Birding news for Madeira, November 2022

Deep in Autumn, November tends to be a good month for some migratory birds to stop by Madeira, normally waders and ducks... Let's see which bird species will pass by Madeira this year!

11th of November 2022 at Madeira airport - reported by Stefan (GER)
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinoides

10th of November 2022 at Santo da Serra
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Common Ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula

At Machico
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Little egret Egretta garzetta
Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina
12 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

5th of November 2022 at Porto Moniz - observed by Michel (NED)
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

4th of November 2022 at Porto Moniz - records by Michel (NED)
31 Great shearwater Puffinus gravis
32 Sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus

At Ponta do Pargo
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis

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Bird observations in Madeira, October 2022

October is normally a good month for vagrant birds and with the 'delayed' hurricane season in the Atlantic we might get some special vagrants being blown off their course and stopping by...

31st of October 2022 at Porto Moniz - observed by Michel (NED)
2 Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus

30th of October 2022 at Ponta do Pargo - sighting by Michel (NED)
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe oenanthe

29th of October 2022 at Porto Moniz - reported by Michel (NED)
5 Sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus

19th of October 2022 at Machico
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Spotted sandpiper Actitis macularius
9 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
2 Black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus

16th of October 2022 at Ponta do Sol - observed by Isabel (POR)
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

15th of October 2022 at Porto Santo Golf course - reported by Stephen (UK)
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus alpestris

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Birdwatching around Madeira in September 2022

September is starting with some easterly winds which during migration are good to blow some birds out of their course, into Madeira...

28th of September 2022 at Machico
Spotted sandpiper Actitis macularius
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Red Knot Calidris canutus
Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina
22 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Little Egret Egretta garzetta

At Caniçal
2 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe oenanthe

22nd of September 2022 at Funchal harbour - reported by Neil (UK)
2 Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
4 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

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Birding in Madeira, August 2022

In August starts some of the migration and depending from where the winds blow, Madeira might get some vagrant birds passing/stopping by...

31st of August 2022 at Machico
14 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
2 Sanderling Calidris alba

30th of August 2022 off Porto Moniz - observed by Michel (NED)
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus
41 Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
101 Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus puffinus
3 Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus
7 Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus
Great Skua Stercorarius skua
66 Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea

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Light wind delays migration - pelagic August 13-15 pelagic 2022

Light wind does not help seabirds' migration and it gets more difficult to watch Madeiran storm petrel as well... Anyway, it was a comfortable pelagic expedition with some great views of different species, especially Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis and Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii who are constantly passing by the chum slick.

15th August 2022 - SW breeze shifting between 0 and 5 knots with westerly swell of 0.5 meters
2 Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta - sitting on the water on the way up
2 Great shearwater Puffinus gravis
Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus - flew by a bit far
2 Lesser Black-backed gull Larus fuscus graellsii
2 Common tern Sterna hirundo
18 Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea
Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus puffinus - flew by far from the boat
Pterodroma sp.

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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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