Unfortunately it was my last day on Corvo today and I'm now at Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, en route to London tomorrow. Yesterday was very quiet, Vincent and I covered a lot of the south of the island and we didn't see anything of note except the Alpine Swift. Despite our fruitless efforts in unfavourable conditions (south winds and sun) a Philadelphia Vireo and Blackpoll were found by other birders. The highlight yesterday was Pierre-Andre Crochet's evening talk 'Chasing 900 species in the Western Palearctic'.
Another fruitless search this morning and then the plane to Sao Miguel. Pierre and I checked the harbour at Ponta Delgada, 2 Cattle Egret and a Glossy Ibis were the only birds of note.
So, a relatively quiet week on Corvo but luckily I still got a WP and Azores lifer- the Hermit Thrush. Seems like autumn happened early this year with some absolute mega birds all before 7th October. Next year I'm planning a change of tactics and am intending to wait for good weather conditions and then travel ahead of the forecasts rather than booking ahead in the peak period. I've had three quiet autumns (2014, 2016 and now 2019) in 15 years and the longer I go on the more difficult it will be to see new birds so exploring a tactical change seems a good idea.
Cattle Egrets in Ponta Delgada
Alpine Swift on Corvo
Pierre-Andre Crochet delivering his excellent talk ' Chasing 900 birds in the Western Palearctic'
The Western Palearctic List (as per Netfugl, following IOC taxonomy and Cramp and Simmons boundaries) is comprised of 681 regular breeding species, 308 vagrants and 41 Category C birds (1030 in total). Pierre has seen 885 species in the WP (Rankings Here) and is No 1 man in the WP listing game. I've only seen 585 species and am in 245th position! However I would call myself a casual WP lister and besides as I do world birding and mainly focus on bird finding and birding projects rather than listing I've seen most of the birds on the WP list elsewhere in the world. So my false WP list Rankings Here) is a more respectable 892 and so I'm in 53rd position in the world for having seen most species that are on the WP list (but not necessarily within the WP boundaries). I would like to eventually see all the species on the WP list but not necessarily competitively, more casually. However I very much enjoy following the guys who are competing with each other- very good entertainment.
Corvo Birders (and mostly WP listers) at Pierre's talk