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AZORES RARE AND SCARCE BIRD REPORT 2014

Number 2

Azores Bird Club

Front cover: Willet by Danielle Occhiato. Back cover: Northern Shrike by Vincent Legrand.

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CONTENTS

Introduction 4

Editorial team and principal contributors 5

Contributors to the Systematic List 6

Contributing photographers 7

Azores Ornithological Review 2014 8

Systematic List 14

Northern Shrike on Corvo: new to the Azores and the Western Palearctic 65

Barred Warbler on Flores: new to the Azores 67

South Polar Skua at the Bank of Fortune 68

Appendix 1: Additional records 70

Appendix 2: Guidelines on criteria for the assessment of records from the Azores 72

Notes for contributors 73

Back issues, useful websites and links 75

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INTRODUCTION
This is the second edition of the Azores Rare and Scare Bird Report.

The report details records from 2014 of all species defined as rare or scarce in the archipelago. In
order to document as accurately as possible the status of these species, certain criteria have been
applied for the inclusion of records in this report:

1) All records of species assessed by the national Portuguese Rarity Committee (PRC) should be
accompanied by a photographic record/description to be assessed by this reports Records
Validation Group, except where there are multiple (two or more) known observers and a
photographic record has proved to be unobtainable. Single observer records without
supporting photo/detailed description (see Appendix 2 for more information) are included in
Appendix 1. In the case of major rarities, a preliminary assessment is also undertaken by the
Records Validation Group (see Appendix 2).

2) Records of all non-national PRC species (that is, local Azores rarities) should be accompanied
by a photographic record/description for preliminary assessment by the Records Validation
Group where there have been 10 or fewer documented records. Exceptions apply as in 1)
above.

3) All non-PRC species are included without the requirement for a photographic record/
description unless reason(s) to the contrary are presented to the Records Validation Group.
All records of species which are currently under review by the PRC for continual inclusion on
the PRC ratification list (species where 75+ records have been documented) are also included
in this category (marked by an asterisk in the systematic list).

The final adjudication of such reports for the official Azores rarity record is the responsibility of the
PRC, and the Azores Rare and Scarce Bird Report aims to assist and support the work of that
committee.

We hope to improve this report year on year. Scope for development includes analysis, additional
papers and integration into other ornithological initiatives. Contributors and collaborators with ideas
for further development are therefore most welcome please see page 74 for details of how to
contribute.

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EDITORIAL TEAM

Systematic List and Editorial Group Peter Alfrey, Richard Bonser, Sofia Goulart,
Josh Jones, Dominic Mitchell, Darryl Spittle

Records Validation Group Peter Alfrey, Pierre-Andre Crochet, Richard


Bonser, Josh Jones, Vincent Legrand,
Dominic Mitchell, Darryl Spittle

Photographic Editor Vincent Legrand

PRINCIPAL CONTRIBUTORS

Azores Ornithological Review 2014 Josh Jones

Pink-footed Goose to Red-breasted Merganser Darryl Spittle

Great Northern Diver to Peregrine Falcon Peter Alfrey

Spotted Crake to Atlantic Puffin Richard Bonser

European Turtle Dove to Bobolink Josh Jones

Standardisation and species statuses Richard Bonser

Report compilation and printing Peter Alfrey

Portuguese nomenclature Sofia Goulart

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CONTRIBUTORS TO THE SYSTEMATIC LIST
Janne Aalto (JA) Richard Ek (RE) Ferran Lpez Sanz (FLS)
Phil Abbott (PA) Andr Enes (AE) Manuela Loureno (MLo)
Lus Aguiar (LA) Anthony Faure (AF) Jorge Macedo (JM)
Vtor Aguiar (VA) Gary Fennemore (GF) Jordi Mart-Aledo (JMA)
Eric Jan Alblas (EJA) Carolina Ferraz (CF) Rodrigo Martins (RMa)
Peter Alfrey (PA) Joana Figueiredo (JFi) Daniel Mauras (DMa)
Niels Peter Andreasen (NPA) Jerome Fischer (JF) Paul McMahon (PM)
Andreia Areias (AA) Manfred Fleischer (MFl) Carlos Medeiros (CMe)
Carla vila (CA) Tom Francis (TFr) Valter Medeiros (VM)
Maria Manuela zera (MA) Tommy Frandsen (TF) Ceclia Melo (CM)
Susana zera (SA) Alexandre Freitas (AFr) Marco Melo (MM)
Bruno Azevedo (BA) Catia Freitas (CF) Rita Melo (RMe)
Filipe Barata (FB) Michael Fricke (MF) Fbio Mendes (FM)
Lus Barcelos (LB) Joo Paulo Gonalves (JPG) Ana Mendona (AM)
Gordon Beck (GB) Martin Gottschling (MG) Antnio Mendona (AnM)
Chris Bell (CB) Antoine Goullo (AG) Joo Pedro Meneses (JPM)
Etienne Bertouille (EB) Sofia Goulart (SG) Gerbrand Michielsen (GM)
Jerry Bettencourt (JB) Radosaw Gwd (RG) Guy Mirgain (GMi)
Nuno Bicudo da Ponte Kari Haataja (KH) Dominic Mitchell (DMi)
(NBdP) Seppo Haavisto (SH) Rami Mizrachi (RM)
Jurgen Blessing (JBl) Jens Srgaard Hansen (JSH) David Monticelli (DM)
Richard Bonser (RB) Justin Hart (JH) Kelle Moreau (KM)
Ftima Borba (FB) Stewart Hinley (SHi) Lars Mortensen (LM)
Diana Braga (DB) Thierry Jansen (TJ) Nlson Moura (NM)
Mariana Brito (MBr) Seppo Jrvinen (SJ) Angelo Nava (AN)
Mika Bruun (MB) Matthias Jentzsch (MJ) Andreas Neumann (ANe)
Angela Canha (AC) Cline Jolly (CJ) Micha Neumann (MN)
Jorge Cardoso (JC) Josh Jones (JJ) Jorge Neves (JNe)
Bosse Carlsson (BC) Pedro Jorge (PJ) Dora Nicolau (DN)
Remo Ciuffardi (RCi) Graeme Joynt (GJ) Lars Gte Nilsson (LGN)
David Clarke (DC) Zbigniew Kajzer (ZK) Jarl Nystrom (JN)
Elizabeth Coelho (EC) Georgs Kornilovs (GK) Daniele Occhiato (DO)
Rben Coelho (RC) Tino Korpimaki (TK) Nuno Oliveira (NO)
Rufino Cordeiro (RCo) Andrzej Komicki (AK) Rui Oliveira (RO)
Marta Cunha (MC) Petri Kunho (PK) Clia Ourique (CO)
Pierre-Andre Crochet (PAC) Thomas Lang (TL) Paulo Paixo (PP)
Stanislaw Czyz (SC) Kalle Larsson (KL) Hannu Palojrvi (HP)
Ernie Davis (EDa) Vincent Legrand (VL) Bruno Pereira (BP)
Eric Didner (ED) Christian Leth (CL) Carlos Pereira (CP)
Ricardo van Dijk (RvD) Micaela Lopes (ML) Ramss Prez (RP)
Hugues Dufourny (HD) Vera Lopes (VLo) Tnia Pipa (TP)
Stephen Dunstan (SD) Yaiza Lpez (YL) Karel Poprach (KP)
Dimitri Van de Populiere Andreas Sandberg (AS) Joaquim Teodsio (JT)
(DVdP) Markku Santamaa (MSa) Ingvar Torsson (IT)
Tiago Resendes (TRe) David Santos (DSa) Chris Townend (CT)
Carlos Ribeiro (CR) Snia Santos (SS) Vanessa Vagundes (VV)
Jouni Riihimki (JR) Martin Scott (MS) Dejalme Vargas (DVa)
Kathy Rita (KR) Jesper Segergren (JS) Diana Vertentes (DVe)
John Roberts (JR) Richard Seve (RSe) Andr Vieira (AVi)
Sue Roberts (SR) Carlos Silva (CS) Duarte Vieira (DV)
Tiago Rodrigues (TR) Patrcia Simes (PS) Alan Vittery (AV)
Marisa Rodrigues (MR) Marcin Solowiej (MSo) Nico de Vries (NdV)
Kris de Rouck (KdR) Rainer Sottorf (RS) Ingo Weiss (IW)
Carlos Rben (CRu) Silke Sottorf (SSo) Esther Zaeytudt (EZ)
Ilkka Sahi (IS) Darryl Spittle (DS) Michal Zawadzki (MZ)
Hugo Sampaio (HS) Lisa Steiner (LS)

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Richard Bonser Justin Hart Dora Nicolau
Diana Braga Petri Kuhno Daniele Occhiato
Elizabeth Coelho Vincent Legrand Bruno Pereira
Rben Coelho Gerbrand Michielsen Kathy Rita
Ricardo van Dijk Dominic Mitchell Chris Townend
Joo Paulo Gonalves David Monticelli Marcin Solowiej
Jens Srgaard Hansen Nlson Moura

Snowy Owl, Faj Grande, Flores, October (Chris Townend)

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AZORES ORNITHOLOGICAL REVIEW 2014
January

The year began with the continued presence of the Short-billed Dowitcher at Cabo da Praia, Terceira,
throughout January, while wildfowl wintering at nearby Paul da Praia included 11 American Wigeon,
four Greater Scaup and a Lesser Scaup.

The rarest bird of the month was the Azores second-ever Common Merganser, at Ponta das
Contendas, Terceira, on 11-12th. The 11th Green Heron for the islands was discovered at Sete Cidades,
So Miguel, on 24th and was still there two days later. The Azores fifth Yellow-crowned Night Heron,
found at Ribeira de So Francisco, Santa Maria, in December 2013, was still present there to 16 th,
alongside a Black-crowned Night Heron on 9th.

A Hudsonian Whimbrel was at Barca, Pico, on 27 th, a Least Sandpiper was at Santa Cruz, Flores, on
24th and Wilsons Snipe records were received from Terceira and So Miguel. The American Coot and
Pied-billed Grebe remained at Lagoa Azul, So Miguel, throughout and the Azores 14 th Surf Scoter
was at Vila do Porto, Santa Maria, from 7th onwards. A Little Auk was taken into care at Calhau, Pico,
on 18th and later released. Five White Wagtails at Vila do Porto, Santa Maria, on 16-17 th January
represented the largest flock ever recorded in the Azores.

A good influx of white-winged gulls occurred in the second half of the month and included an
impressive five Iceland and four Glaucous Gulls at Praia da Vitria harbour, Terceira, on 31 st. Birds
were seen on all the main islands, with as many as 15 Glaucous, 10 Iceland and at least four
Kumliens Gulls noted.

February

The surprise reappearance of the previous autumns Northern Flicker on Faial was the highlight of
the month; it was seen at Pedro Miguel botanical garden on 26-27 th. On the same island an immature
American Purple Gallinule spent four days at Conceio from 16 th and a Squacco Heron was found at
Angustias on 7th the ninth and 20th Azorean records respectively.

Two Oystercatchers on So Jorge were the first Azorean records since the long-staying individual of
the Central Asian subspecies longipes, but were of the more expected nominate subspecies
ostralegus.

The Green Heron continued on So Miguel all month, with the Sete Cidades area also hosting a Red-
throated Pipit on 20th the 13th for the Azores and first since 2011 and a White Wagtail.

Other highlights included a Pink-footed Goose on Terceira and the continuing mini-influx of white-
winged gulls, with Glaucous Gulls most numerous and including an impressive five together on Flores
on 2nd.

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March

A quieter month, with the highlight being a Common Cuckoo at Mirateca, Pico, on 13 th the first
Azorean record since 2007. Migrants were otherwise sparse, with a Wood Sandpiper on Santa Maria
for two days and a Purple Heron on the same island for much of the first half of the month.

Lingering highlights included the Green Heron on So Miguel all month and a Hudsonian Whimbrel
again at Cabo da Praia, Terceira, where the Short-billed Dowitcher also remained. Elsewhere, a
Semipalmated Plover was at Ribeira Grande, So Miguel, from 14-24 th. The Great Blue Heron was
again at Lajes do Pico on 1st, while a count of three Purple Sandpipers on Pico was the highest of the
year.

April

Arguably the quietest month of the year, with very little new of significance found. A Squacco Heron
at Ribeira dos Flamengos, Faial, from 16th was likely to have been the bird from February. In stark
contrast to April 2013, when the entire archipelago was subject to a huge influx of hirundines, just
one was noted: a Barn Swallow on So Miguel on 25 th.

A Wood Sandpiper was on Terceira on 29th and a drake Lesser Scaup was found in the unusual
location of Madalena harbour, Pico, from 26th. The Green Heron and American Coot were last seen
on So Miguel on 10th and a female Common Pochard was on Terceira, where there were up to six
Great Northern Divers at Baia do Fanal.

May

Santa Maria claimed the Azores third Spotted Flycatcher and the first in spring at Lagoa do Ginjal
on 10th, as well as a European Turtle Dove mid-month and two Common Swifts on 4 th. There was a
reasonable influx of hirundines across three islands that involved 18 Barn Swallows and 35 House
Martins, the latter including a flock of 25 on Santa Maria on 17 th.

A small northbound movement of Hudsonian Whimbrel saw birds at Poa da Rainha, Faial, from 8 th,
So Roque, So Miguel, on 18th and Criao Velho, Pico, on 19th, in addition to the long-staying bird
on Terceira. An extremely impressive total of 150 Wilsons Storm-petrels was noted at sea south of
Pico on 9th.

Further Squacco Heron reports from Faial on 4 th and 30th presumably related to a long-staying
individual. A drake Green-winged Teal was at Paul da Praia, Terceira, on 3 rd with a single Greater
Scaup remaining there until 27th and a female Common Pochard calling in mid-month.

June

Somewhat surprising for mid-summer was the discovery of at least two Snowy Owls. The first was
found at Morro Alto, Flores, on 21st, with a second bird then discovered on Pico the very next day; it
or another was then seen on neighbouring So Jorge on 28 th. Similarly unseasonable was the arrival
of a Canada Goose at Paul da Praia, Terceira, on 11 th which was seen sporadically over the following
fortnight.

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The seventh Franklins Gull for the Azores was at Lajes, Flores, on 12 th the first record for the
archipelago since November 2006. Hudsonian Whimbrels remained on Faial and Terceira, with the
latter island also holding onto the Short-billed Dowitcher.

July

News that a pair of Sooty Terns had returned to Ilhu da Praia, Graciosa, on the first day of the
month was welcome. A White-faced Storm-petrel seen from a pelagic at the Condor Seamount, off
Pico, on 17th was the only record of the year, while a Hudsonian Whimbrel was also seen on Pico that
day.

A European Turtle Dove at Cais do Mourato, Pico, on 4 th was the first July record for the Azores. July
also produced the only 2014 record of American Black Duck away from the core population on
Flores, with a female at Lagoa do Capito, Pico, on 1 st.

August

A prosperous month for seabird records included a memorable pelagic trip to the Condor Seamount,
off Pico, on 23rd, which produced two different Trindade Petrels and a Bridled Tern, as well as several
Wilsons Storm-petrels. A Feas-type Petrel was seen between Pico and Faial on 28 th.

A pelagic trip to the Bank of Fortune, off Graciosa, on 27 th produced the Azores fourth record of
Swinhoes Storm-petrel and sixth of South Polar Skua the latter also the first August record for the
archipelago as well as a Sabines Gull. The following day produced two Long-tailed Skuas.

