February 2016 - visitant birds' observations to Madeira

After one of the warmest Januaries on the last 80 years, February started wet and cold in Madeira... Not the best weather to go out birdwatching though some interesting species might still be found out there!

4th of February 2016 at Lugar de Baixo - observations by Jesper & Anne Mette Jorgensen (DEN)
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

2nd of February 2016 at Lido, Funchal - reported by Richard Banks (UK)
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

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Birds spending New Year 2016 at Madeira

Happy New Year to all Madeira Birds followers!
January has started with warm weather, with temperatures up to 23ºC so lets see if we get any migrating bird species diverting their way to this temperate climate...

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris

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Madeira Birdwatching in December 2015

December has started warmer and drier than usual and although some storms are happening on the North Atlantic, in Madeira it still feels like summer and it still is quiet in terms of vagrant birds around! So lets see which bird species will visit us for Christmas and New Year:

28th of December 2015 at Caniçal
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros

At Machico
> 17 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea

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Birding in Madeira in November 2015

Temperature just dropped as November started but the sun is shining! November is normally good for some vagrant ducks but Madeira is always a surprise box, we never know which vagrant bird species we will find when we go out birdwatching...

20th of November 2015 at Faial
3 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Little Egret Egretta garzetta

19th of November 2015 at Caniçal
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
> 12 Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis

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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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