Thursday 24 October 2013

Black-throated Green warbler!

There is little doubts that this day was another very interesting one for the 13+ birders remaining on Corvo. The favourable weather system - the wind had been blowing strongly from West since a few days - added to the recent news of several nearctic megas found elsewhere in the Azores and WP had triggered a 'positive fighting spirit' in the group to try covering as much ground as possible on the island for the last week or so of the season. A strategy that paid off twice today.

The first strike came around 1pm when the Polish team reported a Mourning dove from the fields between the Power station and Lapa. Just a few birders had not seen the previous individual found earlier in the season, so this new discovery only attracted a few of us on the spot.

The second strike - the one that got us all excited - came around 2.30pm when Mika Bruun connected on the Southern slope of Pico with a gorgeous first winter Black-throated Green warbler, not less than the 7th species of American wood-warbler for the year! The news was quickly released to his nearby friend Petri Kunho who managed to relay the info by walkie-talkie and sms to a few other birders. Shortly after, the entire group was aware of the new discovery and, thanks to our landlord Manuel Rita, most of us were quickly car-dropped at the entrance of Pico. Upon arrival on the spot, Mika had lost the bird since a few minutes but it was soon relocated flying above our heads in the dense tree canopy. And the rest is history: within half an hour almost everyone had managed to enjoy decent, albeit brief, views of this restless beauty, while the rest of the afternoon was spent trying to obtain good photographic documents - something everyone failed on except..Mika!

Black-throated Green warbler (1st winter), 25 October 2013, Pico, Corvo (Photo courtesy of M. Bruun)
On paper, Black-throated Green is an impressive finding - only the 6th or 7th record for the Western Palearctic, of which four belong to Corvo (One in 2008, 2 in 2009 and one in 2013).

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