had its ups and downs, beginning with a Rose-breasted Grosbeak which was a no-show near Santa Cruz. We put in a decent effort for this bird and a fair selection of shorebirds and ducks, all of Nearctic origin, but with the wind firmly in the east it was European migrants which dominated.

A poor record shot of today's Willow Warbler - an Azorean rarity.

It's all about context. At Ponta Albarnaz, for example, a Willow Warbler in a field near the lighthouse was only the 16th record for the islands - making it twice as rare here as, say, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (35 records). At least two Skylarks and a Northern Wheatear were also noteworthy scarcities. The briefest of views of two calidrids flushed from the corner of a field suggested White-rumped Sandpiper, but in very strong winds on the exposed headland they couldn't be relocated and hve to go down as probables.

Ring-necked Ducks are scarce but expected autumn visitors.
Two Green-winged Teal and a Ring-necked Duck on the lakes added some American flavour to proceedings, but the final honours again went to Europe - another major scarcity in the form of a House Martin hawking over a lake as the day came to an end.

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