Tuesday 7 October 2014

First full day on Corvo

Grim times today. Started off at the Lighthouse Valley with the rest of the new arrivals, and very quickly saw the Snowy Owl. The poor thing must be in a terrible state - it's missing most of its flight feathers, was soaking wet and (according to Darryl) makes a horrible whirring noise when it flies. So, while there is no denying that Snowy Owls are generally beautiful, regal birds, I couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed by - and frankly quite sorry for - this altogether mouldy looking creature as it hopelessly flopped around the cliff top. Apparently when found on Sunday it was eating an Azorean Gull - if it's got to that stage, then it must be desperate times. Would be nice if someone could catch it and take it back to Canada but I suspect it'll be dead if it ever allows such a close approach.

And on that cheery note, it's worth rounding up my sightings today. The highlight was a seawatch off the windmills late afternoon which was pretty meagre in its offerings: a single Great Shearwater, a very distant Oceanodroma (Leach's/Band-rumped type) and the baffling sight of a Sooty Shearwater chasing Azorean Gulls around just offshore.

On the land the greatest excitement came from a (Common) Kestrel above the village late afternoon. Goodness knows how or why that's here. Otherwise my yomp around a number of difficult-to-reach and no doubt so far unchecked sites on the east side of the island produced... yes, you guessed it. Nada.

I did see this though - Corvo tick!

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