Monday 29 September 2014

We are back...

These are exciting days! Fall migration  - say from mid August to end October - is such a fascinating and exciting period for most birders: it is not only the best period to visit your nearby ringing/counting station but also the best timing to strike a ‘good’ bird on your local patch. For most extreme birders - listers and twitchers - fall migration is also undoubtedly synonym with staying up to date with the latest bird news which means you can’t stay far away from technology!

And so was I this morning: sitting behind my desk at work, poking slowly through bird news forums from Portugal and various European countries to quickly find out that: the first Red-eyed Vireos of the autumn have now reach Europe with single birds discovered in Iceland and Shetland. In addition, an Ovenbird was found in Ireland this week-end and a Common Yellowthroat was in Southern Spain earlier last week, meaning that American landbirds are now starting to appear on the old continent…

So what about Corvo? What about this twitcher’s paradise where last October, no less than 22 different American landbird species were found? Is there any yankees there at the moment?

My personal feeling is that is very likely that at least a few american stragglers have already made their way to the island but unfortunately (and as far as I know) no serious birder has yet landed on the island. In fact, the 2014 season on Corvo is due to start on the 1st of October with the arrival of the first birders: Tommy Frandsen, Ingvar Torsson, Daniele Occhiato, Lars Mortensen, and probably a few others. They are the lucky ones who will first start pacing along every wooded valley in search of what could be ‘the best finding of their life’! And no doubt, they will be joined pretty soon by more birders as the month passes, thereby increasing the chances of finding the biggy!

Thus, for those who are interested to find out about the exciting discoveries and adventures on Corvo this autumn, myself and a few other contributors are undertaking again the task of reporting bird facts on a daily basis (at least from 6th October onwards) throughout October. So, stay is almost show time!!!

Yellow-throated Warbler: the "star bird" of the past autumn, a first for the WP found on 16 October 2013 by Josh Jones