The Azores - October 2007

Published by Tobi Koppejan (gelatik AT

Participants: Tobi Koppejan, Vincent Stork


Photos with this report (click to enlarge)

american golden plover
american golden plover
semip. plover, bonapartes- and semip. sandpiper
semip. plover, bonapartes- and semip. sandpiper
yellow-billed cuckoo
yellow-billed cuckoo
american waders
american waders
semipalmated plover
semipalmated plover
semipalmated sandpiper
semipalmated sandpiper

Tobi Koppejan (photos – and Vincent Stork (text)

General information

Following up on the appealing reports from the Azores in 2005 and 2006 Tobi Koppejan and Vincent Stork agreed to spend a week on these magic islands in October 2007. Due to work and family commitments and we couldn’t do better than one very short week, but we felt it would be more than worthwhile. We knew we had to visit either Flores or Corvo, but since it was our first visit to the Azores we felt we should also visit Terçeira and São Miguel, both for the birds and for getting a feel of the whole archipelago. Tobi got us a direct flight with SATA from Amsterdam to Ponta Delgada on São Miguel and Vincent arranged internal flights and car hire through Archipelago Azores Ltd in the UK. They were efficient in putting together a schedule which allowed just enough time to visit Terçeira, São Miguel and Corvo. Car hire was arranged for the first two islands enabling us to cover as much ground as necessary. In the end our visit to Corvo didn’t work out since we got stranded on Faial on our way to Flores (from where we were supposed to fly to Corvo). Since there are only three flights a week to Corvo, we got stuck on Flores for two days and since there’s a lot of outstanding birding to be done on Flores we didn’t care too much.

This report’s objective is to give information on what can be done on these islands if you have limited time. Our first goal was to see as many Nearctic birds as possible with the strong feeling that we’d rather find them ourselves than pursuing other’s findings.

October 16

Having arrived the previous evening at 23:00 local time we were grateful for having arranged a hotel through Archipelago Azores Ltd, since this meant that a cabdriver was waiting for us and we were in the hotel 15 minutes after leaving the plane. Next morning we woke way too early because the lady at the hotel desk informed us that is would be light at 6. It gets light only at 7:30, so there’s no hurry at all. We walked to the harbour area where we spent half our morning at the base of the peer on the west side of the harbour and half walking around the harbour, before catching our shuttle ride to the airport for our flight to Flores.

Within half an hour our first Nearctic wader was found, an obliging White-rumped Sandpiper. Sea watching produced hundreds of Cory’s Shearwaters, 15 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Balearic Shearwater (quite rare on the Azores), 8 Sandwich Terns, 1 Roseate Tern and 18 Common Terns. Walking around the harbour was slightly hampered by the fact that a lot of construction was going on. Our best find was 1 ad Ring-billed Gull flying across the bay east of the harbour with some Yellow-legged Gulls. Other gulls included 1 1cy Black-headed, 1 ad Herring and 1 ad Lesser Black-backed Gull. Sanderling and Ruddy Turnstone were both encountered and would prove to be common on the other islands as well. 4 Whimbrels proved to be Europeans and 2 Red Knots were seen as well. Our first Island Canaries were noted and appreciated.

We also encountered three birders who would become our shadow (and we would become theirs at times) for the next few days. Christian Jensen, a very sharp birder from Spain, was guiding Ray Moyle and John Boulcott (since we kept forgetting their names we nicknamed them Ian and Bill, referring to Wallace and Oddie) from the UK across the Azores for a week as well.

Already on Ponta Delgada Airport we heard bad news coming from Flores concerning deteriorating weather. We were told that we could go on board and hear on Faial whether the flight to Flores could continue. Sadly it couldn’t and we decided to stay on Faial and continue the next day, but already knew we would miss our flight to Corvo. In the meantime SATA booked us for the night in Hotel Faial in Horta, which was very convenient including diner and breakfast and lunch the next day. The storm had reached Faial and anticipation rose on what birds would be brought in. In the harbour of Horta 600 terns had seeked shelter from the storm, mostly Common Terns, but also 1 ad Roseate Tern and 3 Arctic Terns (2 ad and 1 1cy).

