January 2015 Birdwatching reports for Madeira

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone! May your 2015 be a BIG Year!

15th January 2015 at Machico
White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba
2 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
9 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri

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Birdwatching records for Madeira during December 2014

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November 2014 Birdwatching Report

27th November 2014 at Machico
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
4 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

26th November 2014 at Paul da Serra
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia

At Lugar de Baixo
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
2 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

25th November 2014 at Faial
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

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Madeira birdwatching - sightings report, October 2014

31st October 2014 at Porto Moniz - reported by Graham Scott (UK)
Spotted sandpiper Actitis macularius

30th October 2014 at Lugar de Baixo
White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
2 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

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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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