30 Apr 2018

30 Apr 18 - A Day Trip To Cape Verde (Part 2)

We had had a good start to the day trip to Praia & Santiago Island where we had seen the endemic species Cape Verde Buzzard, Alexander's Swift & Cape Verde Sparrow. Additionally, we had seen the endemic Bourne's Purple Heron & Alexander's Kestrel which are regarded as subspecies of Purple Heron & Kestrel respectively, but have been split in the past. However, we still needed to see the endemic Cape Verde Warbler. This is another Acrocephalus Warbler that seems to have found a niche on a small island group & evolved into a distinct species. The Pacific has quite a few Acrocephalus Warblers including Tahiti Reed Warbler, Pitcairn Reed Warbler & Henderson Island Reed Warbler.
Cape Verde Warbler: There were several in the Acacia scrub. Despite the Acacia looking to be a fairly open tree, they were remarkable good at skulking in it
Cape Verde Warbler: They sit still & spend a lot of time looking for insects. This species is restricted to Santiago Island, but used to occur on Sao Nicolau & Brava Islands
Cape Verde Warbler: It is surprisingly short-winged
Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher: This species is also known as Grey-headed Kingfisher & is found on Cape Verde, in most of Sub Saharan Africa & along the Red Sea coast of the Southern Arabian Peninsula
Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher: This is the acteon subspecies which only occurs on the Cape Verde islands & is a nice Western Palearctic Tick
Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher: This widespread species helped to make Cape Verde feel more African than the Canary Islands & Madeira which have a more European feel to their Birds
Spectacled Warbler: This is the orbitalis subspecies which occurs on Cape Verde, the Canary Islands & Madeira. The nominate conspicillata subspecies occurs in the Iberian Peninsula, Italy & North Africa
Spectacled Warbler: I only saw a couple during the day
Spectacled Warbler
Blackcap: This is the gularis subspecies of Blackcap which is restricted to Cape Verde & the Azores
Blackcap: It was good to get these photos as I only saw a couple of Blackcaps during the day
There was also an African Monarch by the dam. The last ones we had seen were on St Helena.
African Monarch
Back on the dam wall, a few more Black-winged Stilts had joined the Little Egret flock. Overall, there were ten Black-winged Stilts on the reservoir bottom, but most were further back.
Little Egrets & Black-winged Stilts
Black-winged Stilt: This is regarded as a monotypic species with just one subspecies throughout its range
It was time to head off to look for some Larks & Cream-coloured Courser. As we were driving away from the reservoir, we saw this group of Helmeted Guineafowls feeding quietly near the road. A quick stop allowed a few photos from the minibus. This widespread Sub-Saharan African species are regarded as a self-sustaining population on the Cape Verde, so it was Cat C addition to my Western Palearctic List.
Helmeted Guineafowl
Helmeted Guineafowl