Trip Report: Azores October 4-11, 1998
Gonçalo Elias, Portugal;
Participants: Gonçalo Elias, Alberto Carvalho, Domingos Patacho
Islands visited: Faial, Pico, Terceira and São Miguel
|October 4||Dep. Lisbon at 8 a.m. on TAP flight to Horta,
Faial Island. Day
spend travelling around the island of Faial, including a visit to the famed
Capelinhos volcano. Overnight at Horta.|
|October 5||Early departure with boat to Madalena, Pico
Island. By hired car
to Lajes do Pico, where birdwatching in the afternoon. Evening visit to
altitudinal lagoons and São Roque do Pico. Overnight at Lajes do Pico.|
|October 6||Morning birdwatching at Lajes do Pico. Departure
after lunch on
a car trip round the island, with evening visit to the slopes of Pico
mountain. Overnight at Madalena.|
|October 7||Departure with morning boat to Horta, Faial.
walking around Horta. Lunch at Horta. Afternoon flight to Terceira. Evening
visit to the famed coastal quarry at Cabo da Praia, for recognition.
Overnight at Praia da Vitória.|
|October 8||Morning spent watching birds at the quarry.
Lunch at Praia da
Vitória. Afternoon visit to Angra do Heroísmo city. Overnight at Praia da
|October 9||Morning spent travelling on hired car through
central parts fo
the island. Afternoon spent at the quarry. Late afternoon flight to São
Miguel. Overnight at Ponta Delgada.|
|October 10||Day spent on eastern half of São
Miguel island - Fogo Lagoon,
Furnas Lagoon and Serra da Tronqueira (the site for Azores Bullfinch).
Overnight at Ponta Delgada.|
|October 11||Day spent on western half of São
Miguel - Mosteiros and Sete
Cidades Lagoon. Late evening flight to Lisbon, where arrival at 1 a.m.|
Good weather during the whole week, partly sunny, partly overcast, but with
no rain and little or no wind.
The following is a list of bird species seen during this trip
- Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) - Generally common around all the
- Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) - Seen only on October 11th: 1 at Mosteiros
and 2 at Sete Cidades Lagoon.
- Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) - 1 at Madalena harbour in the morning
of October 5th. Excelent views + pictures taken. If accepted, this will be
the 3rd record for the Azores and for the Western Palearctic.
- Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) - Uncommon but apparently widespread. Singles
seen an Madalena and at Lagoa do Caiado (Pico), at Cabo da Praia and at
Lagoa do Ginjal (Terceira) and 2 at Sete Cidades, São Miguel.
- Teal (Anas crecca) - 1 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and 9th and 2 at Sete Cidades
- Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) - 3 at Sete Cidades lagoon on 11th.
- Buzzard (Buteo buteo rothschildi) - Fairly common and widespread.
- Coot (Fulica atra) - 1 at Lagoa do Capitão, Pico on 5th.
- Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) - 1 at Porto Pim, Faial on 7th
- Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) - A few at Cabo da Praia on 7th, 8th
and 9th and 1 at Mosteiros, São Miguel on 11th.
- Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) - Recorded only at Cabo da Praia on
9th, where a maximum of 24 birds was counted.
- Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) - 2 birds seen at Cabo da Praia on 9th.
- American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) - 1 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and
again on 9th
- Knot (Calidris canutus) - 1 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and 9th.
- Sanderling (Calidris alba) - 2 or 3 at Madalena on 5th and 6th, 1 at São
Roque do Pico on 5th, 2 at porto Pim, Faial on 7th, 50+ at Cabo da Praia on
8th and 9th (the most numerous wader there); 9 at Ponta Delgada harbour on
- Dunlin (Calidris alpina) - Singles at Lajes do Pico on 6th, at Cabo da Praia
on 9th and at Mosteiros on 11th.
- White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) - 1 at Lajes do Pico on 6th.
- Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) - 2 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and 2 to
4 birds there the following day; 1 at Mosteiros on 11th.
- Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) - 4 birds at Cabo da Praia on 8th
- Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) - Singles at Lagoa do Caiado, Pico on 5th and Cabo
da Praia on 8th and 9th.
- Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis) - 1 at Cabo da Praia on
- Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) - 1 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and 9th.
- Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) - Although a palearctic species and
common migrant in Europe, this is apparently a rare visitor to the Azores. 2
records were made: 1 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and 9th and one at Mosteiros,
Sao Miguel on 11th.
- Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) - Recorded in small numbers in various places:
1 at Madalena and 3 at Lajes do Pico on 5th; 1 at Lajes doPico on 6th; 2 at
Cabo da Praia on 8th and 3 at the same place on 9th; 2 at Mosteiros on 11th.
- Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) - 2 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and again on
- Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) - Recorded in small numbers in Pico and
Terceira: 2 at Lajes do Pico on 5th and 6th; 2 at Cabo da Praia on 8th and
9th; 1 at Lagoa do Ginjal, Terceira on 9th
- Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) - 1 at Lajes do Pico on 5th and 2
(possibly 3) on 6th. Possible birds (unconfirmed) were also seen at
Almoxarife (Faial) on 4th and at Mosteiros on 11th.
- Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) - Seen at various places on Pico, Faial,
Terceira and São Miguel, with largest numbers on Lajes do Pico (15+) and
Cabo da Praia (several 10's).
- Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) - Scarce. Seen only at Cabo da Praia on
7th, 8th and 9th (maximum 2 birds).
- Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) - Not common. Single birds seen at
various places on Terceira, usually among large flocks of Yellow-legged
- Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus cachinnans) - The common species of gull in the
Azores. Large numbers seen on all islands, especially on Terceira and São
- Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - Common around all islands, with flocks of up
to 70 birds in harbours.
- Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) - Recorded only at Varadouro and Capelinhos,
Faial on 4th
- Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus azorica) - Uncommon. 1 seen at Faial on 4th, 1
at Pico on 5th, 2 at Pico on 6th, 3-4 near Algar do Carvão, Terceira on 9th
and 1-2 at Serra da Tronqueira, São Miguel on 10th.
Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) - 1 found dead on a road in Faial on 4th.
- Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea patriciae) - Common and widespread.
- Robin (Erithacus rubecula) - Common and widespread.
- Blackbird (Turdus merula) - Common.
- Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - Common.
- Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) - Rather common in suitable habitat. R. regulus
inermis was seen on Faial, Pico and Terceira, while R. regulus azoricus was
observed at São Miguel.
- Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - Common and widespread.
- House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) - Common and widespread.
- Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) - Numerous.
- Canary (Serinus canaria) - Common, sometimes gathering in large flocks.
- Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) - Not common. Seen in small numbers at Faial
- Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) - Recorded only at Serra da Tronqueira,
São Miguel on 10th, where at least 1 ad. and 2 juvs, were seen.
Return to trip reports.
This page served with permission of the author
by Urs Geiser; firstname.lastname@example.org;
October 21, 1998