Confirmation came on 26th that the pair of Sooty Terns present on Ilhu da Praia, Graciosa, had
successfully fledged a single youngster just the second confirmed breeding record for the Azores
and Europe.

Early returning waders included a Lesser Yellowlegs on So Miguel on 9 th, while an adult
Semipalmated Sandpiper at Cabo da Praia, Terceira, on 23 rd was followed by the first juvenile there
two days later and the first adult White-rumped Sandpiper of the autumn on 26 th, increasing to three
by 30th.

An early American Wigeon was on Pico on 28 th, that island also producing Wilsons Snipe and Wood
Sandpiper on the same date. Seven Glossy Ibises were at Lagoa das Furnas, So Miguel, on 18 th. The
Snowy Owl from June was again seen on Flores on 14 th, this time above Faj Grande.

September

By Azorean standards it was a quiet September, the highlight being the archipelagos first Barred
Warbler, found between Fajzinha and Faj Grande, Flores, on 23 rd, though a Willet of the western
subspecies inornata at Ponta Delgada ETAR, So Miguel, from 25 th was the only the eighth Azorean
record and a great find.

The Short-billed Dowitcher passed a year in residence at Cabo da Praia and was present all month. It
was a poor month generally for Nearctic shorebirds, though, with maxima at the site including just
three White-rumped Sandpipers, two Semipalmated Sandpipers and a single Pectoral Sandpiper, as
well as a Spotted Sandpiper from 4-15th. Elsewhere, three Pectoral Sandpipers were at Achada das

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Furnas, So Miguel, on 22nd and a Hudsonian Whimbrel was on the same island at Ponta Delgada
ETAR on 8th; a Wilsons Snipe was found on Santa Maria on 18 th and Lesser Yellowlegs were seen on
Santa Maria and Flores. Up to four Semipalmated Plovers were at Cabo da Praia throughout the
month, with others on So Miguel on 5 th and Flores on 17th.

A juvenile Great Blue Heron was at Baa do Fanal, Terceira, from 24 th. The Glossy Ibis flock at Lagoa
das Furnas, So Miguel, increased to 29 on 8 th but numbers dropped away thereafter. On Flores, the
Snowy Owl was again seen in the Faj Grande area from 25 th.

The drake Wood Duck returned to Lagoa Branca, Flores, on 28 th. A flock of four Blue-winged Teal was
at Cabo da Praia, Terceira, from 3-21st but had decreased to just one by 28 th.

October

The unquestionable highlight of the month was the first Northern Shrike of the Nearctic form
borealis for the Azores and Western Palearctic, present on Corvo from 18-30 th. In total a minimum of
37 individuals of 16 Nearctic landbird species was seen on the island in October, with other headline
birds including the Azores (and Corvos) fifth Black-throated Green Warbler from 19-24 th, two
different Yellow-billed Cuckoos in Vila Nova, Corvo, in two days and a Chimney Swift on the same
island on 28-29th.

Also on Corvo, a minimum of three Black-and-white Warblers and three Scarlet Tanagers was seen
during October as well as two Cliff Swallows, two Northern Parulas, two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks,
two Indigo Buntings and singles of Philadelphia Vireo, Blackpoll Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and
Bobolink. In addition, a record arrival of Buff-bellied Pipits involved at least five (but probably eight)
birds from 3rd onwards, and the best showing of Red-eyed Vireos since 2005 saw a minimum of nine
individuals recorded.

Bird of the month on Flores was the first Twite for the Azores, at Ponta Albarnaz on 15 th, and a
Western Marsh Harrier on 17th and 19th was also noteworthy on the same island.

Sightings of up to three Collared Doves on Corvo confirmed that this remarkable species has now
reached the westerly reaches of the archipelago, while a Common Redpoll was seen around the
island from 16th. The second and third Tree Pipits for the Azores occurred on 27 th and 29th, with a
Spotted Flycatcher on 26th, the Azores ninth Yellow Wagtail from 8-11 th and a Spotted Crake on 18th.
The Snowy Owl also visited Corvo for three days from 5 th after last being seen on Flores on 3rd.

Nearctic landbird sightings were typically scant away from Corvo, although Flores produced both
Scarlet Tanager and Bobolink on 8th, a Red-eyed Vireo at Costa do Lajedo on 19 th and a Blackpoll
Warbler at Ponta Delgada on 22nd. Another Red-eyed Vireo was at Serrata, Terceira, on 17 th.

The continued presence of the Willet on So Miguel was the best of the shorebirds and a highlight
for many visiting birders throughout the month. Two Buff-breasted Sandpipers were at Ponta da
Albarnaz, Flores, on 1st, with one still the following day. Two Lesser Yellowlegs were are Cabo da
Praia, Terceira, from 8-18th with others on Flores, Corvo and Faial, this last unfortunately being found
dead on 26th.

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The only Long-billed Dowitcher of the month was on Corvo on 31 st, while the Short-billed remained
on Terceira throughout and the only American Golden Plover of October was also noted at Cabo da
Praia on 5th. Peak counts of White-rumped Sandpiper included 11 on Flores on 21 st and tens on Corvo
on 15th and Terceira on 16th. A juvenile Bairds Sandpiper at Ponta Delgada, Flores, from 15-27 th was a
good October record. At least four Wilsons Snipe on Corvo included an unusually confiding bird on
12th and one which crash-landed on rocks in the old harbour on 14 th; there was also a rare record
from Flores on 21st in addition to at least one on Terceira.

November

A reasonably quiet November saw a new Great Blue Heron the third of the year arrive at Lagoa
Azul, So Miguel, on 1st and linger to 19th. Also on the island, the Willet lingered at Ponta Delgada
ETAR throughout, with a Forsters Tern nearby at So Roque on 17 th.

Two American Coots arrived during the month: one at Lagoa do Paul, Pico, on 20 th was followed by
an individual showing very well at Altares, Terceira, on 29 th. A Pied-billed Grebe was at Feteira, Faial,
on 24th and the long-stayer remained on So Miguel throughout; a second bird arrived on the island
at Lagoa das Furnas on 15th and lingered to the end of the year.

A Greater Yellowlegs at Lajes do Pico from 20-22 nd was the only individual of this species seen in the
Azores in 2014. The island also hosted a couple of American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Wilsons
Snipe and Semipalmated Sandpiper in November.

Highlights from Terceira included the continuing Great Blue Heron at Baia do Fanal and Short-billed
Dowitcher at Cabo da Praia. New arrivals included a Ring-necked Duck on 6 th, Surf Scoter off Angra do
Herosmo on 9th, Lesser Scaup at Paul da Praia from 11th, six American Wigeon at Paul da Praia on 13 th
rising to 11 the following day, and a couple each of Greater Scaup and Blue-winged Teal.

A female Red-breasted Merganser was a good find in the new harbour on Corvo on 3 rd, a Great
Northern Diver also being seen there on 9 th.

A Squacco Heron was at Ribeira de So Francisco, Santa Maria, on 7 th, with a Purple Heron still on the
island the previous day and a Buff-bellied Pipit at Cova do Areo from 7-26 th. Up to five Cattle Egrets
were seen on Faial, with the island also producing a Spotted Sandpiper.

December

The month began with another American Coot, this time at Lagoa de Pedro Miguel, Faial, on 1 st. A
Hudsonian Whimbrel was seen at Porto Pim on 16 th and the first Long-tailed Duck for the island was
noted in Horta harbour from 30th.

A Double-crested Cormorant was found at So Mateus, Terceira, on 14 th with presumably the same
bird then at Ponta das Contendas on 30-31 st. Also on the island was a Hen/Northern Harrier at Malha
Grande on 7th, the American Wigeon flock at Paul da Praia increased to 15 (with 16 on 31 st), two Surf
Scoters were in the Angra do Herosmo area on 4th and a late American Golden Plover went on to
make an extended stay at Cabo da Praia following its arrival on 13 th. The Great Blue Heron and Short-
billed Dowitcher also continued in residence on Terceira.

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What was presumably the same Snowy Owl from the autumn was back on Flores on 7 th after last
being noted on Corvo in early October. On So Miguel the Willet continued to be seen infrequently at
Ponta Delgada ETAR, with a Long-tailed Duck also there on 18-19 th, while a female Lesser Scaup
arrived at Faj de Cima on 26th.

The Great Blue Heron remained on Pico throughout December, with the island also producing
Semipalmated Plover and Ring-billed Gull. Up to six Dotterel were on Santa Maria towards the end of
the year.

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SYSTEMATIC LIST FOR 2014
Pink-footed Goose (Ganso-de-bico-curto) Anser brachyrhynchus National PRC species
Rare autumn and winter vagrant.
Terceira one at Cabo da Praia on 1st February; the 17th record for the Azores and the fifth for Terceira
(CP, CM, PS, SA, LB).

Greylag Goose (Ganso-bravo) Anser anser Local PRC species


Rare autumn and winter vagrant.
Terceira two at Canada do Quinho Grande on 11 th January and at Canada do Junco on 15 th January
(CM, CP, RC, SG, EC et al). These birds probably originate from the flock of six (then four) recorded in
November and December 2013.

Canada Goose (Ganso-do-Canad) Branta canadensis National PRC species


Scarce autumn and winter migrant with a small number of summer records, suggesting either long-
staying individuals or birds of unknown origin (see Appendix 1).
Terceira one at Paul da Praia sporadically from 11 th to 25th June (SG et al). This individual showed
features of Todds Canada Goose B c interior.

Canada Goose Paul da Praia, Terceira, June (Ruben Coelho)

Brent Goose (Ganso-de-faces-pretas) Branta bernicla National PRC species


Rare autumn and winter vagrant.
Flores two pale-bellied birds (subspecies hrota) at Ponta Delgada on 2nd January constitute the ninth
and 10th records for the Azores and the fifth and sixth for Flores (JV).

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Barnacle Goose (Ganso-marisco) Branta leucopsis National PRC species
Rare autumn and winter vagrant, with a small number of summer records suggesting either long-
staying individuals or birds of unknown origin.
Corvo two in the Caldeiro on 9th February (CS) (first recorded on 15th October 2013).
Flores one at Lajes on 31st January (CA).

Common Shelduck (Tadorna) Tadorna tadorna Local PRC species


Rare autumn and winter vagrant.
Terceira one at Lagoa do Ginjal on 16th November constitutes the sixth for the Azores and the first
record for Terceira (JB, CP).

Wood Duck (Pato-carolino) Aix sponsa National PRC species


Very rare autumn and winter vagrant, with records often including long-staying birds. There have
been 12 records of this species on the Azores.
Flores drake at Lagoa Branca and Lagoa Lomba intermittently from 28 th September to 24th October
(CT, DMi et al); this is a long-staying individual first recorded on 19 th October 2010.

Mandarin (Pato-mandarim) Aix galericulata PRC


Rarely recorded, with records often including long-staying birds of unknown, potentially captive,
origin. A future review of its status as a naturally occurring species is required.
Graciosa drake still at Poos de Santa Cruz on 26th and 29th August (RB, RE, JS, MS, MG et al); a long-
staying and tame bird first recorded on 9th February 2010.
Terceira one bearing a plastic ring was at Cabo da Praia from 1 st to 13th September (SG, CP et al).

American Wigeon (Piadeira-americana) Anas americana PRC


Scarce autumn and winter visitor, with numbers fluctuating annually.
Corvo female/first-winter in the lower fields on 27th October (JF, MF).
Faial drake at Lagoa de Pedro Miguel from 15 th February until 12th April (AVi, DV, VM & DVa) and a
pair there on 1st December (BP).
Pico singles at Lagoa do Caiado on 2nd and 11th January, 28th August and two on 20th November (VM);
one at Lagoa do Landroal on 20th February (VM, JH), one at Lagoa do Capito on 9 th October and a
female at Lajes do Pico from 22nd November into 2015 (CM, VM, CP).
Santa Maria two at Lagoa do Ginjal from 9th-12th January (NM, AV).
So Miguel at least three (at least one drake and two females) at Lagoa Azul from 4 th January until
25th March, with an additional two females there on 3 rd March (CR, JN, GM, CS, RC et al); one at
Batalha golf course on 11th January, two at Lagoa das Furnas on 2nd February and singles on 30th
November and 3rd December (RC & GM); two (possibly the same as those at Lagoa das Furnas) were
at Ribeira da Povoao on 9th February (GM, CR, NBdP, RC).
Terceira the flock that arrived at Paul da Praia in late autumn 2013 reached a maximum total of 14
(five drakes and nine females) on 9th and 14th February, with four birds present until 6 th April (RC, EC,
MLo, S, LB et al). During the second winter period, a flock of 11 was at Paul da Praia from 14 th
November into 2015, with a maximum count of 16 on 31 st December (SG, CP, JB, RC et al).

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Monthly maxima of American Wigeon by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Corvo - - - - - - - - - 1 - -

Faial - 1 1 1 - - - - - - - 2

Pico 1 1 - - - - - 1 - 1 3 1

Santa Maria 2 - - - - - - - - - - -

So Miguel 5 6 6 - - - - - - - 1 1

Terceira 11 14 12 4 - - - - - - 11 16

American Wigeon, Lagoa de Pedro Miguel, Faial, February (Bruno Pereira)

Gadwall (Frisada) Anas strepera Local PRC species


Scarce migrant, largely occurring during autumn and winter with a small number of spring records.
Terceira one at Paul da Praia from 17th December into 2015 (RC, EC et al).

Green-winged Teal (Marrequinha-americana) Anas carolinensis


Annually occurring scarce autumn and winter visitor; females and immatures remain an
identification challenge.
So Miguel one at Achada das Furnas on 16th October; one at Lagoa das Furnas on 8th November;
singles at Lagoa Azul on 6th, 26th and 27th December with two there on 28th December (GM, RC, AM,
NPA, CS, ANe, PP, NBdP et al).
Terceira drake at Paul da Praia on 3rd May (CP, CM).

16
American Black Duck (Pato-escuro-americano) Anas rubripes National PRC species
Rare autumn and winter visitor, with a small resident population on the western islands largely
comprising hybrids with Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Subtle hybrids may account for records of this
species so care must always be taken to eliminate these.
Flores two reported near Lagoa Branca on 15th March, a female (or hybrid) there on 11 th July (LGN,
EB) and a female again on 11th October; two hybrids were at Miradouro Craveiro Lopez on 11 th
October, a female and two hybrids there on 12 th October and a female remaining until 15 th October
(as well as a total of four hybrids on the island); females were at Lagoa Lomba from 16 th until 21st
October and Lagoa Seca on 24th October (DMi, RM, RS et al); presumably all these records relate to
the same individual.
Pico female (or hybrid) at Lagoa do Capito on 1st July (EB).

Shoveler (Pato-colhereiro) Anas clypeata Local PRC


speciess
Scarce migrant, predominantly in autumn and winter with a smaller number of spring records.
So Miguel female at Lagoa das Furnas between 8th November and 28th December (RC, AM et al).
Terceira two (drake and female) at Paul da Praia on 11 th October, singles at Lagoa do Junco on 16th
October and 4th November and one at Posto de Rdio Americano on 26 th October (SG, CM, CP).

