Despite the low wind we certainly managed to get great close views of all the aimed species and more! 4 species of shearwaters, 4 storm-petrels and 3 petrels made our pelagic expedition! Thanks to Erik Wahlgren from Sweeden for sharing some of his amazing photos with us!
7th of June 2016 - flat sea, wind up to 2 knots from West
1 Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus - less than 5 records for Madeira!
3 Fea's petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta
7 White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina hypoleuca - 6 at same time on the chum slick
Summer starts in June and although we get all Madeira seabirds around for their breeding grounds it is not such a good month for vagrant birds in land... Though there are still some birds that visit this archipelago...
We guess we can call this pelagic a Storm-petrels pelagic expedition as those were the ones offering us a great show on the 2nd day! And we did observe all the species we aimed for!
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!