Sunday, 16 October 2011

Azores: days 1-2

The endemic Azores Bullfinch took a bit of finding today in heavy rain, but then showed well.
For the last few years, October has been synonymous with one place for me: the Azores. I first visited the islands in 1994 but have made frequent visits in recent times, and for the last four Octobers have led a Birdwatch magazine reader holiday to the islands. Yesterday a small group got together for the 2011 departure, which sees a tweaked itinerary to focus even more on the potential for finding vagrants.

Having flown out via Lisbon, where we contrived to expand the trip list (successfully) by adding a couple of non-Azorean extras, we had business to attend to on São Miguel. For the full story you'll have to see the trip report which I'll publish online post trip, but in brief we succeeded in our main target for the morning, the endemic but sometimes very elusive Azores Bullfinch.

Delighted to find this Killdeer on a farm pond near Ponta Delgada today.
Poor weather hampered play from thereon in until mid-afternoon when, after we had scoured various wetland sites, I finally found a Killdeer on a farm pond near the capital - only time for record shots of this distant bird, but its juvenile Eurasian Spoonbill companion proved far more obliging (as did two more which we found on a flooded roadside field a little later).

The same pond hosted this obliging juvenile Eurasian Spoonbill, a scarce bird in the islands ...
... while nearby we were astonished to find two more feeding in a flooded roadside field.
Towards the end of the day another 'Yank' was reeled in in the form of a Pied-billed Grebe, so the trip is shaping up very nicely indeed. Roll on tomorrow ...

Also welcome on the day list was this Pied-billed Grebe (right) among Eurasian Coots at Lagoa Azul.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you got the Tropicbird on your ariving on Flores. Killdeer and Spoonbills disapeared misterious and nobody have seen them again. Good luck in the west and see you next year.



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