Tag Archives: Flores

Little Egret at Ponta Delgada, Flores

SeidenreiherA white bird standing calm near the sea. It is the Little Egret (Egretta garzetta). A small heron. As you would expect from a heron, this bird is beautiful, graceful and shows long legs, neck and beak. A solitary and patient fisherman, the bird is waiting for low tide to make ambushes in still waters on the rocks. On other occasions, the Little Egret risk more and hunt patiently near the surf. As its name indicates this heron is small, of dimensions clearly inferior to Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) and the Great Egret (Casmerodius albus). Compared with the herons that regularly visit the Azores, only Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is smaller than the Little Egret.

All its feathers are white and limpid. On the chest they are longer and form a tuft, in a kind of bib. Also on the back of the head you can see two elongated plumes, but only during the breeding season. Its beak is black and straight and the eyes are yellow. The legs are also black, but the toes, quite characteristic, are bright yellow.

In case of doubt in the identification of this species in the field it is to be remembered that both the Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) and the Cattle Egret have the yellow beak. Although the legs are all Continue reading Little Egret at Ponta Delgada, Flores

Ein Gürtelfischer auf Corvo/ Azoren

GürtelfischerNachdem wir die 6 km-Wanderung vom Kraterrand hinter uns gebracht haben, statten wir dem Alten Hafen, dem Porto Antigo von Corvo einen Besuch ab. Der Porto Antigo ist leicht zu finden. Direkt unterhalb von 3 alten Windmühlen befindet sich die betonierte Rampe ins Meer. Dicke Wellen mit ihrer Gischt hüllen den Hafen in eine salzige Feuchtigkeit. Die Wellen rollen von Süden an und stoßen damit direkt auf die Einfahrt des Hafens. Gestern waren hier Weißstirnregenpfeifer (Charadrius semipalmatus), Drosseluferläufer (Actitis macularia) und der Gürtelfischer (Megaceryle alcyon) gesichtet worden. Vor allem der im portugiesischen  Guarda-rios-cintado genannte Gürtelfischer hatte es mir angetan. Der fehlte noch auf meiner WP-Liste. Wir stellen uns auf die weiße Mauer mit Blick von oben auf den Hafen und genießen erst mal den Blick. In der Ferne grüßt schon wieder Flores. Es ist auffallend schwül-warm. Die Luftfeuchtigkeit ist hoch und – insbesondere – im Vergleich zu der Kühle im Nebel oberhalb der Caldeira ist es richtig warm hier unten. Auf einmal fliegt ein grauer Vogel ein. Er fliegt einen Vulkanfelsen an, wird von einer schäumenden Welle überrascht und fliegt wieder hoch. Anschließend rüttelt er über dem weißen Schaum. Super, das ist der Continue reading Ein Gürtelfischer auf Corvo/ 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