Northern Pintail (Arrbio) Anas acuta PRC species


Scarce autumn and winter migrant.
So Jorge drake at Faj dos Cubres on 27th January (DB, MC).
Santa Maria three at Abegoaria Grande on 30th January and one at Santana on 8th February and 3rd
March (NM, AV).
So Miguel drake at Lagoa Azul from 4th January to 16th February and two there on 26th and 27th
December; drake at Faj de Cima from 6 th to 16th October (CR, GM, AF, RSe, ANe, PP et al).
Terceira two (drake and female) at Canada do Junco on 16 th March (CP).

Garganey (Marreco) Anas querquedula Local PRC species


Rare spring and autumn vagrant, occurring annually in small numbers in recent years.
Pico two at Lagoa do Capito on 20th February (VM).
So Jorge drake at Faj dos Cubres on 21st June (JR, SR).
So Miguel drake at Lagoa Azul on 21st May (GM) and a juvenile at Achada das Furnas on 22 nd
September and 16th October (CR, GM et al).
Terceira two at Cabrito Reservoir from 7th to 10th October with a single bird remaining until 19 th
October (PM, RM et al).

17
Garganey, Lagoa Azul, So Miguel, May (Gerbrand Michielsen)

Blue-winged Teal (Marreca-dasa-azul) Anas discors PRC


Scarce annual autumn vagrant, often recorded in small groups, with some birds overwintering. It was
a relatively lean year for the species with 15 records presumably due to a lack of prevailing
westerly winds during September.
Pico two at Lagoa do Landroal on 20th February (VM).
So Miguel two at Caldeira do Alferes on 11th January with a female there until 10 th April (GM, CR,
NBdP); one was at Lagoa das Furnas on 8th November and four were at Lagoa de So Bras on 13 th
November (RC, AM, NPA, NdV).
Terceira four at Cabo da Praia from 3rd to 26th September, with one remaining until 16 th October (SG
et al); possibly the remaining bird was then at Paul da Praia from 17 th October, with two from 11th
November into 2015 (KdR, TJ, SG et al). One was also in Angra do Herosmo bay on 9 th November (JB).

18
Blue-winged Teal, Cabo da Praia, Terceira, September (Ruben Coelho)

Common Pochard (Zarro) Aythya ferina Local PRC species


Near annual autumn and winter vagrant, with a smaller number of spring records.
Terceira female at Paul da Praia from 12th until 18th May (SG et al).

Ring-necked Duck (Caturro) Aythya collaris


Annual autumn and winter visitor in small numbers from North America.
Faial drake at Lagoa de Pedro Miguel from 18 th January to 5th February (AVi, DV, BP).
Pico first-winter at Lagoa do Caiado on 15th October and drake there on 20th November (VM).
So Miguel drake at Faj de Cima from 11th January until 10th April (GM, CR, NBdP et al), a pair at
Lagoa das Furnas from 19th to 26th January, one remaining until 2nd February (RC et al), and a drake
there on 30th November and 28th December (RC, GM, ANe, NBdP); two drakes at Lagoa Azul from 23 rd
January to 4th March with one until 10th April, and a female there on 25th March (JN, GM, CR, CF, KP et
al) and one at Ribeira da Povoao on 9 th February (RC) (possibly from Lagoa das Furnas).
Terceira one at Lagoa do Pico dos Pedreiros on 6 th November and a drake at Paul da Praia from 21 st
November into 2015 (JB, CP, CM et al).
Monthly maxima of Ring-necked Duck by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Faial 1 1 - - - - - - - - - -

Pico - - - - - - - - - 1 1 -

So Miguel 5 4 4 2 - - - - - - 1 1

Terceira - - - - - - - - - - 2 1

Tufted Duck (Negrinha) Aythya fuligula PRC species

19
Regular, though scarce, autumn and winter migrant from Europe.
So Jorge one at Faj dos Cubres on 27th January and 28th February (DB, MC, FM).
So Miguel drake at Faj de Cima from 25th January to 5th March (GM, CR, RC & CS), drake at Lagoa
das Furnas on 8th November, a female there on 15th November and two on 30th November (RC, AM).
Terceira three at Paul da Praia on 6th January peaked at seven on 15th January, with a February peak
of five from 17th to 23rd, reducing to four by 2nd March, two by 13th March and a female until 12th May
(SG, CM, CP et al). During the second winter period, two were at Reservatrio do Cabrito from 1 st to
6th November; three at Paul da Praia from 11 th November increased to five from 17th December (CP,
LB, S, SG, RC, EC et al).
Monthly maxima of Tufted Duck by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

So Jorge 1 1 - - - - - - - - - -

So Miguel 1 1 1 - - - - - - - 3 -

Terceira 7 5 4 1 1 - - - - - 5 5

Ring-necked Duck (left) and Tufted Duck, Lagoa das Furnas, So Miguel, November (Ruben Coelho)

20
Greater Scaup (Negrelho) Aythya marila
Regular but scarce autumn and winter visitor. Records emanate from either European or North
American populations as racial identification is in its infancy.
So Miguel four at Lagoa Azul on 11th January with a female from 25th January to 25th March (GM, CR,
NBdP et al); a pair were at Faj de Cima on 25th January (possibly the birds from Lagoa Azul), with
one until 1st February (GM, CR, RC, CS).
Terceira one at Paul da Praia on 6th January increasing to four (two drakes and two females) from 11 th
January to 16th March, two (pair) until 6th April with a drake remaining until 27 th May (RC, EC, SG, CM,
CP et al). During the second winter period, singles at Paul da Praia from 29 th October into 2015 and at
Cabrito reservoir from 1st to 6th November (CP, LB, SA, SG et al).
Monthly maxima of Greater Scaup by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

So Miguel 4 2 1 - - - - - - - - -

Terceira 4 4 4 2 1 - - - - 1 2 1

Lesser Scaup (Negrelho-americano) Aythya affinis *National PRC species


Annual autumn and winter migrant from North America in very small numbers. 2014 was an
excellent year for the species, with a group of three birds together on So Miguel being the peak
count.
Pico drake at Madalena harbour from 26th April to 12th May (JH, AVi, DV).
So Miguel one at Lagoa Azul on 11th January; a female at Faj de Cima on 25 th January to 1st
February increasing to three (drake and two females) from 4 th February until 10th April (GM, CR,
NBdP, RC, CS, MD et al). A female was at Faj de Cima on 26 th and 29th December (GM, ANe, PP).
Terceira drake at Paul da Praia from 11th January to 22nd March was joined by a female on 1st February
(CM, CP, RC, SG, EC et al). In the second winter period, one was again present at Paul da Praia from
11th November into 2015 (SG, CP et al).
Monthly maxima of Lesser Scaup by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Pico - - - 1 1 - - - - - - -

So Miguel 2 3 3 3 - - - - - - - 1

Terceira 1 2 1 - - - - - - - 1 1

Long-tailed Duck (Pato-rabilongo) Clangula hyemalis National PRC species


Rare late autumn and winter vagrant. Following the four records in 2013, a further individual
recorded this year constituted the 15th record for the Azores.
Faial first-winter drake at Horta harbour from 30 th December into 2015 (the same bird as recorded
on So Miguel, see below) (AVi, DV, DVa). This represents the first record for Faial.
So Miguel first-winter drake at Ponta Delgada ETAR on 18 th and 19th December (CR, NBdP et al).

21
Common Scoter (Negrola) Melanitta nigra Local PRC species
Scarce vagrant in autumn and winter, occurring annually in small numbers. There are no records to
date of the closely related Nearctic species Black Scoter (Melanitta americana).
So Miguel female at So Roque on 19th October (DO).
Terceira one in Angra do Herosmo bay on four dates from 12 th October until 4th December (MFl, LB
et al).

Surf Scoter (Negrola-de-lunetas) Melanitta perspicillata National PRC species


Rare autumn and winter vagrant, occurring in fluctuating numbers on a less-than-annual basis. This
years records constitute the 19th to 22nd records for the Azores.
Santa Maria first-winter drake at Vila do Porto on 7th January intermittently until 31st October (AV,
NM et al).
So Miguel drake at Caloura on 26th October (CMe, RMe).
Terceira one at Angra do Herosmo on 9th November, 4th and 5th December (JB, CP et al); one was also
at Baa do Fanal on 4th December (CP).

Surf Scoter, Vila do Porto, Santa Maria, August (Diana Braga)

Common Merganser (Merganso-grande) Mergus merganser National PRC species


Extremely rare winter vagrant, with one previous record (a female at Santa Cruz, Graciosa from 22 nd
until 26th February 2008). Female and immature birds of the nominate European subspecies and
Nearctic americana are, on current knowledge, indistinguishable.
Terceira female at Ponta das Contendas on 11th and 12th January, constituting the second record for
the Azores and the first for Terceira (CM, CP, RC, SG, EC, RMa).

22
Red-breasted Merganser (Merganso-de-poupa) Mergus serrator Local PRC species
Rare autumn and winter vagrant, occurring on a near-annual basis.
Corvo female/first-winter at Porto Novo on 3rd November (KR).

Great Northern Diver (Mobelha-grande) Gavia immer *Local PRC species


An increasingly regular winter visitor to the islands, with small groups of birds occasionally recorded.
Faial one at Porto Pim on 2nd to 13th January (DV).
Flores one flew past Santa Cruz on 16th March (LGN).
Graciosa one at Carapacho on 2nd March (JB).
Pico one at Madelena harbour on 10thJanuary to 3rd March (VM).
Santa Maria one at So Loureno from 2nd until 9th January (AV), presumably the same at Maia on
25th February (AV) and another at Praia Formoso on 1 st December (NM).
Terceira singles at Ponta das Contendas on 11th and 12th January (CM et al), Praia da Vitoria bay from
25th January until 1st February (JN), Porto Martins on 6th April (CP et al) and Porto de So Fernando on
9th April (SA, LB); there were six at Porto Martins on 25 th April with two there until 4th May (RC, EC et
al). In the second winter period, one was one at Baia do Fanal from 4 th to 14th December (CP), one at
Ponta das Contendas on 16th December increased to two on 30th and 31st December, and another was
at Praia da Vitria on 31st December (RC, SG).
So Miguel one at Ponta Delgada ETAR on 29th November (CR).

Pied-billed Grebe (Mergulho-caador) Podilymbus podiceps National PRC species


Rare transatlantic visitor, with new arrivals traditionally occurring in October and November. Five
records was an above average showing for this species (see Appendix 1).
So Miguel a long-staying bird (potentially present since 2010) was at Lagoa Azul all year, although
seen only intermittently (GM, CR et al). Another was at Lagoa das Furnas from 15th November until
28th December (NdV et al).

Slavonian Grebe (Mergulho-de-penachos) Podiceps auritus National PRC species


Very rare vagrant. This years record was the ninth for the Azores, and only the third in recent times
(following singles on So Miguel in 2003 and Terceira in 2011).
Santa Maria one at Vila do Porto on 9th January (NM, AV).

Northern Fulmar (Pombalete) Fulmarus glacialis National PRC species


th
Surprisingly rare vagrant, with the record below constituting the 35 record for the Azores.
Pico one found dead at Areia Larga on 18th February (VM).

Trindade Petrel (Freira-de-trindade) Pterodroma arminjoniana National PRC species


A rare pelagic vagrant, with all records between April and October. This years record was the first
multiple occurrence, constituting the 12th and 13th records for the Azores.
Faial two (one light morph and one dark morph) during a pelagic trip on the Condor Seamount on
23rd August (JH).

23
Light-morph Trindade Petrel, Condor Seamount, Faial, August (Justin Hart)

Feas Petrel (Freira-de-bugio) Pterodroma feae Local PRC species


A pelagic vagrant, recorded annually in small numbers since 2007. Unless photographed well,
sightings are perhaps best recorded as Feas-type Petrels, given that the closely related Zinos Petrel
has already been proven to occur.
Pico one between Madalena and Horta on 28 th August (VM).

Wilsons Storm-petrel (Casquilho) Oceanites oceanicus PRC species


Regular pelagic visitor, occurring in fluctuating numbers each year. Numbers recorded are wholly
dependent on the number of pelagic trips organised around the islands.
Corvo one between Corvo and Flores on 25th October (TL).
Faial several on Condor Seamount from pelagic on 23 rd August (JH).
Graciosa three on the Bank of Fortune from pelagic on 27 th August (RB et al).
Pico 150 south of Pico from pelagic on 9 th May (LS).

Swinhoes Storm-petrel (Painho-de-swinhoe) Oceanodroma monorhis National PRC species


Extremely rare pelagic visitor, first recorded in 2012. This is the fourth record for the Azores - with all
records coming from the Bank of Fortune - following sightings on 1 st August 2012, 25th August 2013
and 3rd September 2013.
Graciosa one at the Bank of Fortune from pelagic on 27 th August (RB, RE, MG, JS et al).

24
Swinhoes Storm-petrel, Bank of Fortune, Graciosa, August (Richard Bonser)

White-faced Storm-petrel (Calca-mar) Pelagodroma marina National PRC species


Pelagic species, occurring infrequently with records between late March and October. This years
record is the 17th for the Azores.
Pico one at Condor Seamount from pelagic on 17 th July (JH, NBdP).

Great Cormorant (Corvo-marinho) Phalacrocorax carbo Local PRC species


Rare late autumn and winter vagrant, being considerably rarer than the next species the 2014
records are the 16th to 18th records for the Azores.
Corvo one at Vila Nova on 27th January (PJ).
Pico one at Madalena from 28th February to 1st March (NDdP) with presumably the same bird at
Barca on 2nd March; an adult and first-winter at Ilhu Deitado, Madalena on 10 th March (VM).

Double-crested Cormorant (Corvo-marinho-de-orelhas) Phalacrocorax auritus National PRC species


Rare near-annual vagrant from North America, occurring along rocky coastlines during late autumn
and winter. There are over 50 Azorean records.
Terceira one at So Mateus on 14th December (CP, RC et al), with presumably the same bird at Ponta
das Contendas from 30th to 31st December (RC, SG).

Black-crowned Night Heron (Goraz) Nycticorax nycticorax Local PRC species


A scarce visitor in fluctuating numbers, having been recorded annually since 2008. It was a return to
more normal numbers in 2014, with two records, following an influx of 24 birds (including a flock of
18 on Santa Maria) in 2013.
Santa Maria one again at Ribeira de So Francisco from 7th to 9th January (AV) had been present on
and off since 29th October 2013.
So Miguel first-winter at Lagoa Azul on 22nd March (GM).

25
Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Gara-noturna-americana) Nycticorax violaceus National PRC species
Very rare vagrant from North America, with the first record for the islands (and Europe) being as
recently as 2010. This years record, the fifth for the Azores, involved a long staying bird from 2013.
Santa Maria one remained at Ribeira de So Francisco until 16 th January (present from 2013).

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Ribeira de So Francisco, Santa Maria, January (Diana Braga)

Little Bittern (Garote-comum) Ixobrychus minutus Local PRC species


Rare vagrant from Europe, predominantly in spring with most records between late March and mid-
May. The record below is the 29th for the Azores and the first since 2012.
So Miguel one was picked up exhausted at San Antnio, Ponta Delgada on 29 th April; it was
rehabilitated and released a few days later.

Green Heron (Gara-verde) Butorides virescens National PRC species


th
Very rare transatlantic vagrant. The record this year was the 11 for the Azores and the first since
2007.
So Miguel first-winter near Lagoa Azul from 24th January until 10th April (GM, JN et al).

