Saturday, 27 October 2018

An interesting few days

Whether the winds blows from the east or west this year appears to make little difference to the quality of birds with a new Sora and Magnolia Warbler arriving from the west in last three days and three Yellow-browed Warblers and a juvenile Pallid Harrier arriving from the east. 

Other migrants from the east recently include Song Thrush, 4 Chiffchaffs, a White Wagtail, Skylarks and Spotted Flycatcher.

Long staying american vagrants still present yesterday include Ovenbird, Yellow-throated and Philadelphia Vireo, Dickcissel, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Buntings.  

Amazingly on the 25th, the Blue Grosbeak was re-discovered after being absent for nearly a week. 

For full daily logs see: CORVO BIRDERS

 Sora, De Ponte (David Monticelli) 
 Pallid Harrier (Christian Leth) . A first for the Azores. 
Yellow-browed Warbler (Darryl Spittle) 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Yellow-browed Warbler

The continuing blustery northeasterly resulted in the flight being cancelled again. Conditions which were too extreme for an aeroplane to travel in did not stop a 7g bird arriving from Siberia to Corvo today, a Yellow-browed Warbler,  the furthest west this species has ever ventured. Needless to say, this was the first record for Corvo and a nice compensation for all those who were stranded on island again.

A few other birds arrived from the east including 2 Skylarks, 1 Pintail, 1 White Wagtail and 1 Chiffchaff.

Remaining American vagrants included Yellow-throated Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, Dickcissel, Chimney Swift, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Myrtle Warbler and Northern Parula.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Corvo village (Vincent Legrand)


Monday, 22 October 2018

When the East wind blows

The plane was cancelled today stranding over 10 members of the group on the island. With an east to west oriented runway, planes can't land on the island in a northerly wind and there was a strong north easterly today building from the easterly airflow that has been established for the last few days. We are now awaiting the arrival of European birds but there are still new American birds being discovered; an apparent new Dickcissel today, a new Ovenbird and presumably one of the Chimney Swifts from Flores arrived here yesterday.

Many birds that arrived previously are still present today despite the difficult blustery viewing conditions including 4 Indigo Buntings, 1 Philadelphia Vireo, 1 Red-eyed Vireo, 1 Myrtle Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat, the De Ponte Ovenbird,  1 Northern Parula and Scarlet Tanager. Additionally yesterday the Wood Thrush, Eastern Wood Pewee, Yellow-throated Vireo, Bay-breasted Warbler and White-eyed Vireo were still present.

Full daily logs on the Corvo Birders Facebook page HERE

 First-winter male Dickcissel, Middle Fields (Vincent Legrand)
Chimney Swift, Middle Fields (Vincent Legrand) 

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Azores List Ranking

Please submit your Azores list totals for inclusion in the Azores List Ranking Table below:

Saturday, 20 October 2018

They thought it was all over...

With the winds from the east, a high pressure and European birds arriving yesterday there were concerns that the incredible run of 2018 was over. However it just keeps coming with another two major birds on the island today, White-eyed Vireo and Eastern Wood Pewee. This is shaping up to be the best year ever. There have now been 27 species of American landbird. 2017 is currently the record year with 29 species and we still have another week and more to go of the autumn. There's still a few 'Corvo staples' to get such as Chimney Swift, Buff-bellied Pipit and Black-and-white Warbler. 

What with a series of blockers getting unblocked it's getting tough at the top for the Western Palearctic listers too with Pierre-Andre Crochet (France) at No 1 narrowly avoiding being overtaken by the previous incumbent Ernie Davies (UK) who luckily for Pierre missed today's White-eyed Vireo after his agent Phil Abbot (UK) messed up Ernie's bookings and took him off island yesterday two days too early than Ernie had told Phil to book. No doubt Phil is getting a good roasting now. However Pierre-Andre has no cause to relax as Chris Bell (UK) has secured five lifers on this trip (an unprecedented season for any top WP lister) and is now three away from the top. The Germans have decided to remove Yellow-headed Amazon from the Cat C National List so Pierre has dropped even with Ernie at No 1 with Chris Bell tearing up behind. Pierre is planning on twitching the Grey Catbird in Cornwall if it's still there next week to try and secure a safe lead. Corvo 2018 has certainly shaken things up. 

