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!
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:
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!