20 October 2015

“Bloody hell there’s another pewee!”

Not a phrase you expect to hear whilst birding in the WP but Peter got to utter it as we walked back from obtaining video/recordings of the calls of the original bird at lunchtime today.  The second bird was every bit as vocal as the first making bagging a few more video clips/sound recordings easy-peasy-jack-n-squeezy.  

Our descent to the village was interrupted by news of Swainson’s Thrush back along the track to the Lighthouse Valley so we pootled along for that and then headed for coffee.

Just before dark news of a female Golden-winged Warbler soon became news of a Blue-winged x Golden-winged hybrid at Da Ponte.  During a few brief views, I managed to get one sharp(ish) shot of it (see below).   In addition to what you can see in the image (there should be much better available tomorrow), the bird has two strong yellow wing bars, grey lesser coverts, grey edges to the remiges (making for a largely grey closed wing), possibly a grey mantle (did I see this? Did I imagine it?), olive-green rump/back and a largely grey tail with a fair bit of white on the outer tail feathers.  From the limited amount of stuff to hand this evening, we're going with 1st-winter ‘Brewster’s Warbler’ type but it will be interesting to see it better tomorrow.

Hybrid wobbler at ISO 12,800

See previous posts for shiteness of photos during this trip. Pretty sure it is all Nikon Capture NX-D’s fault now, doesn’t paper to be applying the settings on export,… go figure?!  Try clicking on the image, p'raps that'll help.  I'll redo them all on my return,... if I can be arsed.  

18 October 2015

Eastern Wood-Peewee

Saw the peewee *very* briefly seconds after Pierre found it,... three hours later, saw it properly; in the intervening period heard it calling but failed to identify it,... aaaargh, what a bloody doofus.

Cracking addition to the growing list of megas found in the Lighthouse Valley though.


17 October 2015

The falling rares

As Margaret Postgate-Cole might have said,...

They dropped from their western sky, in a still afternoon, when no wind bore them whirling on, but thickly, silently, they fell, like ashes wiping out the noon; and wandered exhausted thence, for thinking of a gallant multitude, which now all drownèd lay, slain by no wind of age or pestilence, but in their beauty strewed like snowflakes falling on the Atlantic waves.

Incredible on here today,... a minimum of 24 yank landbirds of 10 species dropped onto the fields around the village including: three Buff-bellied Pipit, American Robin, Gray-cheeked Thrush, seven Red-eyed Vireo, two Philadephia Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler, Ovenbird, three Scarlet Tanager, four Rose-breasted Grosbeak and two Indigo Bunting.  Gawd knows how many didn't make it to this tiny rocky outpost.

Veery still present in Fojo too.

Blue-winged Warbler. A gem. Quite a moment when this popped up out of the grass.

Ovenbird found on the back of a decaying, rust-ridden, pick-up just before dark. Perfect rare habitat.

15 October 2015


The third first for the Azores of the trip, the first from the 'right' side of the pond.  Mind you, the RAW converter/Blogger interface is still doing it's level best to screw up my pics.

12 October 2015

A Wood Warbler not a wood warbler

The Wood Warbler reappeared near the power station, rarest bird I have found this trip, knocks American Redstart into a cocked hat.  However, the big news of the day was bagging the Siskin, flew over moments before the above popped out.  Azores tick! 

11 October 2015


The westerlies are blocked by the easterlies, the Buff-breast was blocked by the White-rump and the American Goldie was blocked by a Starling.  I walked flipping miles today, including a not insignificant amount of ascent and descent,... for nothing but waders.  Buff-breast was an Azores tick mind.  Whoopee!

 Buff-breasted Sand with white-rumped interloper.

American Golden Plover with fame hungry Starling.

Still, my current RAW converter/Blogger is, or are in combination, doing something fupping weird to my pictures. Will update them on my return to the land of Photoshop,... for now,... squint.

PS. I assume y'all know, the 'official Azores bird news' is available here.

10 October 2015

Azores acro

A morning of tip-tap, leaf twitching rain gave way to glorious blue bird less skies.  Bagged the Sedge Warbler at Poço da Agua then climbed up Pico and down through Da Ponte.  Had lunch at the reservoirs with the Buff-bellied Pipit, American Golden Plovers, Dotterel, Snow Buntings, etc., then down to the power station to check the Arctic Warbler site,... no Arctic Warbler.  Finally, a late wander around the village, nowt for me but Vincent pulled out an Indigo Bunting just before dark.

Two of the four White-rumped Sands tzeeting their way round and about.

09 October 2015

Faaaaand a peanut, faaaaand a peanut,...

Found a American Redstart in the Lighthouse Valley, two American Golden Plovers between the reservoirs and the Tennessee Valley and another Corncrake in the Tennessee Valley.  Not a bad result for a slog round.

Record shot of the Yankstart, since the initial sighting(s) it has proved difficult to see and even harder to photograph.  Note the missing central tail feathers, made it look very odd in flight.  

PS. Does this picture look fuzzy?  Looks fine on my screen in the RAW converter but totally bollocksed in Blogger.  Gawd knows what is going on.   

06 October 2015

Today's pic-err-tures

 Hot on the heels of the Cattle Egret Gwent tick, the Cattle Egret Azores tick.

 Goatees aren't even worn by goats anymore.

 Lots of these chacking around. 

 Stalker, probably developing a taste for Wheatears as we speak.

Whinchat near Lapa; another still present in the village fields. 

PS. Doing all the picture prep with the raw converter, Photoshop free zone,... just in case they look soft as shite,... or just shite.

05 October 2015

Corvo but not as we know it

Landed on a strangely European infested Corvo.  Wheatears flicking about all over the shop.  Headed off in search of the Arctic Warbler, found a Wood Warbler (presumably the bird from Da Ponte relocating), had a longish wait, up popped the Arctic and then headed down to the village.  Tragedy!  The shop has stopped stocking All Bran.  Pottered around the fields in a branless daze finding a Corncrake and seeing a Sand Martin, a House Martin, a Willow Warbler and 15+ Wheatear.  Not a yank in sight.

Oggy doggy.

04 October 2015

Wind, rain and gocklings

Mallard x 'farmyard goose' hybrid, a highpoint in an otherwise hum-drum day.

A wet and windy day on São Miguel produced the long-staying Great White Egret and flipping long-staying Pied-billed Grebe at Sete Citades/Lagoa Azul; a dose of Roseate Terns at Ponta Delgada and little else,... apart from a brood of superb intergeneric hybrids at Lagoa Azul; accompanied by a female Mallard-type and a white 'farmyard goose' they were the ugliest of gocklings.  Cannot wait to see what these turn out like.