October 17

Looking on the map of Faial we decided to be at Porto Pim at first light. This village is directly south of Horta and has a nice bay. Our first stop produced a flying Charadrius that landed but immediately dropped out of sight. Approaching the location from two sides we both saw the bird walk in view and were delighted to see our first Semipalmated Plover (a pally for both). It showed well enough to see the webs and when it got disturbed by a fisherman it produced the diagnostic Spotted Redshank-like call. It flew to the other side of the bay, so we went there as well and soon found a total of 4 Semipalmated Plovers, 5 Whimbrels and 1 Grey Heron. It had already been an exceptional year for Semipalmated Plover, with groups up to 18, but up to 2006 there had been ‘only’ 43 records to the Azores of this species.

We still had time on our hands and walked the road to Monte de Guia which as a nice double caldera. The fields and bushes looked good for transatlantic vagrants but we found none. At the top overlooking the caldera’s we noted 2 Grey Herons, but best were 2 Little Shearwaters flying close inshore with numerous Cory’s Shearwaters.

We still had time on our hands and walked the road to Monte de Guia which as a nice double caldera. The fields and bushes looked good for transatlantic vagrants but we found none. At the top overlooking the caldera’s we noted 2 Grey Herons, but best were 2 Little Shearwaters flying close inshore with numerous Cory’s Shearwaters.

Back at the hotel we had lunch, saw our first Monarch Butterfly of the trip and were brought to the airport to catch our long awaited flight to Flores. Christian got all five of us running and grabbing our optics (resulting in many Azoreans tapping their forehead) when he spotted two waders lying asleep on the runway. When they moved around they could be identified as 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper and 1 Semipalmated Plover.

When we landed Vincent saw two large sandpipers fly past the plane that could be identified as Pectoral Sandpiper. Tobi and I had already decided to stay 2 days on Flores instead of trying to catch a boat to Corvo (which would further diminish our time birding). We just had to hire a car and with Tobi claiming our baggage and me running across the street we were the first to speed out of the airport to find us some more waders on the runway. At the south end of the runway 3 Semipalmated Plovers and 2 White-rumped Sandpipers were found, sadly the Pectorals had disappeared. 5 Grey Herons were also present. The best bird though was a dark chunky female Merlin (flying south) that could well have been of the Nearctic subspecies. With only 6 records up to 2006 Merlin is a true rarity on these islands. At the north end we saw another Semipalmated Plover.

Our frantic search for better birds brought us to Santa Cruz harbour, where at first glance not much of note was recorded. Apart from 25 Ruddy Turnstones, no Nearctic waders could be found. When Tobi walked to the south end of the harbour he could overlook the bay more properly and soon found a white egret with almost yellow legs and cried out “Snowy Egret”. When we scrutinized this bird we also saw yellow lores and the general appearance was smaller and more delicate. The head and bill pattern was hard to judge due to the rather great distance, but the bill seemed high based. Later we learned that an aberrant Little Egret had been photographed by Staffan Rodebrand, but these photos revealed a complete different bird. The bird took the wing after a short period of observation and first flew south and out of sight. A while later it came back but continued north to disappear again. Despite searching by our friends of Birdwatching Breaks it could not be relocated during our stay, but on October 22 a Snowy (that may well have been our bird) was observed and photographed at Fãja Grande.

We decided to press on towards the Lagoa-area and then to Fãja Grande. We first checked the road west of the Lagoas where another female Merlin was encountered flying southeast. At Lagoa Seca some ducks were present with 6 Mallard/Black Ducks. We didn’t spend a lot of time studying them, but at least 1 individual looked like a good American Black Duck and 1 female looked most like a genuine Mallard. All other birds approached American Black Duck in many respects, but were possibly hybrids anyway. Also on the lake were 2 female American Wigeon, 1 female Pintail (could this one also come from the other side of the Atlantic?), 2 female Green-winged Teal (hard to tell, but based on head pattern, most likely this species).

When we arrived at Fãja Grande we had little time left and after we found 1 Semipalmated Plover (our 10th of the day) in a small park we received an SMS from Christian that they had a Belted Kingfisher in de harbour of Lajes. We immediately sped off and got there in 20 minutes, but sadly the bird had flown out of the harbour. On our way to Lajes we did however see 1 Woodcock on the road, a rare and difficult to find bird of a subspecies endemic to these islands. We decided to stay in Lajes for the night hoping that the kingfisher would return the next morning. We celebrated our first 3 hours of daylight on Flores in the bar at the harbour, with Pizza and beer and slept in the car with clear views on the rocks where the kingfisher was planned to re-appear.

