Saturday 11 October 2014

New american landbirds discovered…

With 40+ birders now present on the island, there was a fair chance that a few new discoveries could be made during the day. This assumption eventually proved correct when Jens and Tommy broadcasted the news by walkie-talkie around 11pm that they had found the first Philadelphia Vireo of the season in the upper part of Poço de Agua. The bird was initially observed only for brief moments moving in the upper canopy before being seen flying over a rather long distance eastwards in the direction of Fojo where it was presumably the same individual that Daniel Mauras relocated a few hours later by means of tape-luring. Unlike in Poço de Agua, the vireo stayed on show in Fojo for at least an hour, allowing quite a few birders to appear on the spot in due time for a new WP tick!

Philadelphia Vireo, Fojo, 11 October 2014 (Photo courtesy of Mika Bruun)
The rest of the day was similarly exciting with a few intriguing events to report. Around 1pm, Bosse and Seppo discovered with amazement that a second Scarlet Tanager – this time a 1st-winter female – had joined the 1cy male present in the Tennessee Valley for its third day. And while Bosse and Seppo were enjoying good views of these two individuals virtually sitting in the same tree, Christian was relaying the news that he had found another Scarlet Tanager in the upper part of Fojo, thus raising the overall number of birds present on the island to 3. In addition to this, it is no less than 6 Buff-bellied Pipits that were reported today, including 5 at the caldeira  - by the Polish team - and one seen flying inshore from the sea around the Windmill area – by Hugues Dufourny. Undoubtedly, these two reports – 3 Scarlet Tanagers and 6 Buff-bellied Pipits– both constitute an unprecedented (and incredible) total for a single location in the WP!

Add to this a few American waders and a Bobolink still lingering in the Low Fields and you have what can be termed here “a perfect day on the Rock”…at least for the majority of us. Of course, everyone present on the island has still in mind that the ‘star bird’ of the season remains to be found, but given the very strong westerlies predicted from next Monday onwards, the awaiting may not take too long now.


Spotted Sandpiper 1 on shore at western end of the airstrip
White-rumped Sandpiper 1 on shore at western end of the airstrip
Little Stint 1 1st-winter still at old harbour
Lesser Yellowlegs 1 at the Reservoir
Yellow Wagtail 1 1st winter at reservoir
Buff-bellied Pipit 6 (including 5 at the Caldeira and 1 at the Windmill)
Philadelphia Vireo 1 (initially found in Poço de Agua then flying east, and presumably same individual relocated at the Picnic area in Fojo)
Scarlet Tanager 3 (including 2 together at the Tennessee Valley – 1cy male and 1cy female – and 1cy male in Fojo)
Bobolink 1 in the Lower Fields

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