For quite some time we have had a scheduled trip to Madeira. A trip focused on Tubenoses (Petrels, Storm-petrels and Shearwaters) with three days of pelagics. On short notice we decided to go to the Azores prior to the Madeira trip. A few heavy-weight rarities have been present on the Island of Terceira for a while. It’s surprisingly easy and cheap to go a place as exotic and far away as the Azores. While fiddling with the rental car at the airport a birder approaches us and asks – Are you going for the Tattler. Hey yeahhhhh. We hung out with WP twitcher Thierry Jansen for two days. Terceira has one pond, called “The Quarry”.
It’s fed by tidal water and boy is that a good pond. It’s just a few minutes drive from the airport. We immediately went there together with Thierry and the Gray-tailed Tattler was there.
The Tattler has been present in the quarry for the better part of the summer. It has proved to be a tricky bird though, this was the second trip to the Azores for Thierry. We were lucky, it just stood there begging to be photographed. Phuuuwww. Flying all the way to the Azores and dip would have been horrible. The quarry was teeming with waders. Mostly Sanderlings, Kentish Plovers and Turnstones.
Quite a few Semi-palmated Plovers were feeding in the pond.
Soon though – Erik screams – or rather makes funny noices. A White-rumped Sandpiper was there.
Earlier in the year, we were very very close to a Hudsonian Whimbrel on our England twitch tour in January. At the time, we decided to skip that Whimbrel, it’s not an IOC species and we were in a hurry. We got it now now though, in the quarry. We love the quarry!!
Off from the quarry to the southern end of Terceira where a Snowy Egret had been reported. This has also been a tricky bird, people have searched for it for days without finding it. When we came, with our usual luck, it just stood there with it’s yellow legs and lore.
At the same place where the Egret hung out, there was a colony of terns with mostly Common Terns but quite a few Roseate Terns. Our original year-plan was to get the Roseate Tern on Ireland, they were very easy to find here.
From a rarity point of view a very good bird we found at the site with the Roseate Terns was a Bridled Tern, apparently the 17’th find on the Azores.
After lunch we obviously had to go back to the quarry – and what do you know – a few new birds had arrived. Self found Semi and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
What a place – the quarry. Next time we go the Azores we’re definitely going to plan for a stop on Terceira.
Next morning, new birds again in the quarry. A Pec stood there.