25 Januar 2014

Birding Cape Verde, Vogelbeobachtung Cabo Verde: 1) Santiago Island

With a small group of excellent South-African birders we travelled to some other islands of Cape Verde. Here some of the specialities.
Migrants from the European North, a few vagrants from Western Africa (at the moment Intermediate Egret and Black Egret, and some rarities from North America (like Spotted Sandpiper or Lesser 
Scaup) give a very interesting mix of species for birders to see.
Should I have made any mistakes in identifying the birds, I beg for pardon and correction!

Mit einer kleinen Gruppe von Vogelkundlern aus Südafrika waren wir in den letzten Tagen auf den Inseln unterwegs. Hier einige Besonderheiten und Raritäten.
Auf den Kapverden können im Winter Zugvögel aus dem hohen Norden Europas beobachtet werden, 
dazu vielleicht einige westafrikanische Arten (wie derzeit Mittelreiher und Glockenreiher) und dann kommen mit etwas Glück noch einige Irrgäste aus Amerika dazu (diesmal Drosseluferläufer und Kleine Bergente). 
Wenn mir Fehler bei der Bestimmung unterlaufen, bitte ich um Korrektur (und Verzeihung!)

Santiago Island:

Montenegro, looking for the kite
We are sure we saw a kite with reddish, forked tail! We'll try to find it again.

bay at Moia Moia

Tropicbird and Brown Booby, Sula leucogaster

Red-billed Tropicbird, Phaeton aethereus

on the open Hilux it is very windy, but the view is good

Reservoir at Poilao
 Am Stausee auf der Insel Santiago, at the reservoir at Poilao: a vagrant from North America
Kleine Bergente, Lesser Scaup, Aythya affinis

Löffelente, Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata

Küstenreiher, dunkle Phase, helle Phase, und Seidenreiher im Vergleich.
Western Reef Heron, dark and white phase, Little White Egret.

endemic Passer Jagoensis

Italiensperling, Spanish sparrow, Passer hispaniolensis
endemic Cape Verde Warbler, Acrocephalos brevipennis

2 birds of Black Egret, Egretta ardesiaca, are still at the reservoir
The endemic Purple Heron, A.purpurea bournei, is doing very well. It is now found breeding in two colonies.

a ringed sandpiper that was also here last year

Whimbrel, Regenbrachvogel

Graukopfliest, Grey-headed Kingfisher
At Pedra Badejo lagoon: Spotted sandpiper
Die amerikanische Form unseres Flussuferläufers, der Drosseluferläufer, Actitis macularius, hat noch ein paar kleine Reste seiner Punkte am Hinterteil. Auch die kleinere Schwanzprojektion ist typisch.

Flussuferläufer, Drosseluferläufer, Actitis macularius
a rare maigrant: Oystercatcher

White-crowned Sparrowlark, Eremopterix nigriceps

Cream-coloured Courser, Cursorius Cursor

At the east coast: Little Tern, Sternula albifrons

Little Tern, Zwergseeschwalbe, Sternula albifrons

We now have the Barn Owl, Tyto alba, staked out at a place where it is easy to photograph.

Tyto alba detorta
At the new dam in Ribeira dos Picos (Faveta) we found coot and moorhen.
the new reservoir at Fundura looks very promising

Birdwatching Cape Verde: 2.) Boavista. Vogelbeobachtung auf Boavista

The only place in the Western Palaearctic and in Africa where one can see Giant Fregatebird
(Fregata magnificens) is a tiny island a few hunded meters off the south coast of Boavista. Apparently a group of about a dozen birds was once bown over from America. The number has now declined to two females so the population is destined to extinction unless males turn up pretty soon and the females start breeding.
Access to the island is forbidden and quite impossible. The views from the boat are excellent. Photography is difficult, depending on the wind, tides and waves.

Fregatebird and feeding Brown Booby in front

In the desert of Boavista chances to get pictures of Hoopoe-lark (Alaemon alaudipes) from the car are quite good.

The lagoon near Rabil is close to the hotels. It is a very beautiful birding spot. We saw cormorants, herons, waders and a Caspian Tern.

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), Raubseeschwalbe, has a black tip to the beak

Birdwatching on Cabo Verde. 3.) Sal

Sal Island is a paradise for surfers and kiters all year round. Concerning landscape it is not very attractive. An excursion to a crater with a saltwater lagoon is all that tourists are offered as a change from resort life.

The lagoon in the crater and the rest of the old salt works in and behing Santa Maria are surprisingly good spots for migrating waders in winter. We arrived late in the evening so the first shots are a bit blueish.

Curlew Sandpiper and Kentish Plover, Sichelstrandläufer und Seeregenpfeifer
Curlew Sandpiper and Sanderling, Sichelstrandläufer und Sanderling
Curlew Sandpiper and Sanderling

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidirs ferruginea), Sichelstrandläufer
Thank you to Martin Gottschling who set me right on the difference between Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper in winter plumage: Curlew Sp. is slightly bigger, has a less curved bill, and longer legs than Dunlin.

Dunlin, Alpenstrandläufer, has shorter legs than Curlew Sanpdiper.

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidirs ferruginea), Sichelstrandläufer

... and a Black-winged Stilt Stelzenläufer, and Sanderlings

Little Stint (Calidirs minuta) Zwergstrandläufer
Little Stint (Calidirs minuta) Zwergstrandläufer is smaller than Sanderling!
Common Redshank, Rotschenkel