26
Green Heron, Lagoa Azul, So Miguel, February (Gerbrand Michielsen)

27
Squacco Heron (Papa-ratos) Ardeola ralloides Local PRC species
Rare spring and autumn vagrant from Europe. This years records constitute the 23 and 24th for the
rd

Azores (assuming the records from Faial relate to one mobile individual).
Faial one at Augustias from 7th to 26th February (CF et al) relocating to Jardm da Praca da Republica,
Horta from 28th February to 6th March (AVi); it or another was then at Ribeira dos Flamengos from
16th April to 4th May (AVi), as was one at Porto de Castelo Branco on 30 th May (BP).
Santa Maria one at Ribeira de So Francisco on 7th November (NM).

Squacco Heron, Porto de Castelo Branco, Faial, May (Bruno Pereira)

Cattle Egret (Carraceiro) Bubulcus ibis


Scarce visitor, with records scattered throughout the year although influxes tend to occur in spring
and autumn. There were very few reports this year.
Santa Maria four at Santana from 26th to 29h September and two still there on 7 th October (AV).
So Miguel two at Ponta Delgada harbour from 12th to 14th March (AVi).
Faial four at Poa da Rainha on 5th November increasing to five on 7th November (BP, AVi).

28
Cattle Egrets, Feteira, Faial, November (Bruno Pereira)

Great Egret (Gara-branca-grande) Casmerodius albus National PRC species


Occasional visitor. Many birds are suspected to be of Nearctic origin.
So Miguel one at Parque Terra Nostra on December 20 th (JB).

Great Blue Heron (Gara-real-americana) Ardea herodias National PRC species


Rare transatlantic vagrant, with new arrivals usually occurring in autumn or after mid-winter storms.
There were at least four individuals noted in 2014, with three of these being new arrivals the 33 rd to
36th records for the Azores.
Pico one at Lajes do Pico on 10th and 11th January, and again on 1st March (NBdP, VM); another was
there from December 30th into 2015 (CP).
So Miguel one at Lagoa Azul from 1st to 19th November (TL, JBl).
Terceira juvenile at Baia do Fanal from 24th September (JB, LB, SA) into 2015; it or another was at
Paul da Praia on December 18th (CP, RC).

29
Great Blue Heron, Baia do Fanal, Terceira, November (Ruben Coelho)

Purple Heron (Gara-vermelha) Ardea purpurea Local PRC species


Rare spring and autumn vagrant from Europe. The two records this year constitute the 19 th and 20th
records for the Azores, all from just three islands - 10 on So Miguel, seven on Santa Maria and three
on Terceira.
Santa Maria singles at Santana from 3rd to 20th March (AV) and Lagoa do Ginjal from 15th October to
6th November (AV, NM).

Glossy Ibis (bis-preta) Plegadis falcinellus Local PRC species


Autumn migrant, dramatically increasing in numbers. Prior to 2010, there were only nine previous
records of this species. There were seven records in the first winter period, and then a significant
influx in early autumn with a record flock of 29 birds.
Pico one at Lagoa do Caiado on 3rd January (VM).
Santa Maria one at Lagoa do Ginjal on 9th March (AV, NM).
So Miguel two in the Furnas from January and one near Lagoa Azul in February; seven at Lagoa das
Furnas on 18th August increasing to 18 on 5th September (JC, GM) to a peak of 29 on 8 th September
(NBdP, GM). Eight were still present on 22nd September 22nd with one on 19th October remaining to
the end of the year.
Terceira up to two from the start of the year to 15 th May, often at Paul da Praia; one of these birds
was ringed as a chick in Doana National Park, Huelva, Spain, on 24th July 2013.

Eurasian Spoonbill (Colhereiro) Platalea leucorodia Local PRC species


Scarce annual vagrant from Europe, usually in autumn. There were two birds seen in 2014, compared
to one in 2013; birds are usually recorded as single individuals, though the peak count is a flock of 15
on Corvo and Flores in October 2003.
Corvo first-winter at Vila Nova from 3rd until 8th October, when found dead (LM, MB et al);
presumably the same bird as Flores.

30
Flores first-winter at Faj Grande on 2nd October (LM, CT).
So Miguel one at Ponta Delgada ETAR from 9th to 13th October (LM et al).

Eurasian Spoonbill, Vila Nova, Corvo, October (Kathy Rita)

Western Marsh Harrier (Tartaranho-ruivo-dos-pauis) Circus aeruginosus Local PRC species


th
Rare vagrant from Europe, with this years record being the 12 for the Azores.
Flores juvenile over Cova da Pedra on 17th October (DMi et al) and at Ribeira Grande marshes on 19th
October (MFl).

Hen/Northern Harrier (Tartaranho-cinzento) Circus cyaneus/hudsonius National PRC species


Rare vagrant in autumn and winter. These two occurrences represent the 14 th and 15th records, with
birds presumed to be probably of the Nearctic form hudsonius, often considered a separate species.
Santa Maria one at Abegoaria Grande from 26th to 31st December (NM). (Photo shows indeterminate
Northern/Hen Harrier).
Terceira one at Malha Grande on 7th December (CP, SG, SA, LB). (No photo).

Common Kestrel (Peneireiro) Falco tinnunculus Local PRC species


Scarce visitor in small numbers, becoming increasingly regular in recent years and recorded annually
since 2005. There were 11 records in 2014.
Corvo one at Vila Nova on 7th October (KdR, DS et al).
Pico singles at Quateiro on 15th January (VM), Santo Antonio on 26th March (VM) and near the airport
on 21st April (LS, VM).
Santa Maria up to two at Abegoaria Grande from 28 th October to 13th November (NM), and one at
Zamba on 19th December (NM).
So Miguel one at Joo Bom de Bretanha on 13th October (GM et al).
Terceira singles at Serra do Cume on 27th February (CP, JB), Caldera das Lajes on 14 th November (SG,
CP) and Cabo da Praia on 13th December (CP).

31
Peregrine Falcon (Falco-peregrino) Falco peregrinus Local PRC species
Annual visitor with most records from autumn to spring. After 10 records in 2013, there were only a
couple of reports this year.
Corvo one at Vila Nova on 29th October (RB).
Santa Maria one at Anjos on January 30th (NM) and at various sites until 16th February (AV).

Spotted Crake (Franga-dgua-malhada) Porzana porzana Local PRC species


Rare autumn visitor from Europe. After no records in 2013, there was a single record this year the
22nd for the Azores.
Corvo one at Ribeira do Cantinho on 18th October 18th (JSH et al).

Corncrake (Codornizo) Crex crex National PRC species


Rare autumn visitor from Europe on a slightly less than annual basis in recent years. Like this years
two records, most sightings are from Corvo due to observer coverage in autumn. (See Appendix 1)
Corvo singles at Tennessee Valley on 12th October and Lapa fields on 15th October.

American Purple Gallinule (Camo-americano) Porphyrio martinica National PRC species


Very rare transatlantic vagrant, predominantly in winter or early spring. This is the ninth record for
the Azores, the third since 2010 and the first for Faial.
Faial immature at Conceiao from 16th to 20th February (JM, VM).

American Purple Gallinule, Conceiao, Faial, February (Bruno Pereira)

32
American Coot (Galeiro-americano) Fulica americana National PRC species
th th
Rare transatlantic vagrant in autumn and winter. These are the 26 to 29 records for the Azores
and, with four records; this is the second best year following the six in 2006.
Faial one at Lagoa de Pedro Miguel on 1st December (BP).
Pico one at Lagoa do Paul on 20th November (VM).
So Miguel one remained at Lagoa Azul until 10th April (first seen 7th November 2013) (GM, CR et al).
Terceira one at Altares on 29th November (BA).

American Coot, Lagoa de Pedro Miguel, Faial, December (Bruno Pereira)

Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostraceiro) Haematopus ostralegus Local PRC species


Annual vagrant from Europe and Asia in small numbers. Almost all 80 or so records have been from
either the eastern or central islands, with no records from Corvo to date.
So Jorge two at Faj de Caldeira de Santo Cristo on 28 th February (DB, MC, FM).

33
Eurasian Oystercatchers, Faj de Caldeira de Santo Cristo, So Jorge, February (Diana Braga)

Little Ringed Plover (Borrelho-pequeno-de-coleira) Charadrius dubius Local PRC species


Rare vagrant, with most records in either early spring or autumn. These records constitute the 24 th
and 25th for the Azores, with both being firsts for the respective islands.
Corvo one at Bocairo on 10th and 11th February (CS, KR).
Santa Maria one at Cova do Areo from 7th to 9th March (NM, AV).

Semipalmated Plover (Batura-de-bando) Charadrius semipalmatus PRC species


Scarce transatlantic migrant in autumn; rare resident on Terceira in recent years. There was a distinct
lack of new birds this year, although peak counts for 2014 from Terceira in February may relate to
new individuals as a consequence of cold weather movements from North America.
Flores singles at Ponta Delgada from 7th to 27th October (CT et al) and Faj Grande from 14th to 18th
October (DMi et al).
Pico singles at Lajes on 11th January (JH, VM) and from 19th to 31st December (CM, VM, CP).
Santa Maria two at Praia on 8th February (AV) and one south-west of the airfield on 26 th February
(AV).
So Miguel singles at Ribeira Grande from 14th to 24th March (RC, GM, CR et al) and 5th September
(JC).
Terceira present at Cabo da Praia throughout the year, usually one to three; peak counts included
eight on 1st February, six on 2nd February and five on 6th to 15th January and 14th February (SG, CM, CP
et al).

34
Semipalmated Plover, Cabo da Praia, Terceira, November (Elizabeth Coelho)

Eurasian Dotterel Reservoir, Corvo, October (Vincent Legrand)

35
Eurasian Dotterel (Borrelho-ruivo) Charadrius morinellus Local PRC species
Scarce autumn migrant and winter visitor from Europe. There was a typical spread of records this
year, and it appears that small numbers are now wintering on Santa Maria annually despite being
first recorded there as recently as 2007.
Corvo first-winter at the reservoir from 15th to 24th October (JSH et al).
Santa Maria six were at Abegoaria Grande on 12th January, with five there on 30th January and four
until 9th March (NM, AV); two were again at Abegoaria Grande on 26 th September and one there
again on 14th October (AV), with two west of the airport on 26 th December (NM) and six at Campo
Pequeno on 31st December (NM).

American Golden Plover (Batuiruu) Pluvialis dominica *National PRC species


Rare but regular autumn vagrant with about 70 previous records. The autumn records were typical,
although the December record is more unusual.
Corvo one flew over the reservoir on 10th October
Santa Maria one at Abegoaria Grande from 28th to 30th September and one at the airport on 6 th
October (AV).
Terceira first-winter at Cabo da Praia on 28th September and 5th October (SA, FB, LB, SG et al) and
another there from 13th to 31st December (RC, CP et al).

European Golden Plover (Tarambola-dourada) Pluvialis apricaria Local PRC species


Rare autumn and winter visitor from Europe. The flock on Santa Maria in the first winter period is the
highest-ever count on the Azores.
Corvo one at the reservoir from 15th to 20th October (JSH, ZK, AK et al).
Pico one at Criao Velha on 11th January (JH,VM) and one at Santa Luzia on 13 th January (VM).
Santa Maria one at Abegoaria Grande on 1st January, increasing to 20 from 17th to 30th January, 21 on
26th February, 13 on 3rd March and four on 9th March (NM, AV); also 21 near airport on 12 th January
(AV).
So Miguel five at Achada das Furnas on 26th January (RC, JT).
Terceira one at Cabo da Praia from December 2013 to 9 th February (SG, CM, CP et al).

Northern Lapwing (Abibe) Vanellus vanellus PRC species


Scarce winter visitor from Europe in small numbers annually. The 2014 records below are typical for
this species.
Santa Maria four at Abegoaria Grande on 26th November (NM).
So Miguel two at Achada das Furnas on 17th November (NdV).
Terceira 11 at Canada do Quinho Grande on 15 th January (CG, CP et al).

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Pilrito-rasteirinho) Calidris pusilla PRC species


Scarce transatlantic autumn migrant. It was a poor year for the species due to the absence of
westerly winds in September, though the individual on 25 th August was the first juvenile American
wader of any species to be recorded in Europe in 2014.
Santa Maria one at Abegoaria Grande on 1st October (AV).
So Jorge one at Faj dos Cubres on 4th October (DB, MC).

36
Terceira three at Cabo da Praia, including an adult from 23 rd to 29th August (RB et al), a juvenile on
25th August increasing to two from 1st to 17th September, with one remaining until 12 th October (RB,
MG,SG,CP et al).

Least Sandpiper (Pilrito-ano) Calidris minutilla PRC species


Rare but regular transatlantic migrant, with the majority of records in autumn. The bird on Flores
that overwintered could conceivably be the same individual seen there in October 2013.
Flores one at Santa Cruz from 24th January to 2nd April (CA, JPG, LGN).
Santa Maria one at Ribeira dos Poos on 28th October (NM).

White-rumped Sandpiper (Pilrito-de-sobre-branco) Calidris fuscicollis PRC


Annual autumn migrant, often occurring in flocks during favourable westerly conditions. It was,
however, a relatively lean year with 10 on Corvo the peak count.
Corvo 10: a first-winter Vila Nova from 3rd to 13th October; numbers on the island increasing to three
on 14th October, 10 from 15th to 17th October (including a flock of eight at Vila Nova on 15 th October),
nine on 18th October, seven on 19th October reducing to five on 21st October, and finally a single at
the reservoir from 24th to 30th October.
Faial two: one at Horta harbour on 21st October, increasing to two on 6th and 7th November, with one
remaining until 14th November (AV, DV).
Flores 15: one at Ponta do Albarnaz on 14th and 15th October, increasing to four on 16th October,
peaking at nine on 17th October and eight remaining until 21st October (DM, RM, RS, SSo et al). Two
at Faj Grande on 14th October, six at Ponta Delgada on 15th October reducing to four on 16th and 17th
and three until 21st October, two at Mosteiros on 17th October and one between Fajzinha and
Mosteiros 17th (DMi, RM, RS, SSo et al).
Santa Maria four: singles at Abegoaria Grande on 16th October and 6th November, Ribeira dos Poos
on 28th October and Cova do Areo on 12th November (NM, AV).
So Miguel five: four at Arribanas on 19th October (GM) and one at Ponta Delgada ETAR from 26 th to
31st October (BC, GM).
Terceira 14: one at Cabo da Praia from 26th to 29th August, increasing to three from 30thAugust, 10
from 16th to 18th October, reducing to nine on 23rd October, six on 27th October with a single
remaining until 1st November; another was at Canada do Quinho Grande on 26 th October (CP).
Monthly maxima of White-rumped Sandpipers by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Corvo - - - - - - - - - 10 - -

Faial - - - - - - - - - 1 2 -

Flores - - - - - - - - - 15 - -

Santa Maria - - - - - - - - - 2 2 -

So Miguel - - - - - - - - - 5 - -

Terceira - - - - - - - 3 - 11 1 -

Bairds Sandpiper (Pilrito-de-bico-fino) Calidris bairdii National PRC species

37
Rare autumn vagrant with about 30 previous records. One record is a typical annual showing.
Flores juvenile at Ponta Delgada from 15th to 27th October (DMi, RM, RS, SSo et al)

Juvenile Bairds Sandpiper, Ponta Delgada, Flores, October (Dominic Mitchell)

Pectoral Sandpiper (Pilrito-de-colete) Calidris melanotos PRC


Scarce autumn visitor from North America, typically from mid-September to late October. An absence
of westerly winds meant a paucity of records in 2014 compared to normal.
Corvo singles near the reservoir on 12th October, Lighthouse Valley on 13th October and the caldeiro
from 15th to 17th October, increasing to two at the last site from 19 th to 25th October.
Flores singles at Lagoa Branca on 11th October (DM et al) and at Ponta do Albarnaz on 13th to 15th
(DMi et al).
Santa Maria two at Abegoaria Grande on 1st October, one on 11th, another 16th to 20th (AV) and one
on 31st October (NM).
Terceira singles at Canada do Quinho Grande on 16 th May (CP, CR) and 26th October (CP); singles at
Cabo da Praia on 3rd June (CM, CP) and 11th September increasing to two from 10 th to 14th, then
three on 16th and 17th October with two remaining until 23rd October and one to 31st October (RC,
SG, CM, CP et al).
So Miguel one at Achada das Furnas on 19th September increasing to three on 22 nd September (RC,
CR).