October 18

Despite our anticipation no Belted Kingfisher was found next morning. Our efforts were only rewarded by a White-rumped Sandpiper. We went back to the west side of the island, first stopping at Fajãzinha. Here we made good effort of locating Nearctic land birds. The area behind the restaurant (located below the village) seemed good and was well accessible through some paths. Trying to cover as much ground as possible we split up and this resulted in the unfortunate situation that Vincent saw a Great Blue Heron pass overhead and couldn’t get to Tobi in time. The bird was quite different from Grey Heron altogether, much more reminding of a very big Purple Heron in jizz. The bird swooped a few times fuelling hope that it might land, giving away reddish trousers and carpal area, but it went over the ridge northward. It was never seen again.

After a cup of coffee we proceeded to Fajã Grande where we ran into Staffan and our other friends, completing the whole birding crowd on Flores, a mere 6 individuals. Staffan had seen a Yellow-rumped Warbler the previous day behind the church of Ponta a few kilometres further on, but we decided to check the abandoned football field (see map) first. It’s quite staggering to see where the Nearctic waders on the Azores turn up: football fields, airstrips…. A splendid juvenile American Golden Plover was a nice addition to our growing list and it was flanked by 7 Semipalmated Plovers, 1 White-rumped Sandpiper and 3 Red Knot (1 ad and 2 juveniles). When you continue on the track

You come to a dead end on the coast. On the track we saw another 2 Semipalmated Plovers and 1 White-rumped Sandpiper. At the lava fields we hoped to see American Great Egret, but it apparently went some place else. While Tobi went crazy on photographing the waders I searched the fields for vagrant passerines. In the meanwhile a rear downpour had started and we decided to give the Yellow-rumped a go.

The area behind and below Ponta looked very promising and even the gardens in the village itself can produce any vagrant you can dream of, but the terrain it very difficult with high dry stone walls (getting very slippery in the rain), very dense vegetation (especially the bamboo being impenetrable). We put in an hour, getting wet even in our raingear and decided to head back towards Fajã Grande, having only seen 1Grey Heron and 1 Woodcock (on the track that goes uphill 100 metres south from the church). As we drove out of the village Vincent saw a white speck in the trees to the left of the road and immediately cried out “Cuckoooooooo”. Hitting the brakes and picking up his bins at the same time he clinched the identification almost before the care became to a complete stop: “it’s a Yellow-billed Cuckoo!!!!!” The bird was quietly sitting in a tree fairly close to the road. First concern was to photograph it without disturb it, but this worked out fine. We called out the news to Staffan and Christian. Christian and his clients were in Santa Cruz pursuing our Snowy Egret and immediately turned around. After taking photographs we waited, but the bird started to move and went away from the road, dropping out of sight the moment Christian car appeared around the corner. Luckily one of the English chaps relocated the bird way back in a bamboo stack from where it immediately flew off, leaving the other with unsatisfying views.

Back in Fajã Grande we tried again for the egret and this time it was there, 1 fine American Great Egret. This bird had been on Flores for quite some time now, but elsewhere in the WP it’s hardly ever recorded. The totally black legs and feet and orangey bill where easy to see here, but I wonder if one will ever be noted in Holland, where Great Egret is quite common nowadays. We ran into Staffan again and he gave is the golden tip to go to Ponta Delgada, which is easy by taking the shortcut via Lagoa Seca, all the way over the mountains. The road is unpaved but well manageable and it saves you some time (and we were already short on time).

At Ponta Delgada we first visited yet another abandoned football field yielding more Nearctic waders: 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers (1 feeding in a puddle only 3 meters away), 4 Semipalmated Plovers and 3 White-rumped Sandpipers. When we drove back to the main road Tobi spotted another Yellow-billed Cuckoo perched on barbwire very close to our car. He managed to take pictured before it decided to fly off over the hill. We SMS’ed the news out and went up the hill to search for it, but since there was no cover and we had more work on our hands we moved on to Ponta do Albarnaz.

