08 October 2012

Gentle little warm-up

A short morning pottering on Sao Miguel produced 15+ Whimbrel, a Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit at the airport; and four Semi-palmated Plover plus a smattering of White-rumped Sandpiper at Mosteiros.

Following arrival on Corvo a quick scoot up the road resulted in two (count 'em) Azores ticks in a mini hirundine flock consisting of four Cliff Swallow and four House Martin.

Then it was into the fields to be stalked at every turn by the hordes of feral cats, until...

... on rounding a corner we stumbled on an excited Finn watching a Northern Waterthrush in a puddle. Jubbly.

[Addendum: There seems to be some discussion over the identification of this Northern Waterthrush, I'd guess largely due to the high ISO, slightly over-exposed, noise-reduced-to-hell-and-back jpeg posted by Peter here. Not having Pyle to hand (I know, I know, I forgot to pack it), the following is heavily indebted to 'Separating Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes' c/o Belltower Birding.

Our bird showed the following features:

  • a plain up-and-down bobbing of the tail and rear body; 
  • a yellowish supercilium (paler, whitish behind the eye), breadth of supercilium behind the eye varied with posture; 
  • thin bill with thin and straight lower mandible; 
  • a finely striped chin (this was lost' in Peter's photograph due to slight over-exposure); 
  • yellowish breast and belly, whiter on the rear flanks and undertail (the yellow was reduced in Peter's photo probably as a result of increasing the contrast in the image and noise-reduction); 
  • quite dense streaking on the underparts; and
  • short primary projection. 

All the above seem to lean towards Northern,... granted the legs were quite pink though.]

Another god awful heavily cropped image for your delectation.

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