This Wind Birds' pelagic started with a strange first day with only common species at the chum but the consequent days were really successful. Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis and Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii were seen in hundreds everyday.
Atlantic Spotted dolphins Stenella frontalis
Common Bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus
2 Bryde's whales Balaenoptera edeni
July is a quiet month for vagrant birds around Madeira archipelago though sometimes we may get some surprises as some early migrants can stop by...
This pelagic was marked by light wind and a quiet activity at the chumming area but we ended up observing all species aimed and all very well observed despite the low numbers. Of course, Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis, Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii and a few Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus puffinus were the entertaining species during our wait for the other seabirds.
Another amazing pelagic with almost all aimed species observed on the 1st day! Although the wind and sea conditions did not change much through these 3 pelagic days the species of seabirds observed and their behaviours varied a lot! A great number of cetacean species from the Odontoceti sub-order (toothed whales) was also a highlight of this expedition.
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!