38
Purple Sandpiper (Pilrito-escuro) Calidris maritima PRC species
Scarce late autumn and winter visitor; annual in small numbers. The highest count was three on Pico
in March historic high counts are five on Flores in February 2011 and Terceira in April 2013.
Flores one at Santa Cruz on 11th February (CA).
Graciosa one at Santa Cruz on 26th January (RO).
So Miguel one at Ponta Delgada ETAR on 25th November and 26th December (GM, ANe, CR).
Pico one at Cais do Pico on 13th January and 20th February (VM); present at Madalena harbour
between 14th January and 6th May, peaking at three on 3rd March (VM) and Areia Larga on 22nd
December (CM, CP).

Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Pilrito-acanelado) Tryngites subruficollis PRC species


th st
Rare autumn migrant from North America. The two this year were the 40 and 41 records for the
Azores, following two records in both 2012 and 2013.
Flores one at Ponta do Albarnaz on 1st October (LM) and Santa Cruz airfield on 1 st and 2nd October
(LM, CT).

Jack Snipe (Narceja-galega) Lymnocryptes minimus Local PRC species


Rare autumn and winter visitor from Europe. Like the next species, many records involve birds flushed
from boggy areas in the centre of So Miguel and Terceira. These records constitute the 37 th and 38th
records for the Azores; the Corvo individual is only the fourth for the island.
Corvo one at the caldeiro on 25th October (JBl, TL).
Terceira one at Lagoa das Narcejas on 7th December (CP).

Wilsons Snipe (Narceja-de-wilson) Gallinago delicata *National PRC species


Scarce autumn and winter visitor from North America. Its status is unclear, as records involve birds
that have been either seen in flight or historically shot by the islands hunters.
Corvo singles at Fojo on 12th October (JJ), the old harbour on 14th October (GJ), lower fields on 15th
October (CB) and the caldeiro on 19 th and 25th October (JBl, TL).
Flores one near Fajzinha on 21st October (MFl).
Pico singles at Lagoa do Capito on 20th February (VM), Lagoa do Peixinho on 28th August (VM) and
Lagoa do Paul on 20th November (VM).
Santa Maria eight west of the airport on 12th January (AV), three at Lagoa do Ginjal on 11 th February
(AV), one south-west of the airport on 26 th February (AV), five east of the airport on 16 th March (AV)
and singles at Lagoa do Ginjal on 18th September (NM) and 15th October (AV). Eight at Abegoaria
Grande on 13th October (AV) and nine at Ginjal on 15 th October (AV).
So Miguel one at Lagoa Azul on 25th January (RC, CS).
Terceira singles at Posto de Rdio Americana on 4 th and 26th January and 23rd February (CP), Canada
do Quinho Grande on 11th January and 26th October (CP), Cabo da Praia on 16th March (CP) and 10th,
14th and 29th October (MFl).

39
Wilsons Snipe, Middle Road, Corvo, October (Daniele Occhiato)

Short-billed Dowitcher Cabo da Praia, Terceira, October (Petri Kuhno)

40
Short-billed Dowitcher (Maarico-de-bico-curto) Limnodromus griseus National PRC species
th
Rare transatlantic vagrant. Although there were no new arrivals in 2014, the 26 record for the
Azores and the longest-staying individual of all time lingered on Terceira throughout the year. (See
also Appendix 1)
Terceira one was present all year at Cabo da Praia, having arrived as a juvenile on 2 nd September
2013 (SA, LB, SG, CM, CP et al).

Long-billed Dowitcher (Maarico-de-bico-comprido) Limnodromus scolopaceus National PRC species


Rare autumn vagrant from North America; rarer than the previous species, with arrival dates slightly
later in September and October. Following no records last year, there was one record in 2014 the
12th for the Azores and only the second record for Corvo.
Corvo first-winter on the airfield on 31st October (JBl, RB, JF, TL).

Bar-tailed Godwit (Fuselo) Limosa lapponica PRC species


Scarce autumn migrant and winter visitor from Europe. There were eight records in 2014, a similar
number to the previous year.
Faial one at Poa da Rainha from 27th March until 1st May (AV, DV).
So Miguel singles at Ponta Delgada ETAR on 11th January (NBdP, CR), Mosteiros on 10th September
(GM) and Ribeira Grande from 6th to 22nd October (AF, GM, RSe et al).
Terceira two at Cabo da Praia on 1st February (CM, CP et al) and singles there from 3rd to 19th May
(CM, CP et al) and 19th October (RM).

Hudsonian Whimbrel (Maarico-galego-americano) Numenius hudsonicus


Scarce visitor from North America, and although spread throughout the year, records peak in late
summer and early autumn.
Faial singles at Poa da Rainha from 8th May to 12th June (BP, AV, DV) and Porto Pim on 16th December
(AV).
Pico singles at Barca on 27th January, 3rd February, 25th March, 17th July and 26th August (NBdP, VM),
Madalena on 3rd March (NBdP) and Criao Velho on 19 th May (VM).
So Miguel singles at So Roque on 18th May (NBdP) and Ponta Delgada ETAR on 8 th September
(NBdP, GM).
Terceira one at Cabo da Praia from 30th March until 13th June (SG, CM, CP et al); it or another on 15th
July (CP) and then one from 6th August erratically until 28th October, with two on 10th, 24th and 25th
August (CP, RB, MG, MFl et al).

Common Redshank (Perna-vermelha) Tringa totanus Local PRC species


Rare European visitor in autumn and winter. With about 50 previous records, all but five have been
either on So Miguel or Terceira.
Terceira singles at Cabo da Praia from 2013 to 30 th March and one again from 11th September, with
two from 29th September into 2015 (SA, LB, SG, CM, CP et al).

Greater Yellowlegs (Perna-amarela-grande) Tringa melanoleuca National PRC species


Rare transatlantic vagrant. This years record from Pico was the 21 st for the Azores.
Pico first-winter at Lajes do Pico from 20th to 22nd November (VM).

41
Annual totals of Greater Yellowlegs in the Azores, 2005-2014:
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

1 2 2 0 0 3 3 1 2 1

Lesser Yellowlegs (Perna-verde) Tringa flavipes PRC species


Scarce transatlantic autumn visitor, and less frequently in spring or overwintering.
Corvo one over Vila Nova on 9th October was relocated at the reservoir from 11 th to 19th October, and
Poco de Agua on 21st October.
Faial first-winter found dead at Salo on 26th October (DVa).
Flores first-winter at Ponta do Albarnaz from 30th September to 7th October (LM, CT).
Santa Maria singles south of the airport on 12th January and 16th March (AV), Lagoa do Ginjal on 30th
January to 8th February and again on 19th and 20th March (DB, AV), with another there on 3 rd
September (NM); singles also at Cova do Areo from 16 th January intermittently to 9th March (NM,
AV), 16th May (NM) and 8th September (NM).
So Miguel adult at Lagoa Azul from 9th to 11th August (NBdP, GM).
Terceira one at Cabo da Praia on 15th May (CP) and one on 6th and 7th October, increasing to two on
8th to 17th October, with one remaining until 30 th October (PM, RM, AN et al).

Green Sandpiper (Maarico-bique-bique) Tringa ochropus Local PRC species


Rare European vagrant, usually in autumn. Following three in 2013, the two records this year were
the 31st and 32nd records for the Azores.
Pico one at Lagoa do Peixinho on 28th August (VM).
Santa Maria one at Abegoaria Grande on 26th September (AV). Three at Abegoaria Grande on 28 th to
29th September, with two until 4th October and one until 20th (AV).

Wood Sandpiper (Maarico-de-dorso-malhada) Tringa glareola Local PRC species


Scarce spring and autumn vagrant from Europe. The March record from Santa Maria is only the third
ever in this month.
Pico one at Lagoa do Landroal on 28th August (VM).
Santa Maria singles at Lagoa do Ginjal on 19th to 20th March and 26th to 28th September (AV).
So Miguel one at Achada das Furnas on 22nd September (CR).
Terceira singles at Praia da Vitria on 29th April (AG, CJ), Canada do Quinho Grande on 16 th May then
Lagoa do Junco on 18th May (CP, CR).

Common Sandpiper (Maarico-das-rochas) Actitis hypoleucos PRC species


Annual visitor in small numbers, predominantly in autumn and winter. In recent years, has been
recorded in similar numbers to the next species, its North American congener.
Pico singles at Barca on 3rd January (VM) and Lajes from 11th January until 4th March (NBdP, VM).
Santa Maria singles at Vila do Porto from 1st January until 18th March (NM, AV), Ribeira de So
Francisco on 9th March and 8th September (NM) and Maia on 3rd September (NM).
So Miguel one at Ponta Delgada ETAR from 25th October until 4th November (RB, GM, CR, AS).
Terceira two at Praia da Vitria from 6th to 11th January, with one remaining until 14 th February (EC,
RC, SG, CM, CP); singles were at Cabo da Praia on 13 th April (SA, LB) and intermittently from 3rd
September until 13th December (SG, CM, CP et al).

42
Common Sandpiper, Cabo da Praia, Terceira, April (Susan Azera)

Spotted Sandpiper, Lagoa Azul, So Miguel, April (Gerbrand Michielsen)

43
Spotted Sandpiper (Maarico-pintado) Actitis macularius PRC species
Scarce autumn visitor in small numbers annually, with some birds overwintering. The records this
year are typical for this species.
Corvo one on the coast at the west end of the airfield and the windmills from 8 th to 23rd October.
Faial two at Horta harbour from 21st January until 6th March, with one remaining until 12 th April
(NBdP, DV, DVa) and a juvenile at Feteira from 9 th October until 15th December (BP, AV, DV).
Flores one at Santa Cruz on 15th and 16th February (LGN).
Pico one at Lajes on 10th January, with two there the next day, and one remaining until 1 st March
(NDdP, VM); one at Pranha on 22nd February (VM).
So Miguel one at Lagoa Azul on 4th March and 10th April (GM, CR).
Terceira juvenile at Cabo da Praia from 4th to 15th September (SG et al) and one on 23rd October (CB,
SH).

Willet (Maarico-dasa-branca) Tringa semipalmata National PRC species


Extremely rare vagrant from North America. There are two subspecies, the eastern nominate form
and western inornata. The eighth for the Azores, following brief sightings in 2009 and 2012, lingered
throughout the autumn and was one of the highlights of 2014 for many observers.
So Miguel one of the western subspecies inornata was at Ponta Delgada ETAR from 25th September
2014 into 2015 (CR et al).

Willet of the western subspecies inornata, Ponta Delgada ETAR, October (Daniele Occhiato)

Red-necked Phalarope (Falaropo-de-bico-fino) Phalaropus lobatus National PRC species


A rare vagrant, with recent records all from October. The record below constitutes the eighth for the
Azores, following one in 2013 at the same site on similar dates.
Terceira one at Cabo da Praia from 17th to 23rd October (SG, TJ, KdR).
Grey Phalarope (Falaropo-de-bico-grosso) Phalaropus fulicarius PRC species

44
Scarce visitor, largely in autumn following inclement weather. The flock of nine seen from Terceira is
the largest number ever observed from land in the Azores.
Corvo two off the windmill on 17th October and three also offshore from there on 23 rd October.
Terceira two at Cabo da Praia from 17th to 23rd October, one remaining until 29th October (SG, TJ, KdR
et al); nine were offshore north-east of Praia da Vitria on 18 th October (KdR).

Grey Phalarope, Cabo da Praia, Terceira, October (Ruben Coelho)

Pomarine Skua (Moleiro-do-rtico) Stercorarius pomarinus PRC species


Scarce annual visitor, usually in autumn although can be recorded in winter and spring. Probably
under recorded during passage periods, as most birds are likely to pass offshore.
Corvo singles offshore from the windmills/airfield on 7 th (KH) and 23rd October.
Graciosa one at the Bank of Fortune on 27 th August (RB, SD, MG, RE, JS, MS, IW et al).
Terceira one offshore from So Bartolomeu on 4th December (CP).

Arctic Skua (Moleiro-pequeno) Stercorarius parasiticus PRC species


Scarce spring and autumn visitor, usually recorded from offshore pelagics. Six seen on a boat from
Faial equals the daily maxima, with this number also seen from Corvo in October 1999 and So Jorge
in August 2006.
Faial one five miles north of the island on 2 nd March (JH) and six at the Condor seamount on 23 rd
August (JH).
Graciosa two at the Bank of Fortune on 27 th August and one there on 28th August (RB, SD, MG, RE, JS,
MS, IW et al).
Pico one from south of the island on 21 st April (LS).

Long-tailed Skua (Moleiro-rabilongo) Stercorarius longicaudatus National PRC species

45
Scarce late summer and autumn visitor, often seen from offshore pelagic trips. There were three birds
noted in 2014, compared to six last year.
Graciosa adult from a pelagic off Ilhu da Praia on 26 th August and two at the Bank of Fortune on 28 th
August (RB, SD, MG, RE, JS, MS, IW et al).

South Polar Skua (Moleiro-do-sul) Stercorarius maccormicki National PRC species


Very rare vagrant although status uncertain. Being a highly pelagic species, present in the north-west
Atlantic during late spring and summer, it may potentially pass through Azorean waters regularly in
late summer and autumn on its southbound migration. With five previous records listed, three in
September and two in November, this is the first August record.
Graciosa an adult-type bird was seen from a pelagic at the Bank of Fortune on 27 th August (RB, MG
et al). See page 68.

Mediterranean Gull (Gaivota-de-cabea-preta) Ichthyaetus melanocephalus Local PRC species


Scarce winter visitor with about 50 previous records. One record constituted a poor showing
compared to recent years.
Terceira first-winter at Praia da Vitria bay on 13th January (CP).
Annual total of Mediterranean Gulls in the Azores 2005-2014:
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

2 5 7 5 6 3 10 2 4 1

Franklins Gull (Gaivota-das-pradarias) Larus pipixcan National PRC species


Very rare vagrant from North America. The single record this year was the seventh for the Azores,
and the first since two together on So Miguel in November 2006. (See also Appendix 1)
Flores one at Lajes on 12th June (DN).

