November should be a winter month but until mid-November we have been getting summer weather, with quite high temperatures for this time of year and not so much rain as one should expect... Although it is a low month for touristy demand it sometimes attracts some interesting vagrant bird species...
12th of November 2019 at Porto Santo - recorded by Tim (UK)
Merlin Falco columbarius - less than 5 records on the last 50 years!
Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes - less than 5 records on the last 50 years!
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca - - less than 5 records on the last 50 years!
11th of November 2019 at São Vicente
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
3 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
3 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba
The records below, from the 5th to the 10th of November 2019, were all sent by Tim (UK) and are all from Porto Santo island:
10th of November 2019
5 Pink-footed goose Anser brachyrhynchus
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
9th of November 2019
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla (photographed bird) - less than 5 records on the last 50 years!
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus (photographed bird) - This is the 2nd record for Madeira
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
October is usually a good month for migration and with some of these climate changes blowing hurricanes to the Northeast Atlantic it may be a good combination to deviate some birds from their migratory route into Madeira.
26th of October 2019 at Porto Santo - recorded by Frank Zino
5 Pink-footed goose Anser brachyrhynchus - less than 5 records on the last 50 years
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Migration is on its best this month so lets hope wind will blow some bird species this way to diversify the birding population around Madeira! Despite the 48 breeding species it is always good to watch different birds...
It was not the expected ending for 2019 as we missed a good view of Zino's Petrel. We saw it on all other 2019 pelagic expeditions though... The good part is that Storm-petrels and Great shearwater were well observed and, of course, the always present Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis and Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii. Another species we missed at the chumming position was Yellow-legged Gull which was weird...
22nd of August 2019 - NNE wind up to 8 knots and northern waves up to 2 meters
Pterodroma sp. on the way
Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta on the way
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus puffinus on the way up
Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis - on the way back
Finally things are getting back to normal with more species of Storm Petrels observed! Ok, White-faced Storm Petrel was literally taken out of a box, it was a rescued bird in land that Hugo and Catarina took to the sea to release. It went well as the bird fed for a while on the chum slick and then slowly flew away from us. Although Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii and Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis are still in less numbers than previous years.
6th of August 2019 - North wind up to 6 knots and waves from same direction up to 0.5 meters
Pterodroma sp. - on the way up
3 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus
Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus
Blainville's beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris
In August migration starts and so there is always a good chance to get some interesting vagrant bird species stopping or passing by Madeira archipelago. Roseate Terns, for example, this year seem to have departed Madeira for their migration earlier, in July, as we can not find them around anymore... So let's see what August 2019 brings for the birdwatchers visiting Madeira this month: