a) Winter Trip:
Sao Miguel for Azores Bullfinch and waterfowl,Terciera for waders and gulls
Day One: Sao Miguel: Lagoa Azul area
The crater lakes in the Lagoa Azul area are magnets for rare wildfowl in the winter. Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck and American Wigeon have been recorded many times. During migration times these water bodies attract vagrant waders and other water birds.
Day Two: Sao Miguel: Priolo and Furnas
The Azores Bullfinch or Priolo will be the target species today which is encountered in the Laurissilva forests of eastern Sao Miguel. After spending the morning in these cloud forests we will descend to Furnas and have Cozido for lunch, a famous local dished cooked by the heat of the nearby volcanic rocks. In the afternoon we will check the nearby lake- Lagoa das Furnas.
Day Three: Sao Miguel: Coast and lakes
Today will be spent exploring the coasts, smaller lakes and wetland areas of Sao Miguel.
Day Four: Terceira: Praia da Vitoria
One of the best places in the Western Palearctic for winter vagrant gulls and waterbirds.
The pools, beaches, quarries and fields around Praia da Vitoria are excellent in the winter for rare gulls and waterbirds. In the winter of 2011 this area hosted Ring-billed Gull (30), American Herring Gull (2), Lesser Scaup (1), Bufflehead (1), Ring-necked Duck (3), Blue-winged Teal (1), American Coot (1), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), , Semipalmated Plover (2), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Great Blue Heron (1) and on other parts of the island there were Yellow-crowned Night Heron (1), Pied-billed Grebe (1) and Greater Yellowlegs (1).
Day Five: Walk from Praia Pools to Cabo da Praia and return
American Herring Gulls are frequently recorded on Terceira during the winter months. Today we will continue spending time exploring the Praia da Vitoria area.
Day Six: Terceira tour
We will continue exploring Terceira for wintering vagrants. Wildfowl groups in winter on the Azores often contain a mix of European and American birds side by side. In the photo to the right there is Bufflehead, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup and Tufted Duck.
Day Seven: Back to Sao Miguel