In the headland there is a lighthouse, some hedgerows and good fields. The field southwest of the lighthouse held 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 4 White-rumped Sandpipers, 10 Semipalmated Plovers (we may have seen as many as 28 of this species on Flores in merely two days) and 1 Whimbrel. Another field close by revealed another 2 White-rumped Sandpipers. Heading back to the Cuckoo-site we bumped into Christian en co and it became apparent that they hadn’t received our SMS, but they were looking at a Pectoral Sandpiper. Hearing there and then that we had found ourselves a second Yellow-billed Cuckoo made Christian cry out “lucky bastards” before he started to molest our car. Showing him the pictures didn’t help at that point, but luckily he composed himself and did what any cool minded birder would do, he went for it. In the meanwhile we checked an area of hedgerows uphill to the south. When we arrived at the football field to help find the cuckoo Christian came down with the incredible news that they hadn’t found the cuckoo but that he had glimpsed a Bobolink in a large group of Canaries, but the bird had disappeared before his companions had seen it (which is about the worst that can happen to a bird guide). We decided to give it a go, but we only had little daylight left. When we arrived on the hill there were no Canaries left giving us the feeling that the Bobolink might have left with them. But we stuck to the hilltop, since it looked promising enough and after ten minutes Vincent flushed a passerine that uttered a chuu-like call. In flight it immediately gave away light streaks on the mantle and it had a short tail, with pointed feathers. When it landed the head pattern was well appreciated, it was indeed a Bobolink. Our third American land bird of the day, what success!! We didn’t have coverage on our mobile phone, but the other guys could see us from the football field so we waved them over. Off course the bird vanished, but with five birders we managed to retrace it a few more times and even got decent views of it in last light. Staffan Rodebrand managed to retrace it and photograph it two days later (see

Tobi and I counted our blessings and looked at our chances for tomorrow morning since we had to be on a flight at 11 o’clock. We decided to drive to Lajes and try once more for the Belted Kingfisher, hoping that perseverance would pay off this time.

October 19

Surely the harbour was empty this morning, so we sped back to Santa Cruz for our last moments of birding on this magical island of Flores. We stopped at the south end of the airstrip and the first bird we saw was a juvenile Spoonbill (a colour-ringed individual, most surely from our own country). There were also waders and Vincent immediately saw a small stint with light coloured legs, which proved to be a Least Sandpiper. Our first ever in the WP and flanked by 3 White-rumped Sandpipers and 2 Semipalmated Plovers. I have to check more airfields back home, because yank waders seem to love such areas (or are they airplane assisted?). We made a quick last scan of the harbour area, but nothing of note was seen. Then we took the plane to Terçeira, where Cabo da Praia was waiting for us.

Leaving Lajes Airport was quick and smooth and we soon found the right direction to the quarry at Cabo da Praia. It’s one of those birding areas where you don’t want to bring non-birding family member: a couple of pools in an old quarry surrounded by industrial plants. But the birds seem to like it. Having heard of all the good stuff seen at this site you can’t help yourself to be stunned by the numbers and variety of Nearctic waders. First bird we saw was big and white, and proved to be an American Great Egret (a surprise find) that disappeared shortly afterwards, never to be seen again. Christian and is compadres also had arrived and the five of us began scanning the site with a vengeance, time after time producing new birds. Since you are high above the quarry you can get a good grip on all the birds present. In little over an hour we saw the following American birds: 6 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 7 White-rumped Sandpipers, 3 Pectoral Sandpipers, 1 juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher (much rarer than the more hoped-for Short-billed), 1 juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 American Golden Plovers, at least 3 Semipalmated Plovers, 1 Least Sandpiper and 1 adult Laughing Gull. These were accompanied by dozens of Sanderlings, Kentish Plovers and Ruddy Turnstones, 1 Ruff, at least 4 Common Ringed Plovers, 4 Grey Plovers, 1 Little Stint, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 3 Whimbrels, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Eurasian Coot.

After having had lunch and some cool drinks to celebrate this wonderful experience we decided to explore the western side of the island, focussing on promising looking fields and bushes. Lots of areas off the main road looking promising for a chance American land birds, but we found nothing, despite working through vast numbers of Canaries, Robins and Blackcaps. At Porto Negrito we saw a Whimbrel. We went back to the quarry in the evening where we witnessed the arrival of 4 more Semipalmated Sandpipers (adding up to 10 of this species).

