Monday, 13 October 2014

A slower day

Today proved a fairly quiet affair with just a series of lingering birds noted, namely the Yellowthroat still in the village, three Red-eyed Vireos, two Scarlet Tanagers and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Pectoral Sandpiper doesn't appear to have settled yet and was seen over both Lighthouse and Cancelas.

The weather was calm enough early on, but the wind soon picked up and by evening, a westerly gale and heavy rain was battering the island. Conditions like this invariably produce birds here, but it's forecast to be an unsettled week with high winds throughout - the birding will no doubt be difficult.

As an aside, the arrival of 'Mr Corvo' Peter Alfrey marks his tenth autumn on the island following his now infamous exploits in the exceptional year of 2005. The wait goes on for a similar year with North Atlantic hurricane activity nowhere near that intensity in any of the autumns that have followed. However, the forecast for the coming ten days looks very exciting indeed and there is genuine hope among those present that we could be in for another memorable period with exceptional observations. Only time will tell!

Happy ten years Pete!


Pectoral Sandpiper, 1, above Lighthouse Valley and Cancelas
White-rumped Sandpiper, 1st-winter, old harbour
Eurasian Collared Dove, 1, Ribeira da Lapa
Scarlet Tanager, 2, Tennessee Valley
Red-eyed Vireo, 3, 2 Ribeira da Ponte, 1 Cape Verde Farm
Common Yellowthroat, 1, tamarisks SW of airstrip
Rose-breasted Grosbeak, 1st-winter female, still above Tennessee Valley

1 comment:

  1. Such a nice gesture. A very happy 10th Birthday Pete! 10 years on and I still regret not going with him when he asked me long and the opening words of Pete's Birdwatch article about his pioneering expedition still haunt me:

    "I had not slept properly in days. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and alone. I made my regular checks to ensure I was ready for the next big rarity. My camera was strapped to my waist (for a quick draw) tripod fully extended, camera adaptor taped to the scope, all camera settings ready for the conditions, hood down and binocular strap shortened. I had just completed an 84-hour week of the most intense birding I had ever experienced, and it was taking its toll. As I walked up the side of the volcano again, the exhaustion really kicked in, this time with nausea taking over – soon I was throwing up. Half an hour later I felt even worse.

    I had to take a break, so I sat down. After a while, feeling a bit better, I decided to try ‘pishing’, and as I did so I thought I heard something and stopped abruptly. It called again, and with that it had my undivided attention. Another call, and this time a movement. I reached for my bins and, as I got onto the spot, all I could see was a twig bouncing up and down where something had just jumped off. Another call, this time closer, and then a flash of yellow. I went for my camera, and held my bins up to my eyes with the other hand. My breathing was getting quicker and my heart was beating faster as I saw through shaking bins a yellow bird with black on its head. Then it came out in full view. Now I was palpitating and hyperventilating – I had just found a male Hooded Warbler."

    Full article at