Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 4

Day started with a Canary making some very odd calls, similar to Yellow Wagtail, glad I saw the bird.
Off to Lugar de Baixo this morning an american migrant hotspot, being one of only a handful of freshwater areas on the island. I say area, it is no bigger than your average village duck pond but does have quite an impressive vagrant list. No Waders there today or any interesting ducks so had to settle for checking all the Coots and Moorhens but nothing doing
Did see this though, our quiz bird for today

Also a Waxbill ventured out of the dense reeds in the middle of the pond

Two Grey Herons just offshore were the only ones of the trip

These are chicks from the mystery bird

Popped into Funchal again to check some more boat trips and have another quick look for the Heron.
Cap'ns mate on the replica of Christopher Columbus's galleon the Santa Maria

Off to the interior again. More Berthelot's Pipits and a singing Quails

Madeiran Chaffinch in a nearby plantation

Off now to suss out the famous Pico do Arieiro. The place of the breeding Zinos. Although we were going to go at night later in the week, a daytime visit just for the scenery is highly recommended

Pico de Arieiro

This is part of the walk out. Everybody who goes there says the same thing. Its not for the feint hearted! This is one of the less scary parts, later on there is a thin ridge not much wider than the path with a drop either side of a few thousand feet!

Back home via Funchal in the hope of connecting with the rather elusive Yellow-crowned Night Heron. 9pm came and went with no sign. There were a few of those ugly mis-shapen gulls about though, this one looked genuinely ill

Nice juv

Then at 9.15 it flew in. Another pretty ugly bird really. It came in with a crab which you can just see if you enlarge photo

Crept a bit closer

After flying off, it came back again closer than before, only problem was that the light was now disappearing fast. Cranked the iso right up and hoped for the best

The mystery bird from this morning. A lovely free flying Muscovy Duck, there were loads of these things about, mostly congregating at river outflows along the coast