Franklins Gull, Lajes, Flores, June (Dora Nicolau)


Ring-billed Gull (Gaivota-de-bico-riscado) Larus delawarensis PRC species

46
Scarce late autumn migrant and winter visitor from North America, with a regular wintering flock
present at Praia da Vitria, Terceira, each year.
Faial one at Horta harbour on 13th January (AV, DV) and an adult at Santa Barbara on 15 th February
(AV, DV, VM).
Pico first-winter at Lajes on 30th and 31st December (CP).
Santa Maria one at Vila do Porto on 19th March (DB).
So Miguel first-winter at Ponta Delgada harbour from 6th February to 14th March, with possibly the
same bird still present on 5th May (GM); a first-winter at Ponta Delgada harbour on 27 th December,
with two (second-winter and first-winter) on 28 th December (GM).
Terceira the peak monthly counts at Praia da Vitria were 14 on 11 th and 13th January (CP), 22 on 16th
February (CP), 19 on 17th and 18th March (KP) and two on 31st December (RC, SG); presumably some
of the same birds were at Lajes airfield, peaking monthly at 18 on 15 th January, seven on 14th
February (CM, CP), two on 15th March (CP) and a first-winter on 14th November (SG, CP). Single first-
winters were at Angra do Herosmo on 15th January (CP) and Paul da Praia on 15 th March (CP).
Monthly maxima of Ring-billed Gulls by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Faial 1 1 - - - - - - - - - -

Pico - - - - - - - - - - - 1

Santa Maria - - 1 - - - - - - - - -

So Miguel 1 1 1 - 1 - - - - - - 2

Terceira 14 22 19 - - - - - - - 1 2

Common Gull (Famego) Larus canus Local PRC species


Rare winter visitor. There were two records in 2014, both typically on Terceira, constituting the 45 th
and 46th records for the Azores.
Terceira adults at Praia da Vitria on 13th January and 16th and 28th February (JB, CP); a first-winter
was also at Lagoa do Ginjal on 15th February (CM, CP).

European Herring Gull (Gaivota-prateada) Larus argentatus National PRC species


Scarce visitor, presumably overlooked previously. Only in recent years have observers begun to record
this species on the Azores, so establishing its true status is perhaps currently premature. (See also
Appendix 1).
Terceira at least eight: adults near Lagoa do Junco on 11 th January (CM, CP); two adults at Praia da
Vitria on 2nd February, increasing to three adults on 15 th February with two still on 16th February and
one until 2nd March (SG, CM, CP), two first-winters at Praia da Vitria on 27 th February with one
remaining until 16th March (JB, CM, CP.

47
American Herring Gull (Gaivota-prateada-americana) Larus smithsonianus National PRC species
Annual late autumn and winter vagrant in small numbers. The records below are typical, with the
last good year being 2010 when nine birds were noted. (See also Appendix 1).
Terceira adult at Canada do Quinho Grande on 11 th January (CM, CP) and Lagoa do Junco on 16 th
February (CP); a first-winter remained at Praia da Vitria from 30 th March to 9th May (CM, CP et al).

Iceland Gull (Gaivota-branca) Larus glaucoides *National PRC species


Rare winter visitor. With only 65 previous records, and none last year, the influx of 21 birds in the first
winter period was exceptional and coincided with equally impressive numbers of the next species.
Intense Atlantic storms and north-westerly winds brought these record numbers, which included five
individuals of the Canadian and Greenland subspecies kumlieni, known as Kumliens Gull.
Faial three: juveniles at Horta harbour on 22 nd Jan and from 16th to 20th February (JM, VM, AV, DV); a
juvenile was at Baia da Ribeira das Cabras on 14 th March (RP).
Flores two: juvenile at Lajes from 8th to 17th January (DN) and an adult there on 21 st January (DN).
Graciosa one: juvenile at Praia on 30th April (LA).
Pico one: at Santa Luzia on 18th January (VM).
Santa Maria four: one at Cova do Areo on 16th January (NM) with a juvenile kumlieni there on 30th
January (NM) and an adult on 11th February; an adult kumlieni was at Vila do Porto harbour on 26th
February (AV).
So Jorge one: juvenile at Calheta harbour from 19 th to 28th February (DB, MC, FM).
So Miguel one: adult kumlieni at Ribeira Grande from 28th to 30th January (JC).
Terceira eight: adult at Praia da Vitria from 13th January increasing to two (adult and juvenile) from
15th January, and three (adult and two juveniles) from 17 th January to five (adult and four juveniles)
from 28th January to 14th February; four (adult, second-winter and two juveniles) on 15 th and 16th
February including two juvenile kumlieni, reducing to three juveniles until 15 th March, two juveniles
until 20th March and a single juvenile until 5th April (SG, CM, CP et al).

Number of Iceland Gulls (including kumlieni) each month by island in 2014:


J F M A M J J A S O N D
Faial 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - -
Flores 2 - - - - - - - - - - -
Graciosa - - - 1 - - - - - - - -
Pico 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
Santa Maria 2 2 - - - - - - - - - -
So Jorge - 1 - - - - - - - - - -
So Miguel 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
Terceira 5 4 3 1 - - - - - - - -

48
Second-calendar-year Iceland Gull (subspecies kumlieni), Lajes, Flores, January (Joo Paulo Gonalves)

Glaucous Gull (Gaivoto-branco) Larus hyperboreus *National PRC species


Rare winter visitor from the Arctic. 2014 was a record year for the species, with a total of 36 birds
recorded between January and March. With only 60 records prior to this year, these large numbers
were associated with an influx of the previous species following an intense Atlantic low pressure
system in early January.
Corvo two: juvenile near the airfield on 10 th January (KR) and adult at Vila Nova on 24 th January (KR).
Faial one: juvenile at Baia da Ribeira das Cabras on 14 th March (RP).
Flores seven: juvenile at Lajes on 7th January and an adult there from 17 th to 19th January (DN); five at
Santa Cruz on 2nd February (DN).
Graciosa one: adult at Santa Cruz on 8th January (LA).
Pico three: one at Lajido do Santa Lucia on 10 th January (VM), an adult at Areia Larga on 15 th January
(VM) and a juvenile at Madalena harbour from 27 th January to 28th February (VM, NBdP).
Santa Maria four: juvenile near the airport on 12 th January, an adult at Cova do Areo on 8 th February
with two there on 11th February (AV), and a juvenile at Vila do Porto on 26 th February (AV).
So Miguel 11: juveniles at Joo Bom de Bretanha on 8 th January and 24th February, juveniles at
Mosteiros on 11th January, 24th February and 11th March (GM), an adult at Ribeira Quente on 26 th
January, juvenile at Rabo de Peixe on 1st February and an adult at Ribeira Grande on 30 th January,
increasing to two adults on 4th February; four (adult and three juveniles) at Ponta Delgada harbour on
24th January and four (second-winter and three juveniles) on 1 st February, with a second-winter
present until 5th March, two juveniles until 14th March and a juvenile until 25th March (GM, KP et al).
Terceira seven: juvenile at Praia da Vitria from 5 th January increasing to three (an adult and two
juveniles) from 11th January, and four (adult and three juveniles) from 31 st January to 16th February,
reducing to three juveniles from 23 rd Feb to 2nd March and a single juvenile until 16th March (JB, SG,
CM, CP et al); adult at Biscoitos on 18th January (TR), adult at Porto Martins on 29 th and 30th January
and a juvenile at So Mateus on 2nd to 21st February (JB, CM, CP).

49
Number of Glaucous Gulls recorded each month by island in 2014:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Corvo 2 - - - - - - - - - - -

Faial - - 1 - - - - - - - - -

Flores 2 5 - - - - - - - - - -

Graciosa 1 - - - - - - - - - - -

Pico 3 1 - - - - - - - - - -

Santa Maria 1 3 - - - - - - - - - -

So Miguel 8 9 4 - - - - - - - - -

Terceira 6 5 3 - - - - - - - - -

Sabines Gull (Gaivota-de-sabine) Xema sabini National PRC species


Rare pelagic vagrant. There have been 30 previous records, with the last in 2011.
Graciosa adult from a pelagic at the Bank of Fortune on 27 th August (RB, SD, MG, RE, JS, MS, IW et
al).

Sandwich Tern (Garajau-de-bico-preto) Thalasseus sandvicensis PRC species


Scarce autumn and winter visitor, with three birds recorded including a regularly returning bird.
Observers should aim to document all records of this species in detail, being aware of the closely
related and now-split Cabots Tern (Thalasseus acuflavida) from North America.
So Miguel two at Mosteiros on 12th October (GM).
Terceira A ringed adult overwintered at Praia da Vitria from 2013 to 16 th March (SG, CM, CP et al);
adult again at Praia da Vitria from 17 th October to 14th November (KdR, DMi, MF, SG, CP et al).

Arctic Tern (Garajau-do-rtico) Sterna paradisaea Local PRC species


Rare pelagic visitor, predominantly in autumn. A single record this year, following two in 2013 and a
single in 2012. There have been about 150 records to date, including a peak of 64 off Flores in late
October 2007.
Graciosa adult from a pelagic at the Bank of Fortune on 28 th August (RB, SD, MG, RE, JS, MS, IW et
al).

Bridled Tern (Garajau-de-dorso-castanho) Onychoprion anaethetus National PRC species


Rare pelagic vagrant, with all records in the period June to September. This years record is the 21 st
for the Azores and the first since 2011, and was recorded on the same pelagic trip as two Trindade
Petrels.
Faial one from a pelagic at the Condor seamount on 23 rd August (JH).

Sooty Tern (Garajau-de-dorso-preto) Onychoprion fuscatus National PRC species

50
Almost annual summer visitor, historically favouring tern colonies offshore from Graciosa or Santa
Maria. This species bred for the first time in the Azores (and Europe) in 2010, and with the recording
of a juvenile again this year, breeding was successful for a second time.
Graciosa two adults (pair) on Ilhu da Praia from 1 st July to 26th August (NO, TP, EZ et al); they
successfully fledged a single juvenile that was seen from 26 th to 28th August (RB, SD, RE, MG, JS, MS,
IW et al).

Little Auk (Torda-mida) Alle alle National PRC species


Winter visitor from the Arctic. Most records are of wrecked birds, following Atlantic mid-winter
storms. This years record is typical of this.
Pico one taken into care at Calhau on 18th January was later released (VM).

Atlantic Puffin (Papagaio-do-mar) Fratercula arctica Local PRC species


Winter visitor, with fewer than 50 records. Birds are usually seen offshore or involve moribund
individuals.
Faial one at sea five miles north of Faial on 2 nd March (JH).
Graciosa one found moribund at Cais da Calheta on 19 th April died the next day (RCo).
Pico one found dead at Areia Larga on 18 th February (VM).
Terceira one moribund at Negrito on 20th March (TC) and one dead at Praia da Vitoria on 19 th March
(TF).

European Turtle Dove (Rola-brava) Streptopelia turtur Local PRC species


Rare visitor from Europe, with all records between May and October. The records below represent the
15th and 16th for the Azores.
Pico one at Cais do Mourato on 4 July (VM).
Santa Maria one at Cova do Areo (AV).

Common Cuckoo (Cuco) Cuculus canorus Local PRC species


Rare spring and autumn vagrant. This years record was the 10th for the Azores and first for Pico.
Pico one at Mirateca on 13th March (VM).

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Papa-lagarta-norte-americano) Coccyzus americanus National PRC species


Rare but regular transatlantic vagrant to Corvo and Flores, with records of moribund birds from the
other islands.
Corvo one was in tamarisks at the west end of the lower fields on 20 th October (JR et al) and a second
individual was found in fields above Vila Nova on 21 st October (TFr et al).

51
Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Middle Fields, Corvo, October (David Monticelli)

Snowy Owl, Lighthouse Valley, Corvo, October (Kathy Rita)

52
Snowy Owl (Coruja-das-neves) Bubo scandiacus National PRC species
Very rare vagrant from the Arctic with only three previous records prior to this year. It seems safe to
assume at least two birds are involved in the records below a mobile and elusive bird on Corvo and
Flores from June onwards and one on Pico and So Jorge in June.
Corvo female at Lighthouse Valley from 5th to 7th October (RG et al); same bird as Flores (below).
Flores female at Morro Alto on 21st June (MM), near Faj Grande on 14th August (DC) and again from
25th September to 3rd October (TK, CT et al). After visiting Corvo (see above), presumably the same
bird was seen back on Flores on 7th December.
Pico one between Lagoa do Peixinho and Lagoa da Rosada on 22 nd June (MJ).
So Jorge one at Pico da Esperana on 28th June (MR, TR).

Short-eared Owl (Coruja-do-nabal) Asio flammeus Local PRC species


Rare vagrant, with records spread across the period September to May. Most records are of singles,
though there were five together on Santa Maria in November 2010 and four on So Miguel in March
1980. There was one record this year.
Pico one at Matos de So Mateus on 22nd April (VM).

Chimney Swift (Andorinho-de-rabo-espinhoso) Chaetura pelagica National PRC species


Rare transatlantic vagrant, often late in October. This years record was the first since 2011.
Corvo one over Ribeira do Cantinho on 28th to 29th October (RB et al).

Common Swift (Andorinho-preto) Apus apus Local PRC species


Scarce spring overshoot from Europe, with some autumn records.
Santa Maria two at Ponta do Norte on 4th May (NM).

Northern Flicker, Pedro Miguel, Faial, February (Bruno Pereira)

53
Northern Flicker (Pica-pau-mosqueado) Colaptes auratus National PRC species
Extremely rare vagrant from North America, with two previous records: a male on Corvo in October
2010 and female on Faial in September 2013. It is conceivable, and probably most likely, that this
years record relates to the 2013 individual having successfully overwintered on the island.
Faial a female at Pedro Miguel botanical gardens from 26 th February to 4th March (AVi, DVa et al).

Eurasian Skylark (Laverca) Alauda arvensis


Annual visitor from Europe, often seen in small flocks. The highest count historically is of 35 birds
together on So Miguel in November 2003.
Santa Maria during the first winter period birds were seen at Abegoaria Grande from 12 th January to
26th February, with a peak count of 31 on 12th January and 15 still present in late January. Six were
also seen south-west of the airport on 26 th February. Four were back at Abegoaria Grande on 6 th
November (NM) with six from 7th November to 19th December at least.
So Miguel one at Serra do Tronqueira on 19th October (GM et al).

Barn Swallow (Andorinha-da-chamins) Hirundo rustica


Small numbers noted each year, with larger numbers in spring and occasionally birds recorded in
autumn. Spring birds are European overshoots of the nominate subspecies, while there are seven
October and November records of the North American form erythrogaster.
Santa Maria 10 at Pico Alto on 3rd to 4th May, with three at Abegoaria Grande on 16 th May and one at
Poo da Pedreira on 18th May (NM).
So Miguel one at Sete Cidades on 25th April (AnM).
Terceira four at Cabo da Praia on 1st May (AG, CJ).

American Cliff Swallow (Andorinha-de-dorso-acanelado) Petrochelidon pyrrhonota National PRC species


Rare vagrant from North America, occurring on a near-annual basis in recent years. Two birds were
seen this year, compared to three in 2013.
Corvo two over Miradouro on 4th October (TF et al), with a single bird over Ribeira do Cantinho the
following day.

