February 2024 - bird records for Madeira

We keep beating air temperature records for each month in Madeira and birds are displaying like it is Spring time already... It is getting scary all this climate changes and mostly because we do not see anything being made to change it. :/ We do our part but we are still a minority and it is definitely not enough!

9th of February 2024 at São Vicente - reported by Jenny (UK)
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus

6th of February 2024 at Caniçal
2 Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
4 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

3rd of February 2024 at Caniçal
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
6 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

At Funchal harbour
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

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January 2024 - Birding madeira news

We certainly would like to wish a happy 2024 but for those who observe nature and actually care about it, it is not looking good... Anyway, let's keep hope alive and do our best for nature conservation! Here are the bird species that visited Madeira archipelago this month:

30th of January 2024 at Caniçal
4 (maybe 5) Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
8 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
2 Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

29th of January 2024 at Lugar de Baixo - observed by Paul (UK)
2 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
3 Little Egret Egretta garzetta

28th of January 2024 at Funchal harbour - reported by Nicholas (UK)
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros - female
2 Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus

At Machico - sightings by Roy (UK)
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Little Egret Egretta garzetta

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Bird species visiting Madeira, December 2023

Another end of the year... Unfortunately hopes about getting a better one next year are gone! So much loss of habitat due to forest fires and new constructions in Madeira kill any hopes of a better future for us or the ecosystems... Let's see which bird species still stop by this little piece of land:

31st of December 2023 at Paul da Serra - reported by Michel (NED)
2 Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula - male

At Calheta
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius

At Lugar de Baixo
3 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

22nd of December 2023 off Porto Moniz - seawatched by Michel (NED)
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus - flying to the east

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Birdwatching around Madeira - November 2023

November has started but the temperatures are still around 25ºC intercalated with some rainy days... As it is still migration season anything can stop by Madeira archipelago, so let's see which species will visit us during the Thanksgiving month:

26th of November 2023 off Porto Moniz - recorded by Michel (NED)
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

25th of November 2023 at Santo da Serra
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

off Porto Moniz - observed by Michel (NED)
Black Tern Chlidonias niger

22nd of November 2023 off Porto Moniz - counted by Michel (NED)
2252 Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
3 Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus

21st of November 2023 off Porto Moniz - seawatched by Michel (NED)
2252 Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
9 Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus

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Birding in Madeira, October 2023

Very high temperatures for the beginning of the autumn, reaching 30ºC... It is migration time, but it seems the weather seasons are disappearing. Let's see which species will be blown off their migratory course into Madeira!

26th of October 2023 at Machico
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis

25th of October 2023 at Caniçal
Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

19th of October 2023 at Machico
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
5 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Little Egret Egretta garzetta

At Faial
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

15th of October 2023 at Lugar de Baixo - observed by Philip (UK)
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus

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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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