Monday 30 September 2013

Goodbye September..

A least there was something to celebrate tonight at the ritual gathering for dinner: tomorrow we are in October! For those who have followed Corvo's birding developments since 2005, October is the month which has most contributed to the reputation of this island on the western Palearctic birding scene...It is a very very 'heavy' month in terms of number of american vagrants scored. So needless to say that everyone here (9 birders now present on the island) is still highly-motivated despite the fact that today was another rather birdless day, with only the usual group of 6 Glossy ibises lingering around the airfield and a Buff-breasted sandpiper discovered around the Reservoir. This last species is nonetheless a welcome addition to the list for this year with just a few previous records for Azores and Corvo (3rd or 4th record for Corvo).

Buff-breasted sandpiper, 30 September 2013, Reservoir, Corvo
Since 2006, little efforts have been invested in birding on Corvo as early as end September although this has happened at least twice, in 2009 and 2011. Those two previous years had a similar coverage of Corvo over the 26-30 September period but have produced much more than this year. For instance, Bobolink and American redstart were found in 2009 by a single birder present at that time on the island (Olof Jonsson). In 2011, more birders were present (Richard Ek et al.) and produced in 5 days an astounding list of american land birds and megas including Yellow-crowned night-heron, Marsh hawk, Philadelphia vireo (2), Red-eyed vireo (4), Northern parula (4), Ovenbird, Grey-cheeked thrush, and Baltimore oriole. With this in mind, none of the birders present on The Rock since last Friday will want to look back at our first 4 days as a memorable birding experience but with September ending today, we hope that the worst days are now behind us!


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