October 20

We paid an early morning visit to the dirty, sad looking ponds at Praia da Vittoría. Here we saw our first Moorhens of the trip as well as some Common Waxbills and 1 Quail (both presumed introduced populations. 2 Coots, 1 Grey Heron and 2 Kentish Plovers were all this site had to offer. We decided to check the marina area where the Birdwatching Breaks-clan had seen Greater Scaup the day before. We didn’t see this bird, but came up with yet another Semipalmated Plover and perhaps our rarest Azorean bird of the trip, 1 adult winter Razorbill. Back home it turned out that probably the same bird had been seen by Peter Alfrey and Daryll Spittle a few days before. It may be only the third Razorbill for the Azores, the other records going way back.

After this good find we went back to Cabo da Praia and after scanning from above we decided to drive in to the quarry. There was no-one giving us any problems, the birds didn’t bother either and from the fence we could observe some of the birds more closely. Most birds from yesterday were still around, but there had still been some replacements: 6 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 11 White-rumped Sandpipers, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, 1 juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher, 1 juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 American Golden Plovers, 6 Semipalmated Plover (this time a specific effort was put into scrutinizing all ringed plovers), 1 Least Sandpiper and 1 adult Laughing Gull. New were 1 eclipse male Pintail, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Greenshank, 1 Common Snipe, at least 1 Common Waxbill. The Ruff, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpipers, Whimbrel and Grey Heron were also still present.

We then moved on to the area northwest of the airport, finding nothing new and sending some deserved time off swimming. On our way back we checked the huge airstrip of Lajes Airport and found 1 Lesser Yellowlegs and 1 Semipalmated Plover. We got on the late afternoon flight to São Miguel and arrived there when it already got dark. We picked up another rental car and drove quickly to Cete Sidades, where we went to a bar being offered beers by the local crowd. We then drove to the site where Western Sandpiper had been seen for a night’s sleep.

October 21

Despite being on site at first light our efforts of finding this mega was immensely hampered by huge amounts of rain. We pressed on and checked every suitable stretch of shoreline around Lagoa Azul, but didn’t find any waders at all and only noting Coots, Moorhens, grey Herons and a few Mallards. As the bad weather persisted we take a quick look at the ducks on Lagoa Verde and saw indeed 1 female Greater Scaup, 2 female Ring-necked Duck and 1 adult + 1 juvenile Blue-winged Teal. Getting the hell out of there we moved to Mosteiros where we found 1 Semipalmated Plover, 3 Whimbrel and our first 4 Little Egrets.

Since we didn’t have a lot of time we had a tight schedule to keep and we moved towards the east side of the island to give the bullfinches a go (you can’t really leave without the can you?). We took the long route via Nordeste and went over the Serra da Tronqueira from the east. Passing through very dense coniferous forest this was surely nice and we heard bullfinches a few time, before arriving at the clearing with the fallen yellow shed. Here we had views of a few Azorean Bullfinches and Toby managed to see a female perched at distance. We didn’t want to spend the whole day here so we started descending the mountain without the views you’d hope for. As soon as we left the forest and entered a more open area we saw a bullfinch fly up from the road and surely there were 3 great Azorean Bullfinches perching close by allowing some pictures as well.

Leaving this area very satisfied after all we headed towards Furnas for our last hours of birding. We started at the southern shore of Lagoa das Furnas where we found a Spotted Sandpiper (at last, since this species had eluded us for the whole week). Unfortunately the weather was awful and we got really wet try to get good views of the Spotted Sandpiper that proved to be rather elusive. There was a very tame White-rumped Sandpiper as well and a couple testing the suspension of their car in a rather awkward way. With rain fall harder every minute we checked the northern side before calling it a day. Mixed with a bunch of feral waterfowl we saw 1 female Ring-necked Duck and 1 (presumably juvenile) female Lesser Scaup. There was a Ruddy Shelduck as well, but we have no idea on the status of this species (or this individual). It was gone next morning, as was the Lesser Scaup. Other birds around were 4 Grey Herons, 7 Eurasian Coots and 1 Moorhen. We went for a beer in Furnas and counted our options for next morning.

October 22

At first light we were at the south end of Lagoa das Furnas hope for better photographic opportunities with the Spotted Sandpiper, but it was nowhere to be found. The White-rumped Sandpiper had also moved on and at the north end only the female Ring-necked Duck was on show. We had already located the infamous Parque Terra Nostre the day before and went on our most disputable twitch ever, paying € 4, - entrance fee to a botanic park to see a very tame male Wood Duck. Although pretty the presence of a pair of Mandarin Ducks didn’t do the experience any good, although many believe this bird really is a genuine vagrant.

