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Cape Verde

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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 09:58   #1
Andy Hurley
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Cape Verde

We are looking for a destination for the last week of October, my wife wants to get some sunshine.
I thought of Cape Verde, but having never been, I don't know about what island(s) to visit, for the endemics and generally birding Cape Verde. I couldn't find a Local patch page for Cape Verde either, so sorry if I'm to stupid to search properly.
Could anyone recommend a fieldguide for Cape Verde?

Thank you for your help
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 10:00   #2
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Here's your field guide
http://www.nhbs.com/title/61549/bird...lantic-islands
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 10:28   #3
Andy Hurley
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Thanks Edward, I saw that one but didn't know how good it is
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 10:39   #4
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Thanks Edward, I saw that one but didn't know how good it is
Pretty good I'd say - I've used it in Tenerife only, not Cape Verde but I don't think there's a better one out there.
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 10:45   #5
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Thanks again Edward, I'll go with that one then.
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 12:07   #6
Stephen Dunstan
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There is a more recent Lynx Edicions field guide, but I prefer the one Edward mentions.

I think to do the Cape Verdes 'properly' you need to island hop, but the main islands all have some birding options.

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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 12:09   #7
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maybe send a PM to Paul Chapman? He's been fairly recently and seems like a helpful chap. As Stephen indicates, it's probably not easy or cheap to get to most of the goodies.
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 13:59   #8
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Thanks guys.
It might be too late for getting a visa, unless I we can get them on arrival.
I agree with the island hopping bit. I suppose a longer break would be needed to do it justice. She might be able to stretch her time off a bit longer though. I'll ask her when she gets in from work tonight.
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Old Monday 13th October 2014, 15:51   #9
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One day in Mindelo was enough to persuade me I wouldn't want to spend a week on that particular island. It's a bit like the land time forgot. I think they had plans it was going to be a big tourist destination but it just hasn't happened as yet. I feel sorry for anyone who bought property there as there were small developments of a few houses in the middle of nowhere. Very few bars and restaurants etc etc.
We arrived and left on a cruise ship. There's a couple of pictures here :-
http://davewilliamsnaturephotography...to-amazon.html

The sewerage works are amongst the best I have seen and are only a short taxi ride from the port area. A good selection of birds which included several lifers for me including Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and Blue Winged Teal and I cursed I had left my big lens on the boat for photographs. There were also Pintails, Snipe,Garganey,Spoonbill, BW Stilt, Bar and Black Tailed Godwit,Little Egret,Kentish Plovers,Ringed Plover,Sanderling and one or two others. From the sewerage works we took an island tour and the place was an avian desert. A few cattle Egrets here and there, a Kestrel and a couple of Brown Necked Raven and Iago Sparrows and that was it.
An Osprey was perched right next to our ship when we docked but the curious thing was that despite all the fishing boats there wasn't a single sea bird to be seen in the harbour area.
Personally I would got to the Gambia in preference... despite Ebola, there are no cases there. I presume Thomas Cook have started flying there for the winter season but not sure if you can go from Germany.

Last edited by Dave Williams : Monday 13th October 2014 at 15:56.
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Old Tuesday 14th October 2014, 06:55   #10
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Thanks Dave,
that sounds a bit bleak. Nice photos, though and you got a few lifers, so not all bad. BN Raven and the endemics would be new for me. Thanks for the link to your website, I'll check out the rest later.
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Old Saturday 18th October 2014, 09:30   #11
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We've decided to go to Sao Miguel in the Azores for a week in November instead.
Thanks again for your help, I'm sure we'll get there someday
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Old Saturday 18th October 2014, 09:51   #12
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As part of our cruise we also went there too Andy.
http://davewilliamsnaturephotography...ect-storm.html
I would imagine that the weather in November will not be that different to February when we went although hopefully you won't have the extremes we did. Basically you are in the lap of the gods and it might go either way. The day we went wasn't particularly brilliant with dark skies and rain and mist. It's an interesting island though and from what I could see Ponta Delgada is very good value for eating out. A ferry trip between the islands would be good for some seabirds.
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Old Sunday 19th October 2014, 06:12   #13
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Quote:
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As part of our cruise we also went there too Andy.
http://davewilliamsnaturephotography...ect-storm.html
I would imagine that the weather in November will not be that different to February when we went although hopefully you won't have the extremes we did. Basically you are in the lap of the gods and it might go either way. The day we went wasn't particularly brilliant with dark skies and rain and mist. It's an interesting island though and from what I could see Ponta Delgada is very good value for eating out. A ferry trip between the islands would be good for some seabirds.
Cheers Dave,
you and the other passengers had a rough cruise. I agree with your sentiment too. Profit before safety
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Old Friday 24th October 2014, 17:51   #14
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I only noticed this thread last night (and was preoccupied then by something else).

Doing the Cape Verdes comprehensively should be a lot easier than it appears to be. Regular tourist holidays go to Boa Vista these days from English airports and there are regular (daily?) flights between Boa Vista (Rabil) and Santiago (Praia). However, internal flights have the reputation of being chaos and one more island is needed than those two!

My sightings on a bird tour - April/May 2013:-

Boa Vista - White-faced Storm-petrel, Madeiran Storm-petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Alexander's Kestrel, Black-crowned Sparrow-lark, Bar-tailed Desert-lark, Greater Hoopoe-lark, Brown-necked Raven & Iago Sparrow. In a Western Paleartic context you need to visit for Magnificent Frigatebird and you can see the storm-petrels at a colony. They are seen from tourist whale-watching boats I believe as well. I only saw Iago Sparrow but I believe the Swift occurs.

Santiago - Fea's Petrel, Cape Verde Shearwater, Boyd's Shearwater, Red-billed Tropicbird, Brown Booby, Black Heron, Western Reef Heron, Intermediate Egret, Bourne's Heron, Cape Verde Buzzard, Alexander's Kestrel, Helmeted Guineafowl, Cape Verde Barn Owl, Cape Verde Swift, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Black-crowned Sparrow-lark, Bar-tailed Desert-lark, Greater Hoopoe-lark, Cape Verde Cane-warbler, Brown-necked Raven & Iago Sparrow. All of the endemics occur here save for Raso Lark (and possibly if you take a 'proactive' approach to taxonomy the Peregrine which is the toughest to see).

This solely leaves Raso Lark which effectively sits on an island between Sao Nicolau (Neglected Kestrel and Cape Verde Peregrine seen) and Sao Vicente.

I would have thought the cheapest approach is to go for a fortnight's package holiday on Boa Vista and try to get to Santiago for a couple of days in that fortnight. We did Santiago for two days. However, the missing species would require more effort. Our experience of getting to and from Sao Nicolau was the most chaotic. Once there you have access to fishermen, boat trips and (even more) seawatching.

Visas were available on arrival when I went.

It is a well-trodden path:-

http://www.surfbirds.com/trip_report.php?id=795

All the best
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Last edited by Paul Chapman : Saturday 25th October 2014 at 07:44.
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