Sunday 24 March 2013

Birding on Boa Vista, Cape Verde - part 2 desert birds

This post is the second installment of some of the birds seen on Boa Vista, one of the main islands of Cape Verde.  Desert birding features prominently here.  Whilst the number of species is typically limited on a remote island, the quality makes up for the paucity of birds.  I connected with everything possible on this island.  (To see other species such as Alexanders Swift, Razo Lark and Cape Verde Warbler, you have to visit another two islands).  Cream-coloured Coursers were reasonably common in suitable semi-arable / desert habitat.  On one occasion I found a group of 12 birds feeding together.

Hoopoe Larks were common with breeding pairs and singing males within earshot of the hotel.  Within a couple hundred metres of the hotel there were many birds easily encountered.  Bar-tailed Larks were also common.  Singing males could be heard either side of the hotel but the flat area to the west seemed to be preferred.  The miniture serin-sized Black-capped Sparrow Larks were uncommon and restricted to some old arable "farmland" about one mile north of the hotel.  These inquisitive little larks have a distinctive song and flight display.  A displaying male attracts several females as they watch in awe!

Spectacled Warblers were common and had already gone past courtship and display rituals. Males and females were attending to young in the nest.  Iago Sparrow was surprisingly scarce.  I only saw one pair.  In contrast, there were hundreds of Spanish Sparrows.

Osprey was common and I saw several near the coast.  I managed to see one Cape Verde Peregrine and luckily got a few shots as well.  This is apparently quite a rare bird here. A pair of Alexanders Kestrel were breeding in the hotel grounds.  I also saw a second year male Marsh Harrier.

Black-capped Sparrow Lark - an intriguing little lark, fairly localised in suitable habitat

Adult Hoopoe Lark - a common bird.

Juv Hoopoe Lark, just fledged.

Bar-tailed Lark.

Male Iago Sparrow, one of only two seen all trip.

Male Spectacled Warbler - a common bird.
Adult Cream-coloured Courser

Cream-coloured Courser - part of a flock of 12 birds.

Cape Verde Peregrine - the only sighting.

Osprey - breeds on the island and fairly common.

1 comment:

  1. Stunning post Steve, looks like a great place to bird.