27 October 2008

Best day of the trip?

Refound the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker this morning and, after a few frantic minutes of headless chickenry, another half dozen birders scored before it disappeared once again, hotly pursued by the local Chaffinch mafia. Managed to get quiet recordings of both feeding taps (at around 30 secs and 1 min) and calls (at around 3 mins 28 secs) amongst the general melee...

[Two warnings on this one: a. it is a large file; and b. if you can speak French be warned of some upcoming language grossièr]

Spent the rest of the morning failing to relocate the vireo before news from Flores produced ideal conditions for the most fun-filled dip in history. The frigatebird sp. had spent all morning at Santa Cruz so we decided to charter a boat. The trip over was a race across 15 miles of sun-drenched Atlantic swell in a 25 foot rib (wind in the hair, sun at one's back, blah, blah, blah...). Then followed a couple of hours sat drinking ice tea, coffee, etc. at the Buena Vista Cafe whilst the bird singularly failed to play ball. The real fun was the trip back though, in the gathering gloom and rising wind, 12 birders bounced back to base through rafts of Cory's, rain squalls and spray as Villa do Corvo shone in the distance (at least when the increasingly lumpy ocean wasn't spoiling the view). I think my enduring memories will be Pierre doing his finest impression of Washington crossing the Delaware, Stuart being pitched back and fore on a makeshift space-hopper and the sad demise of Peter's Che hat. All jolly good fun and we were safely back in time for tea.

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