Birds visiting Madeira in July 2015

The heat wave in Europe might push some birds into the mild temperatures of Madeira... Let's watch which birds will visit this archipelago during July:

20th of July 2015 at Caniçal
2 Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops

18th of July 2015 at Lugar de Baixo
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

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Madeira Petrels & Storm Petrels Pelagic Expedition, 16-18 June 2015

On this pelagic expedition Zino's petrel was only observed well with a definite identification on the second day but again, we saw all the aimed seabird species!! Of course, Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis and Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii accompany us all days.

White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina hypoleuca

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Madeira Pelagic Expedition marked by light wind, June 2015

Great Skua Stercorarius skua

A pelagic marked by the very light wind, which is normally not good for seabirds, though we managed to watch all the aimed species, once again! Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis and Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii are present everyday as these are the most common seabirds around.

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June 2015 vagrant birds' sightings in Madeira

The first days of June were marked by very strong winds from the Northeast quadrant so we might expect some interesting late migrants to visit Madeira...

27th of June 2015 at Ponta do Pargo
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus - 2 females + 1 juvenile
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus
2 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

15th of June 2015 at Ponta do Pargo
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus - 1 female
5 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

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Birdwatching in Madeira

Madeira Archipelago offers good conditions to birdwatchers, not only in terms of breeding birds but also vagrant bird species. Though there are only 47 breeding species to these islands, about half of them are endemic species or subspecies to Madeira or to Macaronesia region (Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands).

Madeira has three endemic species: Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz which is associated with the native forest of Madeira: the Laurel Forest; Madeira Firecrest Regulus madeirensis, normally observed on forested areas and the rare Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira, a threatened seabird that nests on the highest mountains of Madeira. Regarding the Macaronesia bird species, one may observe Fea's/Desertas Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta, Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro, Atlantic Canary Serinus canaria, Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotti and the Plain Swift Apus unicolor.

One interesting feature of birding in Madeira is the high number of endemic subspecies from which the ornithological highlights go to the bluish Madeiran Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs maderensis and the darker colours of Barn Owl Tyto alba schmitzi and Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea schmitzi.

However, seabirds are the major attraction for birdwatchers because there are several colonies of world importance. In Madeira archipelago one may find 8 breeding seabirds species namely the rare Pterodromas (P. feae and P. madeira), Barolo's Shearwater Puffinus baroli, Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro and White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina hypoleuca. This last species being confined to breed in Selvagens Islands but observed offshore on Wind Birds' Pelagic Expeditions.

A pelagic trip on Madeira or seawatching from the coast gives you also the chance to observe some vagrant birds like Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis, Great Skua Stercorarius skua, Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus or European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, between others;

Join one of Wind Birds tours and you will see not only Madeira birds but also amazing landscapes which are out of the common tourist routes!

white faced storm petrel bulwers petrel

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