Monday, October 5, 2009

BANG! And BANG!

In the morning I couldn't find my Sibley guide (Birds of Eastern North America) and asked Simon if he could bring his instead. He just replied that bringing that stuff gives bad luck so we went up bookless today. Went back into the valleys after the last two days interesting influx of waders, hoping that new birds had arrived. Rain showers kept coming every now and then, among them the worst shower so far out here that got us both soaked and cold. Fortunately the sun came out shortly after that big shower so we sat on a field in the sun for a while trying to dry up a bit. Did Cantinho and Cancelas whole morning but didn't find any birds, not even the American Redstart, so maybe it's gone? Anyway, while we sat there trying to heat up Simon picked up a small white egret flying around looking lost over the sea. A new arrival since I haven't seen any small Egrets here during my three weeks. And coming in during the westerlies as well! The bird never came close enough to see any details but seemed to continue towards the village so we hoped to find it again.

Started to walk back and had lunch at Fojo. After that Simon walked up towards the picnic area and I went in to check the orchards in the forest. After a while in there I saw a bird feeding, hanging almost upside down in some twigs just over the path maybe 15 metres in front of me - BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER! One of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen! Called Simon on the walkie-talkie, got my camera up and tried to take pictures of this absolute perfect, superb, mega good looking creature. But despite close range, good light and image stabilizer on my lens I couldn't get any pictures! I was so sky high on adrenaline that I was shaking like a leaf! I shit you not, this was probably the best rush I have ever gotten from a single bird! And as I'm writing this every single hair on my body stands up once more, I love it! Simon soon came and we got excellent views of this mega together (his 2nd on Corvo!) as the bird was feeding in the orchard for a few minutes before moving away from us. During that time I (almost) quit shaking and managed to get some decent shots of the beauty. This was the sixth record for the WP I think, so a relly good one!




Black-throated Green Warbler, 2nd for Corvo and about 6th for the WP.


This is what a big part of this game is about to me, getting that rush when finding a true rarity. And what a rush it was today! I'm glad we didn't bring any book out :) Now it was game on for us! What else could be out there!? After looking for the Black-throated Green for while we continued up to the picnic area and had a short break trying to decide what to do. The choice of site fell on Ribeira da Ponte to which we walked getting hit by another shower. After scanning the parts of the ribeira around the road I wanted to go down into the lower parts of the valley to have a look. We usually split up down there to cover as much as possible, me going up and Simon going down. I suggested to Simon that I could go down and he go up this time but he just replied that if I went down I would just find a good bird instead of him, so we went our usual ways. Afer only 20 meters I see something on a big tree, looking almost like a Tree Creeper in profile with a long, insect-eating-adapted bill. Got my bins one the bird and another dream came true - BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER! The bird was a bit tricky to see so I was really glad that Simon was right behind me and soon got onto the bird as well. It turned out he had heard the bird call as I got my eyes on it, the so far sharpest call I've heard from an American warbler as we got to hear it a few times more.



Black-and-white Warbler, 1st for the Azores and maybe the first for the WP since 1996?

What was happening? What birds were on the island today? When did they get here? And what had we missed? It was getting late so we went down to the village to have a look for the Egret. I went down to the harbour to scan that area and spotted an Eider lying there looking f*cked, proper f*cked! The jurney these vagrants do before hitting Corvo is impressive, so not strange they're tired when getting here. Apart from the general condition I think the bird had a really strange head- and bill shape compared to what we normally see back home. Have a look at it:


Common Eider. Look at that bill - American vagrant?


Went on to theck other spots for the Egret, and soon Simon found it! And it had a lot of yellow on the legs! Snowy?! When looking closer at the bird it unfortunately had grey lores and not yellow. But what about those legs? I think a juvenile Little Egret can look like this, but can a Snowy as well? I don't know. What I know is that the bird did fly in from the sea during a front passage from west with an apparent influx of American vagrants... Please comment! When watching the Egret we met Rafael Armada and Ferran Lopez from Spain who will be here for almost ten days. As soon as they heard about the warblers (or about the Black-and-white) they went up there to have a look for it, but didn't find it. Hopefully they will tomorrow!


Juvenile Little/Snowy Egret.
Birds
Black-throated Green Warbler 1, Black-and-white Warbler 1, Common Eider 1 female-type, Snywy/Little Egret 1 1cy, Whimbrel 1

15 comments:

  1. MEGA! Congrats!

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  2. Wow - nice one! (or should I say nice TWO!)

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  3. At least u found 2 warblers that you did'nt need the Sibley guide for - well done this bodes well for more good birds over the next few days with a bit of luck and more birders arriving...

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  4. Ejder! Nu fattar jag varför du var så glad! Grattis!

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  5. Congratulations! From Catalonia, I follow your blog every day; I wish I was there! Anyway, let the good luck flow –with or without books– and have an (even) better day tomorrow. October is just beginning! Daniel

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  6. Lucky son of a bi**.
    May the great guru be with you !
    /Swiftman

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  7. By the way, found any babes lately?
    /Swiftman

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  8. Congratulations on a couple of MEGA finds.

    Good luck with the rest of your trip.

    Cheers

    Alan
    www.surfbirds.com/blog/falklandbirder

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  9. Truly well-deserved after all your hard efforts over the last couple of weeks! These two species fall well in line with recent strong flights down the eastern US coast.

    Frode
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/frodejacobsen/

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  10. kepp up the good work, guys!

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  11. Stick 'em in your billies Olof!
    Well done.
    Dream birding, top blog.

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  12. Kör på Olof, förväntar mig en megabildvisning när du kommer hem!

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  13. does your egret truly have dark feathering on the tibia or is this just a figment of the camera?

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  14. And keep spreading the word of JADANG! Them yanks sure make a penduline tit look like... Well, not that bad perhaps, but pretty bad.

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  15. Nope, no dark feathers on the tibia on the Egret...

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