We had to make our way back to the airport since the party was over all too quickly. On our way we stopped at Villa Franca do Campo where we saw 2 Little Egrets. At the harbour in Ponta Delgada 15 Manx Shearwaters and 5 Black-headed Gulls were seen. On arrival in Holland logistics finally really failed on us since Tobi’s train had a serious 2 hour delay and Vincent missed the ferry to his home island of Texel, leaving him in a way too expensive hotel in the way too depressing town of Den Helder.

Species Lists

Wood Duck Aix sponsa
1 male at Parque Terra Nostre, Furnas, São Miguel on 22-10.

American Wigeon Anas americana
2 female at Lagoa Seca, Flores on 17-10.

Green-winged (/Common) Teal Anas carolinensis
2 female teal at Lagoa Seca, Flores on 17-10 were most likely Green-winged.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Recorded on several islands, often mixed with feral ducks.

American Black Duck Anas rubripes
The ducks at Lagoa Seca observed on 17-10 were quite a difficult bunch containing at least 1 individual that seemed pure American Black, 4 looked mostly like American Black, but were probably hybrids with Mallard. Another bird looked mostly like female Mallard.

Northern Pintail Anas acuta
1 female at Lagoa Seca, Flores on 17-10 and 1 immature male at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 20-10.

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
2 birds at Lagoa Verde, São Miguel on 21-10 (1 ad female and 1 immature).

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
2 female at Lagoa Verde, São Miguel on 21-10 and 1 female at Lagoa das Furnas, São Miguel on 21 and 22-10.

Greater Scaup Aythya marila
1 female at Lagoa Verde, São Miguel on 21-10.

Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis
1 juvenile at Lagoa das Furnas, São Miguel on 21-10.

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix conturbans
1 bird flushed at Praía da Vittoria ponds, Terçeira on 20-10 (probably of introduced subspecies C. c. conturbans).

Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris (diomedea) borealis
Very common throughout the archipelago, often in the hundreds. Also recorded in harbours and 1 fledged juvenile was found in the harbour of Lajes, Flores.

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
15 birds were seen from Ponta Delgada, São Miguel harbour on 16 and 22-10.

Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus
1 bird was seen with Manx and Cory’s Shearwaters from Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10 (also seen by others some days before, constituting the 6th record for the Azores).

Macronesian (Little) Shearwater Puffinus (assimilis) baroli
2 birds were observed from Monte de Guia south of Horta on Faial on 17-10.

Snowy Egret Egretta thula
1 immature bird was observed at Santa Cruz harbour, Flores on 17-10 (presumably the same bird was later seen and photographed at Fajã Grande).

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
4 birds were seen at Mosteiros, São Miguel on 21-10 and 2 birds at Villa Franca do Campo, São Miguel on 22-10.

(American) Great Egret Casmorodius albus
1 bird at Fajã Grande, Flores on 18-10 and 1 at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19-10.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Recorded on most islands in small numbers, with maximum of 5 at Santa Cruz airport, Flores on 17-10.

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
1 immature flew north over Fajãzinha, Flores and was not seen subsequently (could it have been the bird from Corvo?).

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
1 colour ringed immature was seen at Santa Cruz airport, Flores on 19-10. It most probably originated from the Netherlands.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo rotschildi
Recorded frequently.

Merlin Falco columbarius
1 female flew south over Santa Cruz airport, Flores on 17-10 (looking very big and dark it may have been of nearctic origin), probably another female was recorded 1 hour later over Lagoa Funda on the other side of Flores.

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Recorded on Terçeira and São Miguel. Maximum was 6 at Praía da Vittoria ponds, Terçeira on 20-10.

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
Recorded on Terçeira and São Miguel. Maximum was at least 19 at Lagoa Azul, São Miguel.

Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Only recorded at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10 (at least 4 individuals).

Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus
4 birds were at Porto Pim, Faial, 1 on Horta airport, Faial, 4 at Santa Cruz airport, Flores and 1 at Fajã Grande harbour, Flores on 17-10.
9 at Fajã Grande soccer field, Flores, 4 at Ponta Delgada soccer field, Flores and 10 at Ponta do Albarnaz, Flores on 18-10.
2 at Santa Cruz airport, Flores (same as yesterday) and 3 at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19-10.
1 at Praía da Vittoria marina, Terçeira, 6 at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira and 1 at Lajes airport, Terçeira on 20-10.
1 at Mosteiros, São Miguel on 21-10.
A total of at least 42 different birds was seen and many photographed.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Several dozens present at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica
1 juvenile was at Fajã Grande soccer field, Flores on 18-10. 3 were present at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
4 were present at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

Red Knot Calidris canutus
2 were at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10. 1 adult and 2 juveniles were present at Fajã Grande soccer field, Flores on 18-10.

