Monday 3 October 2011

Azores: Day 2

In comparison to yesterday, relatively little to write up today despite a new WP tick! Had another unbearable night’s sleep last night (perhaps the worst I’ve ever had as I was chucked out Terceira airport in to the rain in the early hours). Anyway, despite that and inclement weather earlier cancelling our flight from Faial, I’ve somehow made it to Corvo this afternoon, for about half 3ish.

No guesses as to what the first target was. Dropped the bags off at the place I’m staying and then got a lift up to Ribeira da Ponte, where the Blue-winged Warbler had been seen all day. A short walk down in to the dark depths of the valley below the road found us at the site, where Vincent had seen it shortly before our arrival. We could hear the bird calling (a soft, sort of ‘dziit’) and eventually it showed well but briefly in the canopy. Moving around the valley side to where the bird had been proved to be wise, with much closer views afforded to all. Despite being warned about how dense the foliage is in these ribieras, I don’t think it is possible to appreciate the fact fully until you’re amongst them; despite being close at all times, views of the warbler were generally tantalisingly brief. What a stunner, though! A beautiful yellow bird with grey-blue wings and double white wingbars, greenish-yellow upperparts and a striking black eyestripe. Great start to the trip!

Shortly afterwards, it emerged that a Swainson’s Thrush had been seen just up the valley from where we were. However, it was being very mobile and elusive and perhaps it was not surprising we did not see it. By this point (mid-evening), the previous 48 hours were beginning to catch up with me and, as I hitched down to the village with Vincent and David, I felt very weary and in need of rest to the point that I could not be bothered to search for the night heron or Dickcissel!

Looking forward to a good night’s sleep, here’s hoping tomorrow will be a more energetic and bird-filled day! For what it’s worth, there are currently 14 birders on Corvo – one Brit (me), one French, three Belgians, 5 Swedes, 2 Danes and 2 Germans.


Blue-winged Warbler (1) at Ribeira da Ponte

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