Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Myrtle magic!

Alright, here we go again! Today I planned to go to the Caldeira since it is November (duck month) and I haven't been here since the 1st! BUT, as we came up on the mountain with the pickup the fog was thick and low, very thick and very low. So Manuel dropped me off at Cantinho instead...

It had apparently been raining a lot during the night and early morning since loads of water was flowing in the ribeiras, thus making a lot of noise. And that means that you don't hear shit inside the ribeiras, so searching for passerines is a bit (more) difficult. Anyway, birded the easy-to-reach open spots in Cantinho, Cancelas and Fojo during the first half of the day. Saw the American Great Egrets and their homie the Grey Heron in the fields but as usual didn't see anything of interest inside the valleys. Weather was OK today though, so life was pretty uncomplicated. Pretty strong winds from west (sheltered in the valleys) and only one shower in the morning.

In the afternoon I birded Ribeira do Poso de Agua since it's one of my favourite places. Don't know why I like it really, I haven't seen anything there. But Pierre's Chestnut-sided Warbler prooves that it's worth visiting! Since it hadn't rained during the day the water had stopped flowing in the ribeiras and now it was birdable for real again. Began in the upper parts and when I got down in the lower part, to the small orchard with orange trees I heard a sound that made me freeze in an instant - SOFT BILL SNAPPING! This is how you find Canada Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler and other goodies on this island so now it was game on again! At first I couldn't see the bird but I could hear it catching insects all the time. After I while I had glimpsed it a few times, being able to tell that it was a small warbler with pale underparts - my pulse was rising! After a minute of glimpses the bird suddenly flew out and sat in the open - FINALLY! Now I could see what it was, and it was a... chiffchaff. (&#="(¤!=?(¤=)(/?="?`*>!)(("¤/"&&!%!%!&#=!)!!!!!! Why? WHY!? Why did it have to a piece of shit common European bird instead of a cool Yank!? That was REALLY annoying!

Finished birding the ribeira and then started to walk back towards the village. Had a banana stop on the bridge over da Ponte, but nothing in the Indigo tree today either. As I came to the small and almost unknown Ribeira do Cerrado das Vacas I looked up towards the bushes where we saw the Blackpoll Warbler last year. Wind was pretty strong in the fields but somehow I decided to go up there and have a look anyway. After checking some Canaries my bins stopped on a Yellow-rumped Warbler sitting out in the open - YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER - YES! Immediately noted the flank streaks and contrasting cheek - Myrtle Warbler. The bird was a bit flighty and hard to follow as it flew very fast in the wind, but I got decent views of it for half an hour before it flew out into a field, feeding among some herbs.

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler (Dendroica coronata coronata)

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler (Dendroica coronata coronata)

This was probably one of the most expected new species for me here now, even though the date is a bit late even for a Yellow-rump. I wonder when it came in... This bird prooves that there is still stuff to find on the island! And maybe more is coming in? Prett strong westerlies have been blowing all day.


American Great White Egret 2, Grey Heron 1, Myrtle Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 1

1 comment:

  1. There`s always another day, with another bird. It will never end, even when it feels tough.
    Just go for e`m, and be a winner!