Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The season for American landbirds has officially started!

What a relief! Just as hoped, the first day of October has paid off and the first American passerines are now in the bag. The good news came around 11.30 am when I was fortunate enough to spot a young male Rose-breasted grosbeak moving slowly along the tree line on the southern part of Fojo. The first sight was only brief but clear enough to allow a straightforward identification. I almost immediately released the news of this discovery to the nearby birders (by walkie-talkie) who quickly appeared on the spot in an attempt to relocate the bird. The grosbeak was eventually refound after 15-20 min, this time allowing us prolonged views and providing decent photographing opportunities. And as good news never comes alone, a second Rose-breasted grosbeak  was briefly seen around noon by René-marie Lafontaine feeding within a small group of chaffinches in the grassland along the Caldeira road, while later in the afternoon Richard Ek and Jesper Segergren found the first Red-eyed vireo of the autumn in the lower part of Lapa. Other noteworthy sightings today include Semipalmated sandpiper (2) and a distant Rough-legged buzzard (perhaps a North American one?) at the Caldeira and a Corncrake flushed in the grassland between Fojo and Cancelas.

With the first 3 american landbirds on the log tonight, there is now tangible proof that Corvo has been served by the low-pressure moving over the island since last week...with surely more individuals to be discovered out there in the next days!

Rose-breasted grosbeak (1st winter male), 1 October 2013, Fojo, Corvo
Rose-breasted grosbeak (1st winter male), 1 October 2013, Fojo, Corvo

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