 White-eyed Vireo (Vincent Legrand) A fourth for Corvo and the Western Palearctic.
 Eastern Wood Pewee (Vincent Legrand) A third for Corvo and the Western Palearctic.
 Northern Parula (Peter Alfrey) At least four on the island today
Indigo Bunting. There is ringing effort this year attempting to colour ring some vagrants to trace movements and numbers across the island. An Indigo Bunting was caught and ringed today. 

Full log on the Corvo Birders Facebook Page HERE

Friday, 19 October 2018

The end of the Purple Patch ?

After a period of almost constant westerlies for the last week or so the winds finally swung round to the dreaded east today. New American birds were still being discovered yesterday and also a few today but there were signs of a game change today with the arrival of European migrants- a Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, European Stonechat and Barn Swallow. The forecast consists of a high pressure becoming firmly established for the coming week which could mark the end of the recent incredible purple patch? However there is a westerly airflow into the Atlantic to the north of us which could mean birds are still being displaced into the Atlantic and could still find their way to this mid-Atlantic refuge. Time will tell.

Nonetheless the megas were still arriving yesterday with the fifth Lincoln's Sparrow for the Western Palearctic and also new yanks including a Common Yellowthroat and a Myrtle Warbler. Myrtle Warbler is a surprising rarity on Corvo and yesterday's bird was the first since 2012.

The Blue Grosbeak was still present yesterday as were the Wood Thrush, Bay-breasted Warbler, White-throated Sparrow and Philadelphia Vireo.

Today was a quieter affair with the only new american birds being a new Common Yellowthroat and probably a new Northern Parula. The Blue Grosbeak was not seen today.

Birders arriving today managed to score the Bay-breasted Warbler, Wood Thrush and Yellow-throated Vireo which luckily stayed put.

For the full daily log see the Corvo Birders Facebook Page HERE

 Lincoln's Sparrow, Village (Vincent Legrand)
 Northern Parula (Vincent Legrand)
 Garden Warbler (Vincent Legrand)
Indigo Buntings (Vincent Legrand) 
 Red-eyed Vireos, Poco D'Agua (Peter Alfrey) 
 Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Village (Peter Alfrey) 
Corvo Birders 2018 (Peter Stronach) . Nearly 90 birders on the island this year. A record year. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Blue Grosbeak and a flock of American Passerines!

The last two days have continued along the same theme - carnage. Yesterday in one single wooded valley (Pico/Da Ponte) there were 14 american landbirds of 10 species including 1 Yellow-throated Vireo, 1 Philadelphia Vireo, 3 Red-eyed Vireo,1 Wood Thrush,1 Swainson's Thrush, 1 Grey-cheeked Thrush, 1 Ovenbird, 3 Black-throated Green Warbler, 2 American Redstart and 1 Bay-breasted Warbler.Across the rest of the island there was an additional 11 American species including Northern Parula, Scarlet Tanager, 2 Indigo Buntings and Baltimore Oriole.

 However the rarest bird of yesterday was Lesser Whitethroat- a first for the Azores. This species which migrates south east across the Palearctic to East Africa is a national rarity in Iberia. This is presumably the furthest west this species has ever ventured. 

Today (17th) things got even better with a Blue Grosbeak- a first for the Western Palearctic found by Peter Stronach, Bob Swann, Ernie Davis and Marcin Solowiej. A species that was indeed on many twitchers radar for Corvo (unlike the Western Kingbird on Flores which was totally off anyone's radar as a WP candidate) but nonetheless still very exciting to finally fall. Other new birds included a Yellow-billed Cuckoo and up to 6 Indigo Buntings and 7 Red-eyed Vireos now. 

Blue Grosbeak (Vincent Legrand), Poco d'Agua

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vincent Legrand) Da Ponte 

Wood Thrush (Vincent Legrand) Da Ponte

Bay-breasted Warbler (Peter Alfrey) Da Ponte 

Red-eyed Vireo (Gerbrand Micheilsen), Lighthouse Valley 

For full daily logs of birds see Corvo Birders Facebook HERE