Monday 7 October 2013

The calm before the storm?

Today was a calm day. Of course, new discoveries were still made on the island - after all we are in October - but none of them was of major significance, especially regarding the events of the past few days. On the American side, a new Northern parula  - the third one for this year - and a new Red-eyed vireo were discovered by Hannu Palojarvi in Da Vinte, while a visit to the Caldeira produced White-rumped sand (1), Lesser yellowlegs (1), and a possible Rough-legged Hawk. Several American landbirds reported during a previous day that were still present on the island included one of the two Northern parulas still showing in the Tamarisk patch at the western end of the airstrip, the Cliff swallow briefly seen flying around Pico and over the High Fields, and the Buff-bellied pipit still lingering at the Reservoir for its 5th consecutive day. Several western Palearctic species were also reported during the day including Lapland bunting (2 present since 3rd October), Willow warbler (1), House martin (1 present since 2nd October), Glossy ibis (2+ present since 27 September), and Northern wheatear (1+ present since 3rd 0ctober).

'Greenland' Northern wheatear (O. o. leucorhoa), 3 October 2013, Grassland around the Reservoir, Corvo
As of this morning, 20 birders from 7 nationalities (Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain) were present on the island but in late afternoon, an additional group of 13 birders - including the first 5 British birders of the season - have found their way to The Rock. Such a large arrival at the onset of the second week of the month is certainly not attributable to chance alone: statistically speaking, both the second and third weeks of October have often produced the best birds of the autumn, so there is much hope tonight among us (33 birders in total!) that the forthcoming days will bring their share of surprises!

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