Monday 19 October 2020

Not even one bird per day…the calm before the storm?

Today it took only a few minutes to update the excel table compiling weekly Nearctic records for this autumn…a real bummer for those birders who are still there and putting in the daily effort to search the island despite the terribly wrong weather conditions prevailing since over a week now (bloody easterlies!). On the positive side, a good look at the weather forecast this morning suggested that the ‘end of the tunnel’ for Corvo might be on sight with some westerlies predicted to resume for a few days from Wednesday onwards. Since the first birding hours on Corvo (back in 2005), some star birds have been discovered during the second-half of October and even towards early November, so it would be premature at this stage to qualify the 2020 season as one of the poorest so far…but we definitely need something big (very big) to reverse the current trend and bring back the Rock at its best level!


Perhaps the only noteworthy fact to end up this post is to mention that one of 3 Swainson’s Thrushes found this year has been trapped and ringed on 11 October by Thijs Valkenburg as part of a ringing scheme of Nearctic landbirds that started in 2018. A few interesting images below.

Nearctic species (new birds in) for the period 12/10 to 18/10:

Ringed-necked Duck (1) at the harbour

Pectoral Sandpiper (1) at the airstrip (then moved up to Power Station)

Common Nighthawk (1) on the road to Lighthouse Valley

Swainson’s Thrush (1) at Ribeira Da Ponte

Blackpoll Warbler (1) in the Tamarisk patch above the village dump


Note: a (light morph) Rough-legged Hawk/Buzzard was reported on 18-19 October from the Mountain Reservoir area…but cannot be assigned to North American or European origin as per current literature and research available (i.e. American ssp. Sanctijohannis is only easily told apart from European birds for the dark morph).

Swainson's Thrush (1cy), Vila do Corvo, 12 October 2020 (Thierry Jansen)
Swainson's Thrush (1cy), Vila do Corvo, 12 October 2020 (Thijs Valkenburg)
Swainson's Thrush (1cy), Vila do Corvo, 12 October 2020 (Thierry Jansen)

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