Tuesday 28 October 2014

Last week of the season - Chimney Swift already in

Most birders left yesterday (Monday) including usual stalwarts David Monticelli, Vincent Legrand, Michael Fricke and Mika Bruun. So that leaves just five birders left on the rock to see out the season until Friday 31st October, when there'll be no birders left.

So since the last update, the Northern Shrike (race borealis) was seen by all who had yet to connect in the caldeirao on Sunday - favouring an area of pines on one of the islands. Mika headed to Cantinho that day and saw a Red-eyed Vireo and a Black-and-white Warbler, as well as a Spotted Flycatcher. On Monday, Jerome found the second Tree Pipit for the Azores in fields near Poco d'Agua - not exactly the score he was looking for, but with the last week of easterly winds, a good European bird was always going to be on the cards. Michael Fricke found an American Wigeon in the lower fields, before he left yesterday, indicating that there are new arrivals coming from the US.

And so to today, Tuesday 28th October. It has been blowing from the west since Saturday night, so there should be some birds about. The island has been all fogged up so visits to places such as the caldeirao, reservoir, Tennessee Valley and Lighthouse Valley have been impossible. A Chimney Swift was found by Rich Bonser in the gloom over Cantinho mid-morning but didn't linger too long as it headed into the mist. The other big news from today was two Black-and-white Warblers, both 1st-winter males, seen alongside each in Fojo - so who knows exactly how many of this species there have been this year on the rock.
Chimney Swift, Ribeira do Cantinho 28 October 2014 (Photo courtesy of Richard Bonser)
Anyway, with the fog hopefully lifting in the next day or so, there'll be a final push for some more yankage before the season is out.

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