Saturday, 1 November 2008

Corvo 2008 Last Day 30th October

Riberia de Ponte. One of the famous Corvo eastern valleys. These sub-tropical valleys are the best location in the Western Palearctic for Nearctic landbird vagrants. This particular valley has hosted Black-throated Blue Warbler and Ovenbird.

In addition to these valleys there are other areas of habitat on the island- a lake, an airstrip, low lying dry stone walled fields, upland fields, cliffs and the ocean. This mosaic of habitats and the location of Corvo in the mid-Atlantic contributes to Corvo reigning supreme as the ultimate vagrant trap in the Western Palearctic.

With a vegetation type which is typically Macronesian/Mediterranean and residents birds made up Palearctic species (Blackbird, Blackcap,Grey Wagtail, Canary, Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Yellow-legged Gull, Woodcock, Snipe and Wheatear) the island is perfectly European- Europe's western most outpost.

Corvo on the eastern flank. This area is characterised by steep farmed slopes which are cut by wooded valleys. These wooded valleys are where the real hidden treasures lie. Vagrants include White-eyed Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Hooded Warbler, Northern Parula, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush, Grey-cheeked Thrush, Blackpoll and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Corvo Island, the western flank. The precipitous wind swept cliffs are least productive for vagrants but provide possible nesting areas for petrels and shearwaters. Closer to sea level there are colonies of breeding Roseate and Common Terns .

Corvo Island. Southern flank showing the village and surrounding fields. Vagrants recorded in this area include White-crowned Sparrow, Summer and Scarlet Tanager, Yellowthroat, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Bobolink, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, Arctic Redpoll, Killdeer, Hudsonian Whimbrel and other waders and gulls on the airfield.

Photos taken in July 2007.

The Caldera on Corvo. The main area on the island for ducks and waterbirds. Vagrants found here include Great-blue Heron, Wilson's Phalarope and other American waders and ducks.

Photo taken in October 2007.

On the way home Darryl, Simon and I stopped off at Cabo da Praia on Terceira. There were 2-3 Semi-palmated Plovers, 1 Semi-palmated Sandpiper, 1 Pectoral Sandpiper, 2 White-rumped Sandpipers, 8 Whimbrel, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Little Stint and 2 Curlew Sandpiper.


TOXIC said...

I can't lie...certain birds scare me...hmmm might be because most tend to swoop towards my head to attack me...of course those aren't the "attractive" birds..hopefully there are more friendly birds...I have read the origin of species...I'm a charles darwin fan...also you like the god delusion...i just bought that book along with the origin of same time...both good books...oh and the wizard of oz...the greatest movie ever haha

Peter Alfrey said...

I suppose you might be referring to gulls swooping at your head- one of my favourite families of birds. Great group to study some of Darwin's ideas with. Large, tame, everywhere, fascinating and complex evolutionary history and very diverse.

Have you read the Selfish Gene? Another book from Dawkins (The God Delusion). Takes Darwinism one step further.

and yes the Wizard of Oz is a fine contender for the greatest movie of all time.