Cliff Swallow, Miradouro, Corvo, October (Marcin Solowiej)

54
House Martin (Andorinha-dos-beirais) Delichon urbicum
Annual spring visitor from Europe. Numbers present rely on easterly winds during the species
northerly migration. Peak historic counts are 100 at Sete Citades, So Miguel in April 1977 and 97 at
Ponta do Malmerendo, Santa Maria, in May 2011.
Santa Maria three at Pico Alto on 3rd to 4th May, with an impressive 25 at Ponta do Malmerendo on
17th May (NM).
So Miguel seven at Pico da Mafra on 11th May (GM).
Terceira an emaciated bird at Angra do Herosmo on 4th May died shortly after discovery (EC, TS, RO),
with three at Cinco Ribeiras on 10th May (CM, CP).

Tree Pipit (Petinha-das-rvores) Anthus trivialis Local PRC species


rd
A very rare European migrant, with one previous record from Corvo on 3 October 2011. Two records
from late October, both found by the same observer, constitute the second and third records for the
Azores.
Corvo singles at Ribeira do Poco de Agua on 27 th October (JF) and in the middle fields on 29 th October
(JF et al).

Red-throated Pipit (Petinha-de-garganta-ruiva) Anthus cervinus PRC species


Rare autumn migrant from Europe, with all previous records in October and November. There has
been a previous record of overwintering in 2005, but this is the first to be found outside the autumn
period. It constitutes the 13th record for the Azores.
So Miguel one at Sete Cidades on 20th February (GM).

Red-throated Pipit, Sete Cidades, So Miguel, February (Gerbrand Michielsen)

55
Buff-bellied Pipit (Petinha-fulva) Anthus rubescens National PRC species
Transatlantic migrant, occurring annually in small numbers in recent years during October and
November. As many as eight individuals were recorded in 2014, compared to three last year.
Corvo three were found around the reservoirs on 3rd October, with a record count of five there the
following day. On 11th October a presumed sixth bird was seen at the windmills, the flock of five
having relocated to the Caldeiro that day (ZK, AK). Five were seen on the island on 12 th with a single
bird possibly new in at the rubbish dump on 19 th.
Santa Maria one at Cova do Areo from 7th to 26th November (NM).

American Buff-bellied Pipit, Reservoir, Corvo, October (Daniele Occhiato)

Yellow Wagtail (Alvola-amarela) Motacilla flava Local PRC species


Rare vagrant from Europe, predominantly in winter. This years record is the ninth for the Azores.
Corvo one in the higher fields above Miradouro on 8th October (JJ) and then below the reservoir on
11th October.
So Miguel one at Arribanas on 28th December (GM, ANe, NBdP).

White Wagtail (Alvola-cinzenta) Motacilla alba


Scarce vagrant in autumn and winter, having been recorded annually since 2005. The count of five
birds below, on Santa Maria in January, is the largest-ever flock in the Azores.
Santa Maria one at Vila do Porto on 12th January had increased five on 16th to 17th January (NM, AV);
one remained until 17th March. Elsewhere on the island single birds were at Ribeira de So Francisco
on 17th January and 14th April.
So Miguel one at Sete Cidades on 20th February and one at Joo Bom de Bretanha on 24 th February
(GM).
Terceira one at Cabo da Praia from 30th September to 8th October (LM et al).

56
Fieldfare (Tordo-zornal) Turdus pilaris
Scarce winter visitor in varying numbers each year, having been annually recorded since 2005. With
only two records, of three birds, it was a poor year.
Pico two at Pico da Urze on 3rd January (VM).
Santa Maria one at Lagoa do Ginjal on 24th December (NM).

Redwing (Tordo-ruivo) Turdus iliacus Local PRC species


A late autumn and winter visitor, occurring annually in varying numbers.
Santa Maria two at Almagreira on 14th January, one at Azenha on 16th February and four east of the
airport on 16th March (AV).

Barred Warbler (Toutinegra-barrada) Sylvia nisoria Local PRC species


Extremely rare vagrant from eastern Europe and western Asia. This is the first record for the Azores.
Flores one between Fajzinha and Faj Grande, seen initially on 21 st September and confirmed on
23rd (RvD et al); first record for the Azores. See page 67.

Common Chiffchaff (Felosa-comum) Phylloscopus collybita Local PRC species


Regular visitor from Europe, with peak numbers usually associated with easterly winds in autumn. A
small number of birds winter on the islands.
Corvo several were seen on the island in late October, with three in Tennessee Valley on 23 rd, two in
Fojo and one at Ribeira do Poco de Agua on 28 th and one at Ribeira da Lapa on 30 th.
So Miguel in the first winter period birds were at Lagoa Azul between 4 th January and 10th April,
with a peak count of six on 18th February (CR et al). One was at Lagoa Azul on 2nd November (AS).

Willow Warbler (Felosa-musical) Phylloscopus trochilus Local PRC species


Annual autumn visitor from Europe, in smaller numbers than the previous species.
Corvo singles in Tennessee Valley from 9th to 12th October and another in Fojo from 14 th to 18th
October (JJ et al).

Spotted Flycatcher, Lagoa do Ginjal, Santa Maria, May (Nelson Moura)

57
Spotted Flycatcher (Papa-moscas-cinzento) Muscicapa striata Local PRC species
Very rare vagrant from Europe, with the third and fourth records occurring this year. The bird on
Santa Maria was the first in spring and the first away from Corvo and Flores.
Corvo one on 26th October (MB).
Santa Maria one at Lagoa do Ginjal on 10th May (NM).

Northern Shrike (Picano-real-americano) Lanius (excubitor) borealis National PRC species


Extreme vagrant, with the first record of this North American taxon for the Azores and Western
Palearctic being recorded on Corvo during October.
Corvo a first-winter of the Nearctic subspecies borealis was discovered in Lighthouse Valley on 18th
October, and was then seen at various sites around the island until 30 th (JSH et al). See pages 65-66.

First-winter Northern Shrike, Lighthouse Valley, Corvo, October (David Monticelli)

Philadelphia Vireo (Juruviara-da-filadlfia) Vireo philadelphicus National PRC species


Rare transatlantic vagrant, with all records occurring on Corvo or Flores in October.
Corvo one in Fojo from 11th to 18th October (DMa et al) was the ninth for the Azores.

58
Philadelphia Vireo, Fojo, Corvo, October (Vincent Legrand)

Red-eyed Vireo (Juruviara) Vireo olivaceus National PRC species


An annual autumn vagrant, and since the first record as recently as 2005, this species is the most
frequently encountered Nearctic passerine on the Azores. The record from Terceira is noteworthy,
being only the second record away from Corvo and Flores (following last years bird on Faial).
Corvo the first of the autumn was in tamarisks at the west end of the lower fields on 9 th October (BC,
DS); two were found on 10th (JJ) with a third in Ribeira do Cantinho on 11 th. On 12th an impressive six
birds were seen, with three in Ribeira da Ponte, two in Fojo and a third near the campsite. Daily
maxima of four (14th) and three (13th, 15th, 17th) and two (18th) followed before the final record of a
single bird in Ribeira do Cantinho on 25 th.
Flores one at Costa do Lajedo on 19th October (MFl).
Terceira one at Serrata on 17th October (TJ et al).

59
Red-eyed Vireo, Middle Fields, Corvo, October (Vincent Legrand)

Common Redpoll (Pintarroxo-de-queixo-preto) Carduelis flammea National PRC species


Rare vagrant, with birds most likely to emanate from Arctic populations.
Corvo one in Lighthouse Valley on 16th October (JSH) was presumably the individual responsible for
sporadic sightings from various parts of the island until 29 th.

Black-and-white Warbler (Riscadinha) Mniotilta varia National PRC species


Following the first record for the Azores as recently as 2009, this Nearctic species has become
increasingly regular with at least five birds on Corvo this year - representing the ninth to 13 th records.
Corvo first-winter male in Ribeira da Ponte on 15 th to 16th October (HP et al) was followed
chronologically by records of single birds from Fojo from 17 th to 20th, Ribeira da Ponte on 22nd and
23rd and Ribeira do Cantinho on 25th; finally, two birds were together in Fojo on 28 th October (RB).

60
Black-and-white Warbler, Ribeira da Ponte, Corvo, October (David Monticelli)

Northern Parula (Pisco-americano) Setophaga americana National PRC species


Rare transatlantic vagrant, with all records to date coming from Corvo and Flores in late September
and October. These records constitute the 14 th to 16th records for the Azores.
Corvo a first-winter male was at Fojo picnic area on 12 th October (ZK), with a first-winter female in
Ribeira da Lapa on 14th (PAC) and a third bird in Ribeira do Poco de Agua on 24 th (JBl et al).

Northern Parula, Ribeira da Lapa, Corvo, October (Vincent Legrand)

61
Black-throated Green Warbler (Toutinegra-de-face-amarela) Setophaga virens National PRC species
Very rare transatlantic vagrant, with all records from Corvo in October. This is the fifth for the Azores.
Corvo one in the lower part of Ribeira do Poco de Agua from 19 th to 24th October (PAC et al).

Black-throated Green Warbler, Riberia do Poco dAgua, Corvo, October (Vincent Legrand)
Blackpoll Warbler (Toutinegra-raiada) Setophaga striata National PRC species
Rare vagrant from North America in October with about 10 previous records.
Corvo a first-winter was in the middle fields on 20 th October (MB, MSa et al).
Flores a first-winter was at Ponta Delgada on 22nd October (MFl).

First-winter Blackpoll Warbler, Middle Fields, Corvo, October (Vincent Legrand)

62
Common Yellowthroat (Mariquita-de-mascarilha) Geothlypis trichas National PRC species
One of the more frequently recorded Nearctic wood-warblers and an annual vagrant since 2008. The
one record this year was a below-average showing.
Corvo a first-winter male was in tamarisks at the west end of the lower fields from 12 th to 18th
October (RE et al).

Twite (Pintarroxo-de-bico-amarelo) Linaria flavirostris National PRC species


Extremely rare vagrant from north-west Europe.
Flores one was seen briefly at Ponta do Albarnaz on 15 th October (DMi et al) but could not be
relocated. If accepted by the PRC, this will represent the first record for the Azores.

Scarlet Tanager (Sanhau-escarlate) Piranga olivacea National PRC species


Rare transatlantic vagrant, with all records coming from Corvo and Flores in October. It was a record
year, with at least four birds seen.
Flores a first-winter female at Ponta da Albarnaz from 8 th to 12th October (AN, AnN, RCi et al).
Corvo at least three: a first-winter male in Tennessee Valley from 8 th to 30th October was joined by a
first-winter female there from 11th to 13th October (JJ et al); a third individual was found near Fojo on
11th October (MB) and two seen there on 14 th.

Scarlet Tanager, Tennessee Valley, Corvo, October (David Monticelli)

Lapland Bunting (Escrevedeira-da-lapnia) Calcarius lapponicus National PRC species.


Scarce high Arctic migrant, occurring annually in small numbers each autumn; this year was
particularly lean compared to the 10 recorded in 2013.
Corvo singles were at reservoir on 10th October and in the caldeiro on 17 th October (ZK, AK).

63
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Realejo) Pheucticus ludovicianus National PRC species
Rare vagrant from North America, occurring annually in very small numbers in recent years.
Although expected in autumn, there are two spring records.
Corvo first-winter female was above Tennessee Valley from 9 th to 15th October (JJ et al) and another
was near Ribeira da Lapa on 10th October (GF).

Indigo Bunting (Mariposa-azul) Passerina cyanea National PRC species


Now an annual vagrant to the western islands in October, particularly Corvo, in very small numbers
as a consequence of Atlantic weather systems. It was a very lean year, with just two records.
Corvo one in Tennessee Valley on 9th October (JJ) and the same or another in Vila Nova on 10 th
October.

Bobolink (Triste-pia) Dolichonyx oryzivorus National PRC species


Rare but regular transatlantic vagrant predominantly in autumn, having been recorded annually
since 2007. These records represent the 28 th and 29th records for the Azores.
Corvo one in the lower and middle fields on 10 th and 11th October (MF et al).
Flores one at Ponta Delgada soccer field from 8 th to 12th October (AN, AnN, RCi et al).

Bobolink, Lower fields, Corvo, October (Vincent Legrand)

64
Northern Shrike on Corvo: new to the Azores
and the Western Palearctic

Jens Sgaard Hansen

First-winter Northern Shrike, Caldeira, Corvo, October (Jens Sgaard Hansen)

On 18th October, along with a handful of other birders on Corvo, I decided to start the day again at
Lighthouse valley, towards the north end of the east coast of the island. Despite the fact that few
really good birds had been found there since the glory days of October 2012, when the site hosted
the Western Palearctics first-ever Prairie Warbler and second Golden-winged Warbler, we never lost
hope this was no doubt one of the most birded locations on the island over the last two autumns.

The upper section of Lighthouse valley is seldom visited, and today was no exception. Everybody
decided to work the lower part of the valley, despite not having found anything there during the
previous few days. Even though it started raining heavily, with no better options I decided to give the
upper section a try.

Id only walked 50 metres uphill when I saw an unfamiliar bird perching in a small tree. What the
****? A shrike? A Great Grey Shrike! Another European bird, having found Common Redpoll,
Eurasian Golden Plover and Eurasian Dotterel during the previous couple of days! I couldnt believe
it. Of course, I shouldnt complain such species were welcome finds and people were talking about
me being on fire! But most birders on this island know the feeling you simply do not go all the
way to Corvo to look for birds you could just as well be finding back home, and its the major
American vagrants that are the primary target.

65
I broadcast news of the bird over the CB radio and soon afterwards the first birders turned up,
including a new group just arrived in the valley. Everybody agreed this had to be a Great Grey Shrike,
but the question was where from? The bird was heavily barred and rather pale, and just looked
strange. Darryl Spittle volunteered to inform the rest of the islands birders and left, while the shrike
look quite fresh and even started singing at one point. Soon Darryl came back and was excited: PAC
[Pierre-Andr Crochet] went all bananas! He says its a borealis the North American Northern
Shrike!

As more birders began to arrive, the shrike started to move further up the valley, and soon it
disappeared high above us, towards the edge of the Caldeiro just before the last birders arrived.
The following day Christian Leth and I refound it in the bottom of the Caldeiro, and it was later seen
by all the remaining birders who hadn't managed to catch up with it the day before. It remained on
the island until 30th October, and was also seen at several other sites during its prolonged stay.

Subject to acceptance by the PRC, this is the first record of Northern Shrike for the Azores and the
Western Palearctic. Northern Shrike breeds across northernmost North America and winters south to
northern USA. The taxonomy of the large grey shrikes is in flux, and North American borealis is
variously treated as a subspecies of Great Grey Shrike, as a separate species with a range extending
west across Siberia (subspecies sibiricus, which has also occurred as a vagrant in the Western
Palearctic), or as a species in its own right, confined to the Nearctic.

According to Lefranc and Worfolk (1997), juvenile borealis Northern Shrike is very different to juvenile
excubitor Great Grey Shrike the taxon occurring widely in Europe in that borealis has much
browner, woodier upperparts, darker, more heavily vermiculated underparts and browner flight
feathers, and the bird on Corvo reflected these distinctions. Some authors recognise a second
subspecies in north-west North America, invictus, but this taxon is subsumed within borealis by the
IOC, which, quoting the latest genetic study by Olsson et al (2010), states that this complex requires
revision, with the possible separation of borealis including the Siberian subspecies sibiricus at
species level as Northern (Grey) Shrike.

