Thursday 30 October 2014

The lights are closed on the rock for 2014

The fog finally lifted, with a bit of a chill in the northwesterly winds. The Chimney Swift was still about yesterday (29th), ranging between Cantinho and Lighthouse Valley so everyone ended up getting decent views. The five birders went down to four, and it was the Germans Thomas and Jurgen who (re-)found the bird of the day on - the Northern Shrike (race borealis), as it sallied for food by the road at Poco d'Agua. This mobile bird, a first for the WP and still present on 30th, has now been seen in the caldeirao, Lighthouse Valley, Da Ponte and now Poco d'Agua. Ultimately probably doomed when it decides to leave the rock, it wouldn't be surprising if it tries to overwinter - just there'll be no birders to look for it as we all leave tomorrow (Friday).
Northern Shrike in Poco d'Agua (photo courtesy of Richard Bonser)
Other news from yesterday included another Tree Pipit, again found by Jerome, in the middle fields and a Redpoll in Poco d'Agua. Sightings from today include the continued presence of a first-winter male Scarlet Tanager in Tennessee Valley, seen and photographed by Thomas and Jurgen. White-rumped Sandpipers were down to just one by the reservoir, as well as a single Snow Bunting, while a Chiffchaff was in the upper part of Lapa along with a Monarch butterfly.

So, once again, another Corvo season draws to a close. Not a classic year, and despite the prolonged westerlies that should have delivered, they didn't to the full effect expected. Pride of place goes to the Northern Shrike, initially found by Jens on 18th, which inevitably will become the first record of borealis when split. Add to this a Black-throated Green Warbler, three Scarlet Tanagers, Philadelphia Vireo, several Red-eyed Vireos, at least two Black-and-white Warblers, two Northern Parulas, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, a handful of Buff-bellied Pipits, two Yellow-billed Cuckoos, two Cliff Swallows, Chimney Swift, Bobolink, Blackpoll Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and of course the Snowy Owl, and that's your lot for this year.

The lights have now been closed until 2015. Enjoy the next year folks until everyone again is back on the rock for another session.

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