Sandeling Calidris alba
Only recorded at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10 where dozens were present.

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla
1 at Horta airport, Faial on 17-10. 2 at Ponta Delgada soccerfield, Flores and 1 at Ponta do Albarnaz, Flores on 18-10. 10 at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19-10 (6 still present on 20-10).

Little Stint Calidris minuta
1 juvenile at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla
1 at Santa Cruz airport, Flores on 19-10 and 1 present at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
1 at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10.
2 at Santa Cruz airport, Flores on 17-10.
1 at Lajes, Flores, 2 at Fajã Grande soccerfield, Flores, 3 at Ponta Delgada soccerfield and Flores, 6 at Ponta do Albarnaz, Flores on 18-10.
3 at Santa Cruz airport, Flores (1 more than 17-10) and 7 at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19-10.
11 at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 20-10.
1 at Lagoa das Furnas, São Miguel on 21-10.
A total of 28 different birds was seen.

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
2 at Santa Cruz airport, Flores on 17-10. 1 at 6 at Ponta do Albarnaz, Flores on 18-10. 3 at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19-10 (2 still present on 20-10).

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
2 birds were at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
1 male was at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
1 juvenile was at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10 (3d to the Azores).

Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
3 observations on Flores: 1 between Fajã Grande and Lajes on 17-10 and 1 at Ponta da Fajã and 1 SE of Ponta Delgada on 18-10.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus
Present on all visited islands in small numbers. Despite scrutinizing all birds no hudsonicus was found.

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
1 bird was at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 20-10.

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
1 juvenile was at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10 and another was at Lajes airport, Terçeira on 20-10.

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius
1 elusive juvenile was at Lagoa das Furnas, São Miguel on 21-10.

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Common on nearly all coastal areas.

Laughing Gull Larus atricilla
1 adult winter at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 19 and 20-10.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
1 first winter at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10. 1 first winter at Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 20-10. 5 first winters at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 22-10.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delewarensis
1 ad winter at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10.

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
1 ad winter at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus
1 ad winter at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis atlantis
Common throughout the archipelago.

Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
1 adult at Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel and 1 adult at Horta harbour, Faial on 16-10.

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
2 adult and 1 first winter at Horta harbour, Faial on 16-10.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Very common throughout the archipelago, with maximum of 500 at Horta harbour, Faial on 16-10.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
8 were flying east past Ponta Delgada harbour, São Miguel on 16-10.

Razorbill Alca torda
1 adult winter was seen and photographed at Praía da Vittoria marina, Terçeira on 20-10 (only the 3d to the Azores.

Rock Dove Columba livia
Feral pigeons were common throughout; possible pure Rock Pigeons were at Monte de Guia, Faial on 17-10.

Common Woodpigeon Columba palumbus azorica
Common in most forested areas.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus americanus
1 (presumably adult) at Ponta da Fajã and another at Ponta Delgada, Flores on 18-10.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea patriciae
Common throughout.

European Robin Erithacus rubecula
Common throughout (not on Flores).

Common Blackbird Turdus merula azorensis
Common throughout.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla gularis
Common throughout.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus inermis / azoricus
Common throughout.

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris granti
Common throughout.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Common throughout.

Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
Recorded at Praía da Vittoria ponds and Cabo da Praía quarry, Terçeira on 20-10.

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs moreletti
Common throughout.

Atlantic Canary Serinus canaria
Common throughout.

European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris aurantiiventris
Common at Ponta Delgada, São Miguel.

European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis parva
Common throughout.

Azorean (Eurasian) Bullfinch Pyrrhula (pyrrhula) murina
Quite common at Serra do Tronqueira, São Miguel. At least 8 individuals were seen and 5-10 more were heard. Best area was the open area before you drive into the forest when you come from the direction of Furnas.

Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus
1 individual was seen at last light on the hill above the soccerfield of Ponta Delgada, Flores on 18-10.

74 species were recorded.