References

Lefranc, N, and Worfolk, T. 1997. Shrikes. A Guide to the Shrikes of the World. Pica Press, Robertsbridge.

Olsson, U, Alstrm, P, Svensson, L, Aliabadian, M, and Sundberg, P. 2010. The Lanius excubitor (Aves, Passeriformes)
conundrumTaxonomic dilemma when molecular and non-molecular data tell different stories. Molecular Phylogenetics
and Evolution 55 (2): 347-357. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.11.010.

66
Barred Warbler on Flores: new to the Azores

Ricardo van Dijk

On 21st September 2014, while visiting the Azores with a group from the Dutch tour company Birding
Breaks, we were birding on the west coast of Flores. In the garden of a holiday village called Aldeia da
Cuada, near Ribeira Grande between Fajzinha and Faj Grande, I noticed a greyish passerine. We
thought it might be a Sylvia warbler, but were not able to make a positive identification or get any
photos.

Two days later, we visited the location again and fortunately were able to relocate the bird. This time,
we were able to take several photos and get better views. The images were sent to a Dutch specialist,
Laurens Steijn, and he suggested the possibility of a Barred Warbler.

The birds most distinctive features were its barred undertail coverts, pale eyes and pale wing-bars, a
combination of characters that excludes all other Sylvia warblers. I realised that this was quite an
exceptional species for the Azores, and also for the whole of Portugal. Ellen de Bruin and Lieuwe van
Welie collaborated in the identification process; all observers are very experienced birders, and also
have experience with the identification of this species in Europe.

This record has been submitted to the PRC, and subject to acceptance becomes the first for both the
Azores and Portugal. Barred Warbler breeds as far west as southern Scandinavia, north-east
Germany and Central Europe, but migrates south-east to winter in East Africa; reverse migrants in
autumn are scarce but regular in Britain and north-west France, less so in Ireland. The species is
unknown in Iberia and north-west Africa, and there are no previous records from the Atlantic islands.
This record is thus the most westerly ever recorded for the species.

Barred Warbler, Aldeia da Cuada, Flores, September (Ricardo van Dijk)

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South Polar Skua at the Bank of Fortune, 27th August 2014

Richard Bonser

The last week of August is now a (relatively) tried and tested time for pelagic trips off Graciosa. And we were
into the daily swing of things on 27th August 2014. Wed already had a good day on the Bank of Fortune with
everyone getting decent views of a Swinhoes Storm-petrel plus Bulwers Petrels, Monteiros Storm-petrels and
lots of Great Shearwaters. Mid afternoon, I was chumming as usual when out the corner of my eye I spotted a
large skua coming in to investigate the boat. This was the first-ever large skua (Great Skua/South Polar Skua)
that wed recorded on August pelagics, so inevitably I was a little excited. Id seen Great Skuas in late May 2011,
but with an increased understanding of South Polar Skua migration from the north-west Atlantic south-
eastwards in early autumn, as well as recent extralimital records from Lanzarote and Madeira, this species was
always going to be a possibility in Azorean waters in late August.

Fortunately, the bird came in a couple of times and it was evident in the field that we were dealing with a bird
in wing moult, but in relatively dull conditions and with the bird generally circling above the boat, it was a case
of taking photos, digesting field detail and seek further clarification thereafter. The identification consensus on
the boat was split, with some people feeling that it felt lighter in build than a typical Great Skua while others
were rather nonplussed. Nevertheless, once we got back to land and returned to the hotel, I emailed Dani
Lopez Velasco, co-author of the British Birds paper on South Polar/Great Skua identification.

Having had the experience of the Great Skuas off Graciosa in May 2011, I knew the key to getting the
identification right was ageing it correctly. Southern hemisphere skuas are essentially born six months apart
from Great Skuas, and so moult timings differ accordingly. Adults of both South Polar and Great Skuas have one
wing moult each year, after their respective breeding seasons, while birds in their first 12 months undergo two
wing moults.

Initially, ageing proved difficult, although Martin Gottschling, present on the pelagic trip and instrumental in
furthering discussion on the bird, was correct to age it as a third-calendar-year or older, on the basis of cold-
toned, scalloped scapulars that lacked any streaking or golden tones to be expected in a second-calendar-year
Great Skua in late August. Additionally, primary moult either fitted a second-calendar-year Great Skua or an
older South Polar Skua. Using the primary moult score table in the British Birds article, I calculated it to be 44,
with P10 in pin (1), P9 half grown (3) and P1 to P8 fully grown (8 x 5). For late August, this would indicate a
South Polar Skua, assuming ageing was correct.

The bill was also relatively long and parallel-sided (described as a meat cleaver by one of the authors of the
paper!), and the underparts were smooth, contrasting with the dark underwing. Although not obviously
capped, there was a lack of neck speckling, again a feature favouring South Polar Skua.

In reaching the identification, it was useful to compare a confirmed South Polar Skua sighted in the North
Atlantic at a similar time of year and of a similar age. A bird ringed in the South Shetland Islands in 2005 was
seen (and photographed) in waters off Marthas Vineyard, Massachusetts on 15 th August 2007 the primary
moult, body coloration and extent of white on the primary bases was near identical to the Azorean bird.

Identifying South Polar Skua is still an ongoing subject that will inevitably develop further in future years.
Documenting birds such as this, and reviewing them over time when potentially new criteria are developed,
can only be of benefit to the whole identification process.

Coming to this identification involved a collaborative approach with several individuals deserving credit, as well
as everyone on the pelagic itself. Most notably, Martin Gottschling was typically thorough in his approach, and

68
Dani Lopez Velasco, Dick Newell, Martin Scott, Chris Batty and Peter Alfrey provided decent discussion and
aired their views.

Above and below: South Polar Skua, Bank of Fortune, August (Richard Bonser)

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Appendix 1

ADDITIONAL RECORDS

The following records from 2014 are listed separately here because they do not meet the criteria
adopted by the Records Validation Group for inclusion in the main Systematic List (see Introduction
and Appendix 2). This does not necessarily mean that there has been an error in identification, but
rather that for such locally or nationally rare species the required supporting evidence for example,
unequivocal photographic documentation, sound recordings or a detailed description is incomplete
or lacking. Should further evidence become available, such records can be included in the Systematic
List in a future report and added to the Azores Bird Club database accordingly.

Canada Goose (Ganso-do-Canad) Branta canadensis National PRC species


Graciosa a moribund individual picked up at Praia on 18 th October.
Pico one at Santa Luzia on 19th October.

Pied-billed Grebe (Mergulho-caador) Podilymbus podiceps National PRC species


Corvo two were found dead at the new harbour in Vila Nova on 3 rd February.
Faial one at Feteira on 24th November.

Lesser Kestrel (Peneireiro-das-torres) Falco naumanni Local PRC species


th th th
Santa Maria one at the airport from 9 to 20 March and at the same site on 20 October.

Sora (Franga dgua da Carolina) Porzana carolina National PRC species


Santa Maria one calling at Lagoa Ginjal on 7 to 8 October and again nearby on 20th October.
th th

Corncrake (Codornizo) Crex crex National PRC species


So Miguel one at Povoaao on 25th October.

Pacific Golden Plover (Tarambola-dourada-siberiana) Pluvialis fulva National PRC species


Santa Maria one over the airport on 26 September and one at Abegoaria Grande on 7 th and 14th
th

October.

Broad-billed Sandpiper (Pilrito-falcinelo) Limicola falcinellus National PRC species


Santa Maria one at the airport on 30th September.

Bairds Sandpiper (Pilrito-de-bico-fino) Calidris bairdii National PRC species


Santa Maria one at Abegoaria Grande on 14th to 18th October.

Short-billed Dowitcher (Maarico-de-bico-curto) Limnodromus griseus National PRC species


st
Santa Maria one reported at Abegoaria Grande on 1 October was either this species or Long-billed
Dowitcher.

70
European Herring Gull (Gaivota-prateada) Larus argentatus National PRC species
rd
Pico first-winter at Barca on 3 February.
Terceira: an adult on 14th November and a first-winter at Praia da Vitria on 5 th October.

American Herring Gull (Gaivota-prateada-americana) Larus smithsonianus National PRC species


Terceira adult at Lagoa do Junco on 16th February.

Franklins Gull (Gaivota-das-pradarias) Larus pipixcan National PRC species


th
Santa Maria three (two adults and a second-year) at P. do Lobaio on 26 September.

Forsters Tern (Garajau-de-Forster) Sterna forsteri National PRC species


So Miguel one at So Roque on 17th November.

Red-rumped Swallow (Andorinha-daurica) Cecropis daurica Local PRC species


So Miguel one at Joo Bom on 11th May (GM).

Citrine Wagtail (Alvola-citrina) Motacilla citreola National PRC species


Santa Maria one present from the previous winter until 24 th February.

Eurasian Wren (Carria) Troglodytes troglodytes Local PRC species


So Miguel one at Antonio Borges Park, Ponta Delgada, on 7th and 8th November.

Song Thrush (Tordo-comum) Turdus philomelos Local PRC species


Santa Maria one east of the airport on 16th March.

Blyths Reed Warbler (Felosa-das-moitas) Acrocephalus dumetorum National PRC species.


Santa Maria one at the airport on 28th September.

Sedge Warbler (Felosa-dos-juncus) Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Local PRC species.


Terceira one at Paul da Praia on 28th October.

Yellow-browed Warbler (Felosa-bilistada) Phylloscopus inornatus National PRC species


Pico one at Formosinha on 8th January.

Rustic Bunting (Escrevedeira-rstica) Emberiza rustica National PRC species


Santa Maria one on 20th October.

White-throated Sparrow (Escrevedeira-de-garganta-branca) Zonotrichia albicollis National PRC species


Santa Maria one at P. do Malmerendo on 20th October.

Brown-headed Cowbird (Chopim-mulato) Molothrus ater National PRC species


Santa Maria one at P. do Malmerendo on 20th October.

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APPENDIX 2
GUIDELINES ON CRITERIA FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF RECORDS FROM THE AZORES

First record for the Azores

Single observer
Clear photographic record showing identification features. Preferably a range of photographs and/or
video footage showing salient features from various angles. Also preferable if photo shows context of
where taken- showing e.g. endemic vegetation or recognizable landforms/features. Where call is a
factor then a sound recording is also recommended. Where call is a critical identification feature than
a sound recording is essential.

Multi-observer (two or more individuals)


Preferably a photographic record/sound record as above
Or
Very detailed notes/detailed sketches from observers who have good experience with describing
rarities to rarity committees.
Exceptions
Detailed notes and sketches could be considered by an observer who has a prolonged history of
successful and high-quality record submissions and who has not been able to collect photographic
evidence due to exceptional and rare circumstances which should be detailed.

Second to 10th records for the Azores

Single observer
Preferably: clear photographic record showing identification features, and ideally a range of
photographs and/or video footage showing salient features from various angles. Also preferable if
photo shows context of where taken showing e.g. endemic vegetation or recognisable
landforms/features.
Where call is a factor, then a sound recording is also recommended. Where call is a critical
identification feature, a sound recording is essential.
Or
Detailed notes and detailed sketches from an observer with good rarity recording experience.

Multi-observer
Co-ordinated notes and sketches from all observers.

11 or more records for the Azores

Single observer
Preferably photo documentation.
Detailed notes and sketches considered from an observer, preferably with rarity-recording
experience.

Multi-observer
Preferably photo documentation. Co-ordinated detailed notes from observers. Sketches are
preferable.

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NOTES FOR CONTRIBUTORS

The Editorial Group welcomes submissions of records, images, papers and short notes relating to
rare and scarce birds in the Azores.

Records of interest which have not already appeared online at azoresbirdsightings.blogspot.co.uk


should be sent to Peter Alfrey: littleoakgroup@btinternet.com. Please note the criteria for inclusion
in this report which is set out in Appendix 2 (see page 74), and include the necessary supporting
evidence for sightings of rare and scarce birds with your submission.

Images for possible publication should be sent to Vincent Legrand, Photographic Editor:
legrandtwitch@gmail.com. Original, unedited RAW or high-quality Jpegs are preferred, with files
renamed to indicate the species name, location, island, date and photographers name, as follows:

NorthernFlicker_Fojo_Corvo_15October2010(VincentLegrand)

When submitting images, the email subject line should read Azores [year] selection [your name].
Copyright of individual images published in this report remains with the photographer.

Contributors of papers and short notes for possible publication should send text as a Word or RTF
file, attached to an email, to Peter Alfrey: littleoakgroup@btinternet.com. Accounts of the discovery
of new or very rare species in the Azores are particularly welcome, but the Editorial Group would be
pleased to consider material on a wide range of subjects related to rare and scarce birds in the
Azores, including identification and changes in status and distribution. If required, advice can be
provided on the suitability of any proposed material at the draft stage. Written submissions are
considered on the understanding that they are being offered solely for publication in the Azores Rare
and Scarce Birds Report, which will retain copyright.

Unless notified otherwise, English and scientific names of birds should follow the IOC World Bird List
at www.worldbirdnames.org/ioc-lists/family-index.

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NOTAS PARA COLABORADORES
O Grupo Editorial recebe submisses de registros, imagens, documentos e notas curtas relativas a
aves raras e escassos nos Aores.

Registros de interesse que no tenham j apareceram online no azoresbirdsightings.blogspot.co.uk


deve ser enviado para Peter Alfrey: littleoakgroup@btinternet.com. Por favor, note os critrios de
incluso no presente relatrio, que apresentado no apndice 2 (ver pgina 74), e incluem os
elementos comprovativos necessrios para avistamentos de pssaros raros e escassos com o seu
envio.

Possveis imagens para publicao devem de ser enviadas para o Vincent Legrand, editor fotogrfico:
legrandtwitch@gmail.com. De preferncia fotos originais no editadas em formato RAW ou Jpegs
em alta resoluo com os ficheiros identificando espcie, localizao, ilha, data e o nome do
fotografo como neste exemplo:

NorthernFlicker_Fojo_ Corvo_15Outubro2010 (Vincent Legrand).

Quando enviar os ficheiros, favor escrever em assunto do email Azores, o ano, seleo e o seu
nome. Direitos de imagens individuais publicadas neste relatrio permanecem com o fotgrafo.

Contribuintes de papis e notas curtas para possvel publicao deve enviar o texto como um arquivo
Word ou RTF, anexado a um e-mail, para Peter Alfrey: littleoakgroup@btinternet.com. Contas da
descoberta de espcies novas ou muito raros nos Aores so particularmente bem-vinda, mas o
Grupo Editorial seria o prazer de considerar o material em uma vasta gama de assuntos relacionados
com as aves raras e escassos nos Aores, incluindo a identificao e mudanas no estado e
distribuio. Se necessrio, o conselho pode ser fornecida sobre a adequao de qualquer material
proposto na fase de projecto. Observaes por escrito so considerados no entendimento de que
eles esto sendo oferecidos exclusivamente para a publicao nos Aores raros e escassos Birds
relatrio, que ir reter direitos autorais.

A no ser notificado em contrrio, os nomes cientficos de aves Ingls e deve seguir a lista Pssaro
IOC World at www.worldbirdnames.org/ioc-lists/family-index.

74
BACK ISSUES

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USEFUL WEBSITES AND LINKS

http://azores.avesdeportugal.info
http://azoresbirdsightings.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.azoreschoice.com
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