'Had them all' pelagic expedition! 24-26 July 2021

A great pelagic with all the aimed bird species well observed! Even White-faced Storm Petrel appeared and stood quite a while feeding on the chum! As usual, Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis and Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii were present every day.

24th of July 2021 - North wind up to 7 knots, NNW swell up to 1 meter and north waves up to 0.5 meters
Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta - on the way up
White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina hypoleuca
Common Tern Sterna hirundo- juvenile
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
2 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus

Common Bottlenose Dolphins Tursiops truncatus

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Birding in Madeira - July 2021

Although most of our time has been spent on pelagic expeditions, July is not the best month for vagrant birds as it is a summer month when bird species are breeding on their colonies. Though there are always some visiting birds around...

25th of July 2021 at Caniçal
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops

15th of July 2021 at Ponta São Lourenço
5 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus

14th of July 2021 at Faial
3 Little Egret Egretta garzetta

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Despite the odds it was another great pelagic expedition, 6th - 8th July 2021

The forecasts were for very light wind but it ended up with enough breeze for the seabirds to smell the chum and come and check it! Thousands of Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii and hundreds of Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis were watched through the 3 consecutive afternoons.

6th of July 2021 - Northeast wind up to 6 knots and 1 meter swell from same direction
6 Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta - 2 on the way
5 Pterodroma sp. - 2 on the way to the chumming position
5 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira

Loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta
Common Bottlenose Dolphins Tursiops truncatus
Shortfin Macko Shark Isurus oxyrinchus

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1st week July 2021 - Pelagic Expedition with some surprises!

Another light wind pelagic… But the breeze still blown the chum smell further enough to attract the aimed species! and even a 1st record for these pelagic expeditions: Sooty Tern! Again, Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii and Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis were present everyday.

1st of July 2021 - Flat sea, only a breeze up to 3 knots from southwest which then shifted to west up to 5 knots
3 Pterodroma sp. - 2 on the way up
9 Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta sitting within a raft of Cory’s
Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus - immature
4 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
2 Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii
Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus

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Zino's Petrel Pelagic Expedition - 27th to 29th June 2021

This time we had low wind but there was still a breeze to blow the smell of the chum away and attract some seabirds and, despite having to wait for them quite patiently we finally got good views of them all! Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii and Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis were our entertainment while waiting for any other seabird species to show up.

27th of June 2021 - 5 knots wind from the N and 0.5 meter waves from NNE
11 Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii - on a feeding na frenzy with Cory’s Shearwater
9 Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus - 2 on the way up
Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta - was sitting on the water close to the chumming position
3 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins Stenella frontalis

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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!

Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro

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