Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Full Metal Ribeira

We can't find it! The new bird that is. We're working really hard out there but it just isn't paying off! Me and Simon did, once again, Cantinho and Cancelas real hard today. Inside, outside, everywhere! The American Redstart is still there and easy to see in the same spot, but nothing else. Continued to da Ponte where we did the lower parts for two hours or so late afternoon before heading back towards the village since it began to rain. That place da Ponte is really hot and I think we're going back there tomorrow to do a full morning hit. There's gotta be something in there as well! Did some of the higher fields on the way back. A few Turnstones and a Wheatear were around, the latter probably the same bird as Pedro saw a few days ago? In the village we had a quick cup of coffee at the restaurant and then checked the airfield and beaches before heading home during a massive rain shower. Saw the usual Turnstones and Common Terns and the Bar-tailed Godwit is still around. Smart as I am I forgot my bag at the beach and got an extra 2 km walk in the evening. Nice one!

Lava rocks outside the shore south of the airport.

September is officially over in a few hours. This first part of the trip was the big experiment part. Unfortunately I didn't have the winds with me. If I'd had that I probably would have seen more Yanks. A small low pressure system moving east a bit north of the Azores on the 17th-18th coincided well with the appearence of a Spotted Sandpiper in the beach on the 18th. And the system that moved through straight on us during the last days apparently brought at least an American Redstart and a Bobolink (and hopefully more!). The birds appeared to move in front of the system as they both appeared before the low pressure hit the islands.

Conclusion? September is well worth a go out here! But as always it's a big game with the winds. If you get the right ones, the birds will come, probably including a pretty different setup of species compared to what you get in late October, American Redstart for example. I was pretty unlucky during my two September weeks out here. Most of the time winds were easterly due to a massive high pressure that parked over the Azores. But when the good winds finally came, so did the American Redstart! Hopefully more people will try this the coming years and hopefully they will get better winds than I did. There is a massive migration on the other side of the Atlantic during September as well so give this a try will ya!

Tomorrow it's October and now we know what can happen - ANYTHING!


Grey Heron 1 juvenile, Bar-tailed Godwit 1 adult female, Northern Wheatear 1, American Redstart 1 (juvenile?) female

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