Tag Archives: Corvo

Goldcrest, bathing under waterfall on Flores

WintergoldhähnchenWalking a steep trail in search of North-American vagrants under the high cliffs near the little village of Ponta da Fajã on the west coast of Flores eventually I came to a waterfall right beside the hiking trail. I took a rest and was surprised to notice some movement close to the constant shower of water. I looked through the binoculars and saw a Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) feeding in the wet mosses on one side of the waterfall which falls down for 30 meters in a little pond. Quite a strange – and open – habitat for a Goldcrest. Obviously the main task was to search for food, but several times the bird raised the wings and it looked as if it was bathing under the waterfall.

Although quite a common bird on mainland Europe, this small, chubby and restless passerine bird (the smallest bird in Europe) is undoubtedly one of the favorite companions during hiking walks inside dense forests and natural scrub of the island of Flores. Its constant hissing, combined with its innate curiosity, make this bird an easy species to observe, as long as you are patience and listen to its high-pitched calls. Its nesting in Portugal is restricted to the Continue reading Goldcrest, bathing under waterfall on Flores

Ausflug nach Corvo/ Azoren

SanderlingUm 9:00 sind wir auf dem Parkplatz oberhalb des Walfang-Museums in Santa Cruz, der alten Fabrica da Baleia do Boqueirao. Die Fahrt startet am Porto do Boqueirao. Unten wartet schon Carlos auf uns, der – trotz Nebensaison – sogar das ganze Boot für diesen Trip voll bekommt. Ok, ein Samstag bei schönem Wetter. Bei nicht zu rauer See geht es rüber gen Corvo. Es wird der direkte Weg genommen. Der Trip dauert doch eine gute Stunde, was für Menschen mit Seekrankheit ein echter Alptraum sein kann.

Ich halte Ausschau nach pelagischen Vögeln. Aber den Dunklen Sturmtaucher (Puffinus griseus), oder einen Wellenläufer (Oceanodroma leucorhoa), die jemand Mitte Oktober mal zwischen Corvo und Flores gesichtet habe, sehe ich nicht. Nur Gelbschnabel-Sturmtaucher (Calonectris borealis). Endlich kommen wir am Hafen von Corvo an. Es ist leicht bewölkt und angenehm mild. Am Hafen warten schon Vans, die jetzt die Insassen der Boote hochfahren.

Es stellt sich heraus, daß die meisten Touristen sich hochfahren lassen und dann gleich wieder für den gleichen Preis (5,- €/ Person) wieder herunter bringen lassen. Wir aber wollen die schöne Caldeira über der dicke Nebelwolken sehen, richtig genießen und Continue reading Ausflug nach Corvo/ Azoren

Schellente auf dem Planalto Central von Flores/ Azoren

SchellenteNach dem wenig ergiebigen Absuchen der Lagoa Raza geht die Fahrt weiter über die von den Einheimischen Planalto Central genannte Gegend, die in weiten Teilen von dem Kessel der Ribeira Grande eingenommen wird. Aus dem Augenwinkel bemerken wir eine feuchte Stelle bzw. eine richtig kleinen Teich. Wir halten umgehend am Straßenrand an. Und tatsächlich im Fernglas sehe ich das was für die Azoren eine Rarität ist: eine weibliche olho-dourado, also eine Schellente (Bucephala clangula). Der Blick durch das Spektiv bestätigt die Identifikation. Gut ist der braune Kopf und der graue Rücken zu sehen. Die Ente wirkt auf mich nur etwas sehr dunkel. Aber das kann man ja noch näher begutachten. Super, dazu muß ich jetzt näher aber ran und auch am besten fotografieren. Leider muß man dazu eine Kuhweide Continue reading Schellente auf dem Planalto Central von Flores/ Azoren

Vagrant Glossy Ibis on Flores

SichlerIn the north of the island of Flores, there are some excellent birding locations. Basically these sites are between the village Ponta Delgada to the east and the lighthouse on the edge of Ponta do Albernaz on the west. 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 beginning of October might be too early. Besides an Greenland Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa) there was nothing special to see on the 3rd of October. We drove to the small village Ponta Delgada and behind a bend in the road we immediately noticed a dark slender bird with a long bill standing in ditch made by a water hole for cattle. With not doubt: a Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). Reluctantly the bird started to fly. Instantly calling it Continue reading Vagrant Glossy Ibis on Flores

Azores: birding in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

KappensturmtaucherThe Azores are well-known among ornithologists mainly for the fact that many American bird species occur, mainly in fall. Although this group of islands is part of the Western Palearctic (even Europe) on some islands, more Nearctic than Palearctic species have been found. In addition, several endemic taxa breed on the archipelago. The island group is particularly important for seabirds, which breed partially in large numbers. Migration of Seabirds in fall is another highlight. A sighting of a Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis) is guaranteed.

Before an offshore (pelagic) tour, however, you might save some time to visit the famous coastal areas of the different islands. An example is the wetland area in Cabo da Praia on the island of Terceira. From the beginning of September till end of October, the Nearctic waders are piling up: Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca),  Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia), Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus) and Dowitchers (Limnodromus sp.) you might see searching for food in the shallow waters of the bay. In addition, preferentially in the ports of the island, Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) can be found. The species has its most important breeding ground in the world in the Azores. However, a Continue reading Azores: birding in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean