I’ve been to the Cape Verde Islands for my holidays this winter and it was just what the doctor ordered.
We stayed on the island of Sal and I know its not the best island for birds but for a barren island its better than you think. It has golden sands, beautiful sunshine and a nice culture. Most of the Island is barren with hard ground from the lack of rain but there is something about it I love.
I never really went birding as it was about chilling and being with the kids, but one day we hired a car to go and had a look around the island, but we ended up stopping all over the place looking at birds.
The kids got sick but my wife started spotting things before me, which was really surprising as she is not into birds at all.
At first I was driving but then she took over so I could jump out the car quickly if we spotted something.
We spotted a lot of Cattle Egrets at first, which was great as it was the only second time I have seen them but this time I was a lot closer.
We also spotted a raptor and I did not know what it was, but a friend thought it might be a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier but he couldn’t rule out a Pallid Harrier, so if anyone could help that would be great. Sorry its a very distant shot.
The Islands gets lots of wind to and you can tell by the way the trees and brushes are bent over.
A lone bull in the middle of know where.
We saw lots of Iago Sparrows and a cracking Hoopee Lark.
We worked our way back to the apartment we saw a few Black-Winged Stilts, Ringed Plovers, Turnstones, Lesser Yellowlegs all on a small salt plain just a we approached Santa Maria itself.
By the time we had done all the Island the kids were sick so I did not want to push my luck anymore. I will have to take a trip over on my own and then I will not have to think about the kids.
Anyway the Cream-Coloured Courser stole the show for me as I was just impressed by the plain but natural colours, the long legs and the way it could blend into the background so easy. I also liked the black and white strip above and behind its eye with the slate grey on the top of its head to finish it off.
Over all I was pleased with what I had seen and this has just wetted my appetite for the next time I go over and hopefully I will be able to visit other Islands to.