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The "best in west" competition, Corvo or Flores?


Corvo birders waiting for the boat to Flores (Photo 2009-10-18: Bosse Carlsson).

For some years it has been a small friendly “competition” between birders visiting Corvo or Flores. Where shall the best birds turn up? Which island is the best in Western Palearctic when it comes to finding vagrant American birds?
   Flores should attract more birds since it is a larger island and has a wider range of habitats. On the other hand Corvo so far has hosted much more birders (especially the two latest seasons), and it is easier to cover and thus to get second chances in finding observed birds. Further more it is more northerly situated which can be good if most Nearctic vagrants drop in to the Azores more from the North than the West (which some believe).
   All true new American vagrants count, the only exception is for those birds that might come from different breeding areas. Included are all American species listed in the Birding Azores database plus Ring-billed Gull, and true American subspecies like Hudsonian Whimbrel and Taiga Merlin. This is according to what is reported to Birding Azores, and the time limit is birds arriving from October 1 to and including November 10.
   

Previous years
In the last four autumns 2006-2009 the result was as follows (total and within parenthesis number of species):
2006. Flores 35 (21), Corvo 23 (15)
2007. Flores 133 (30), Corvo 52 (22)
2008. Corvo 35 (22), Flores 28 (19)
2009. Corvo 63 (33), Flores 53 (24)
   Flores got the highest figures in the first two years, and Corvo in the two latest – so the score is at the moment 2-2.

Which island will take the lead?

Follow the results here:
Updated November 10, 2010.
Corvo 56 new birds, 31 species.
Flores 67 new birds, 33 species.

For details see Bird database, Year list for 2010.

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