In the north of the island of Flores, there are two top birding locations, distanced only about 3km from each other. The one is the village Ponta Delgada to the east, a small site with less than 400 inhabitants, and the lighthouse on the edge of Ponta do Albernaz on the western edge. The lighthouse at Ponta do Albernaz is the most powerful lighthouse of the Azores.
The view is breathtaking, with the neighboring island of Corvo in the background. The lighthouse is accessed via an isolated roadway that extends to the western edge of Flores.
Here is the first point of arrival of the migratory birds to the island of Flores in fall. But Ponta Delgada is equally important for breeding seabirds. In Ponta Delgada, the small port and the old soccer field should be visited. The small port was productive and is always worth a view:
- Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia),
- Red Knot (Calidris canutus) and
- Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
were really good birds besides the 1 – 3 individuals of Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) and Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus).
During fall some water stays on the field which might be used by waders. Maybe mid of October is still too early. I did not see any wader besides a Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) feeding with a Feral Dove (Columba livia) on the meadows on and above the old soccer field. On grassy fields I only had 1 Grey (Black-bellied) Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) on the upper fields south of the lighthouse.
At the tip of the Albernaz, migratory birds usually use the low-lying fields closest to the lighthouse. Both Ponta Delgada and Ponta do Albernaz allow excellent observations of seabirds. From the coast you should see the Cagarro, the Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis). This is perhaps the best known bird of the Azoreans and, certainly, one of the most emblematic of the archipelago. Famous is their characteristic nocturnal “vozear” – sound. Especially at the end of summer and early fall you might come in contact with young birds that are found, disoriented by the light of the earth, on roads, paths, streets, etc.
Due to the maritime climate, there is not really a best season to name. So, in general Flores is a perfect birding all-year-destination, maybe except summer
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