The group, under the leadership of Vaughan Ashby of Birdfinders, met up at Gatwick airport for our flight to Boa vista one of the islands of the Cape Verde group off the coast of West Africa. We were to see several airports as we travelled from island to island in our quest to see all the species on offer. On arrival we quickly dumped our laggage at the hotel and set off for some birding. We had already got our first 'tick', the endemic Iago Sparrow at the Airport with some Spanish and House Sparrows. We drove out to the coast where we could view an offshore island. We could see good numbers of Brown Boobies and a few Red billed Tropicbirds but it was a single Magnificent Frigatebird, the only one in the Western Palearctic which was the real prize.
Magnificent Frigatebird, a distant image of one of the rarest species in the Western Palearctic.
In the event we saw two Frigatebirds, a male and a female which was encouraging.
On our way back we saw another 'new' bird, Helmeted Guineafowl, plus Black crowned Sparrow Lark, Bar tailed Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Brown necked Raven, Quail, Collared Dove, Osprey and Kestrel. Waders were represented by Greenshank, Sanderling, Ringed plover, Kentish plover, Black winged Stilt and Curlew Sandpiper. It had been an excellent start to the week.