Great start for the Zino's Petrel Pelagics season! 17-19 May 2022

After hibernating for 6 months 'Oceanodroma' rhib is running Zino's Petrel Pelagic Expeditions again and with a great start! 7 Zino's petrel, 7 Madeiran storm petrel and 7 Barolo's shearwaters where watched properly on the 3 consecutive afternoons! As we feared, it was a bit early for Fea's/Desertas' Petrels as this is the time they start to arrive from their migration... Good number of cetacean species as well!

19th May 2022 - West wind between 0 and 4 knots, 0.5 meters swell
Sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus
7 Barolo’s shearwater Puffinus baroli
5 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Lesser Black-backed gull Larus fuscus
Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Read More

Birdwatching in Madeira - May 2022

May is a good month for birdwatching everywhere in the world! It's peak Spring and birds are active, either cleaning their nests or displaying or, (in Madeira at least) already feeding their young ones! But it is also a good time for migration!

16th of May 2022 at Caniçal
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
5 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

9th of May 2022 at Calheta
Western Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava flava

7th of May 2022 at Caniçal
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus

3rd of May 2022 at Faial - Found by Rachel (IRE)
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius

Read More

Madeira - birding in April 2022

April should be a Spring month when most birds are singing, displaying and preparing their nests but this year April started wetter and colder than usual and with snow up on the highest peaks which forced us to postpone the first Zino's Night Expedition... Anyway, birds still have to migrate northwards and we hope to watch some passing by Madeira.

30th of April 2022 at Calheta
Laughing gull Leucophaeus atricilla

29th of April 2022 at Caniçal
3 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

25th of April 2022 at Santa Cruz
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Read More

Birdwatching in Madeira, March 2022

After a couple of difficult years we had some days off so the bird news about Madeira where a little slow for a while... March, despeite being a Spring month brought some strong winds and some very low temperatures for Madeira.

27th of March 2022 at Funchal - observed by Roger (UK)
Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus - in the gardens of the English Church
Great Skua Stercorarius skua - while seawatching from Lido area

Watched by Charles (UK)
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus - flying west over Funchal

25th of March 2022 at Funchal harbour - reported by Charles (UK)
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis

23rd of March 2022 at Machico
14 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Read More

Birding in Madeira - February 2022

This month Wind Birds is celebrating its 18th year of birdwatching tours in Madeira and we sure hope to celebrate it with some interesting vagrant species around! Some of the resident species are already behaving like its Spring as temperatures have been quite high for this time of year. And winds are blowing from Southeast which may divert some birds from its northwards migration to this little bit of land in the Atlantic...

14th of February 2022 at Ponta do Pargo
>30 Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis

Around Pico da Piedade, Caniçal - Observed by Thierry & Marianne (FRA)
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

13th of February 2022 around Pico da Piedade, Caniçal - watched by Thierry & Marianne (FRA)
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos

At Palheiro Gardens
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

12th of February 2022 at Machico
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Common sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
17 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Around Pico da Piedade, Caniçal - reported by Thierry & Marianne (FRA)
2 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis

Read More

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!

Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro

Read More