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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 14:47 -- abc_admin
Green_winged_Teal_ Madeira

Green-winged Teal Anas (crecca) carolinensis Ribeira da Janela, Madeira on 19th October 2008

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Blue_winged_Teal_Madeira

Blue-winged Teal A. discors Lugar de Baixo, Madeira October 2008

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

The following largely unconfirmed records were published in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club for information only. Some records were originally published in Birding World and Dutch Birding.

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

In June–December 2017 the following were reported. A Shorttoed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus photographed at Ponta de São Lourenço on 21 November is apparently the first for Madeira, whilst a Brown Booby Sula leucogaster off Ponta de São Loureço on 10 August was the third.

Rare ducks included a male Northern Pintail Anas acuta at Machico on 12–28 December, three Eurasian Wigeons Mareca penelope and seven Tufted Ducks Aythya fuligula at Porto Santo Golf Course on 27 December and a Common Scoter Melanitta nigra at Machico on 11 October. An immature Northern Gannet Morus bassanus flew past Ponta do Sol on 20 December. Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were reported from late September until the year-end at several localities, including Ribeira Brava (four on 21 September; one on 23 October), Tanque Reservoir, Porto Santo (eight on 29 September; three on 27 December), Porto Santo Golf Course (eight on 27 December) and Santa Cruz (two on 5 October). Four White Storks Ciconia ciconia were seen at Machico on 31 July, with two at Ponta São Lourenço on 1 August. A Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes and a Wood Sandpiper T. glareola were at Tanque Reservoir, Porto Santo, on 29 September. A Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus was observed at Ribeira Brava on 28 December and an Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea off Machico on 28 July.

A Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus flew over Funchal on 21 and 27 December. A Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus was recorded at Ponta do Pargo on 28 December, and a Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis at Faial on 23–26 September and 22 December. Eleonora’s Falcons Falco eleonorae were observed at Machico on 30 June, Ponta do Pargo on 7–12 July (up to two) and Fonte do Bispo on 29 July, whilst single Peregrine Falcons F. peregrinus were seen at Ponta de São Lourenço on 30 June, Garajau on 24 July, Ponta do Pargo on 13 November and Calheta on 30 November. A Barbary Falcon F. (peregrinus) pelegrinoides was at Ponta do Pargo on 30 August.

Noteworthy passerines included a Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla at Ponta do Pargo on 21 September, two Red-rumped Swallows Cecropis daurica at Santa Cruz on 14 August, four Yellow Wagtails Motacilla flava at Tanque Reservoir, Porto Santo, on 29 September, a Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis at Ponta do Pargo on 13 November, a European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola at Ponta do Pargo on 29 November and two Sardinian Warblers Sylvia melanocephala at Ponta São Lourenço on 15 December. Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus were found at Garachico (one on 18 November), Porto Santo Golf Course (three on 27 December), Pico do Castelo, Porto Santo (two on 27 December), Parque Florestal dos Salões, Porto Santo (one on 27 December) and Funchal Botanical Garden (one on 28 December) (per www. madeirabirds.com).

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

In January–May 2017 the following were reported. Rare ducks at Machico included an American Wigeon Mareca americana in January–March, a Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea from 12 January until at least 6 May, and two Tufted Ducks Aythya fuligula on 12 January–7 February, with up to two at Lugar de Baixo on 4 January–22 March. White Storks Ciconia ciconia were observed at Ponta do Pargo (29 March and 4 April; one), Funchal (11 April; one), Ponta de São Lourenço (30 April; three), and on Porto Santo (15 April and 25 May; seven). A Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus and five Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were at Porto Santo golf course on 6 May. Up to two Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides remained at Lugar de Baixo on 21 March–1 May, with one at Machico on 28 April. A European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria was seen at Porto Moniz on 22 February and a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius at Faial on 28 February.

A Red Kite Milvus milvus was at Ponta do Pargo on 17 May, and two Black Kites M. migrans at Pico do Arieiro on 17 February, with one there on 3 and 15 April, and one at Caniçal on 16 May. A palemorph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was noted at Porto Santo on 27 February. A Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo was at Funchal on 28 April and a Barbary Falcon F. peregrinus pelegrinoides at Ponta de São Lourenço on 19 February. Two Laughing Doves Spilopelia senegalensis were found at Ponta da Cruz on 14 February. Vagrant passerines included a Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator at Ponta do Pargo on 20–23 May, a Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix at Caniçal on 16 April, two Meadow Pipits Anthus pratensis at Ponta do Pargo on 4 January, with one there on 25 February, and one at Caniçal on 24 January, and two Snow Buntings Plectrophenax nivalis at Pico do Arieiro on 3 April (per www.madeirabirds.com).

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

The following were reported during the period June–December 2016. Vagrant ducks included Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea (singles at Machico on 15–27 July and 17–27 December), Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope (one at Lugar de Baixo on 5 November), American Wigeon M. americana (one at Machico on 17–27 December), Gadwall M. strepera (singles at Ribeira Brava on 12 November and at Machico on 17 December), and Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (one at Machico on 8–12 November, with two there on 17–20 December; one at Lugar de Baixo on 23 December).

Alpine Swifts Tachymarptis melba were noted at Pico do Ruivo (one on 24 June), Ponta do Pargo (one on 1 July) and Pico Ana Ferreira, Porto Santo (three on 3 July). Up to seven White Storks Ciconia ciconia were present at Paúl da Serra on 22 June–1 August, whilst five passed north on 2 July. A Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus was observed on a pelagic on 7 June; there are relatively few records in Madeiran waters. Vagrant waders included a Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla at Machico on 15 September–6 October, a Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos at Fanal on 2 November, and single Spotted Sandpipers Actitis macularius at Machico on 10–19 August and 6 October, at Ribeira da Janela on 30 September–8 October, and at Lugar de Baixo on 5 November. A Purple Heron Ardea purpurea was at Lugar de Baixo on 24 June and two Glossy Ibises Plegadis falcinellus at Palheiro Gardens, Funchal, on 20 November. Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were recorded at Porto Santo Golf Course (two on 1 July), Porto Moniz (four on 18 October) and Ribeira Brava (three on 19 October). A Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus was observed at Ponta do Pargo on 12 November and two Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus at Cabo Girão on 28 August.

A Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla was discovered at Deserta Grande on 2 September. Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe were reported from Paúl da Serra (one on 23 September), Ponta Pargo (two on 29 October; one on 2–12 November), Ponta de São Lourenço (three on 30 October) and Ponta de São Lourenço (one on 19 December). Two Tree Pipits Anthus trivialis were seen at Fanal on 1 November, whilst two firstwinter Yellow Wagtails Motacilla flava flava stayed at São Vicente on 1–5 November (per www. madeirabirds.com).

from ABC Bulletin 23.2

The first confirmed Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata for the archipelago was captured on video at Ponta do Pargo on 8 May. Other reports from April–May 2016 include a Black Kite Milvus migrans at Paul da Serra on 13 May; a Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus at Ponta do Pargo on 27 April–8 May; a Purple Heron Ardea purpurea at Lugar de Baixo on 8 May; two Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia at Tanque Pond, Porto Santo, on 22 May; a Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla at Lugar de Baixo on 31 March–14 April; a Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator at Ponta do Pargo on 27 April; and a Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe also at Ponta do Pargo on 8 May (per www. madeirabirds.com).

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

An adult male American Yellow Warbler Setophaga (petechia) aestiva at Lugar de Baixo on 20 August 2015 was the second for the archipelago; the first was in 1994. The second Bluethroat Luscinia svecica for Madeira was a first-winter male at Ponta do Pargo, and the third a first-winter female at Lugar de Baixo, both on 23 October; the first record was in March 2012. A Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor at Caniçal on 26 October was the third for Madeira. Additional records from October 2015 include an Osprey Pandion haliaetus at Machico on 11th, up to two Western Marsh Harriers Circus aeruginosus at Ponta do Pargo on 24th–28th, a Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia at Santa Cruz on 20th, a White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis at Lugar de Baixo on 23rd–24th, a Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla at Caniçal on 22nd, a Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris and a Meadow Pipit A. pratensis at Ponta do Pargo on 23rd, two Black Redstarts Phoenicurus ochruros also there on 23rd (with one at Caniçal on 28 December), at least seven Whinchats Saxicola rubetra at various sites on 22nd–28th, a Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix at Caniçal on 22nd, up to four Sardinian Warblers Sylvia melanocephala at Caniçal and Garajau on 22nd–26th (with one at Caniçal on 19 November), a Common Whitethroat S. communis and at least seven Song Thrushes Turdus philomelos at Caniçal on 22nd, and up to three Spotted Flycatchers Muscicapa striata at Caniçal on 22nd–26th, with one at Porto Moniz on 28th.

from ABC Bulletin 22.2

Pelagic excursions on 26 - 28 May 2015 produced, among others, five Fea’s Petrels Pterodroma feae / deserta, two Zino’s Petrels P. madeira, 11 European Strom-petrels Hydrobates pelagicus, nine Madeiran Storm-petrels H. castro, two Wilson’s Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus, one White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina and a few dozen Bulwer’s Petrels Bulweria bulwerii. Noteworthy land birds included a Little Egret Egretta garzetta at Machico on 13 June and a female Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus at Ponta do Pargo on 15th. 

from ABC Bulletin 22.1

The following records are from the period July–December 2014. A Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope was at Lugar de Baixo on 30 October and a Mute Swan Cygnus olor at Porto Santo Golf Course on 13 September. Single Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were noted at Lugar de Baixo on 13 July, Machico on 23 July–13 August, Porto Santo Golf Course on 16 August–13 September, and Ribeira Brava on 4 October. A Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was observed at Caniçal on 12 August. Single Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus were reported from Monte on 24 August, Ribeira da Janela and Ponta Pargo on 9 October, Cabo Girão on 14 November, and Funchal on 10 December.

A Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus was seen at Ponta do Pargo on 14 August and heard at Garajau on 28 August. Two Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus were found at Machico on 13 August and Ribeira Brava on 16 August. Vagrant scolopacids included White-rumped Sandpipers Calidris fuscicollis at Machico on 18–22 October and Lugar de Baixo on 30 October–2 November; Pectoral Sandpipers C. melanotos at Ribeira Brava on 16 August and Porto Santo Golf Course on 13 September; a Buff-breasted Sandpiper C. subruficollis at Porto Moniz on 7–9 September; and a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius also at Porto Moniz on 31 October. A Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus was observed at Santo da Serra Reservoir on 7 December. Single Gull-billed Terns Gelochelidon nilotica were noted at Lugar de Baixo on 11 August and Porto Moniz on 24 September and 9 October. Four Black Terns Chlidonias niger were at Porto Santo on 12 August.

At Ponta Pargo, three species of pipit were recorded: a Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris on 9 October, a Tree Pipit A. trivialis on 21 November and a Meadow Pipit A. pratensis on 10 December. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was discovered at Funchal Botanical Garden on 16 December and a Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis at Ponta de São Lourenço on 14 December. 

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

The first Wilson’s Snipe Gallinago delicata for Madeira was photographed at Machico on 19 - 21 October 2013. Other noteworthy records in June - November 2013 include the following. The first Tawny Owl Strix aluco for Madeira was found dead in the pond at Casa Velha do Palhiero Hotel on 4 November, whilst the second Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis for the island, a male, was at Lugar de Baixo, Ponta do Sol, on 1 - 2 June. A Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus was seen off Calheta on 3 June and 5 July, and a Brown Booby Sula leucogaster off Porto Moniz on 17 September. A Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides was at Lugar de Baixo in early June. A Black Stork Ciconia nigra was on Selvagem Grande on 11 October, a Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus at Machico on 21 October, with a Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea also there on 19 October, and a Spotted Crake Porzana porzana at Lugar de Baixo on 23 October. Single Semipalmated Sandpipers Calidris pusilla were at Lugar de Baixo on 27 September and Ribeira Brava on 6 November; on the same date at the latter site there was also a White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis, whilst a Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria was at Machico on 13 September. On Pico do Areeiro, two Isabelline Wheatears Oenanthe isabellina were found on 6 November.

from ABC Bulletin 20.2

The following noteworthy records were reported from late December 2012 - May 2013. A Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus and a Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides were seen at Lugar de Baixo on 24 April. The third Blue-winged Teal Anas discors for the island was found at Tanque on 24 February, whilst a record group of five Ring-necked Ducks Aythya collaris were at Serrado Reservoir, Porto Santo. A Black Kite Milvus migrans was at Poiso on 13 April, with another at Ponta Sao Lourenço on 21st. On 26 April, a pair of Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus was observed at Caniçal. The third Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria for Madeira was discovered at Ribeira da Janela on 29 December. Two Red-rumped Swallows Cecropis daurica were at Ponta Sao Lourenço on 21-23 April, with a Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris at Ponta do Pargo on 19 April. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was at Canical on 3 January. During a boat trip to Ilhas Desertas on 3 May, an adult Sabine's Gull Xema sabini was seen at sea, whilst a Rufous Scrub Robin Cercotrichas galactotes was near the wardens' hut on the Desertas. 

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

The following noteworthy records were reported from the period June - December 2012. A Wilson’s Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus was observed on a pelagic trip on 24 - 28 August. A Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia was at Funchal on 21 September. Rare ducks included a male Green-winged Teal Anas carolinenesis at Ribeira da Janela on 17 October, a Blue-winged Teal A. discors at Faial on 19 October (second record) and an immature Common Scoter Melanitta nigra at Calheta on 16 October and Funchal on 19th. Single Red Kites Milvus milvus were noted at Machico on 26 July and at Santa Cruz on 28 September, whilst a Black Kite M. migrans was seen at Ponta do Pargo on 28 November. Four Eleonora’s Falcons Falco eleonorae were observed between Pico do Arieiro and Pico Ruivo on 21 August, whilst single Peregrine Falcons F. peregrinus were present at Machico and Ribeira da Janela throughout July. The second Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva for Madeira was photographed on 30 June; it was still present in early July. Other vagrant waders included a Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla at Lugar de Baixo on 20 October; a Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea also there on 26 August; two Buff-breasted Sandpipers Calidris (=Tryngites) subruficollis at Paul da Serra on 27 September; and a Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius (phaeopus) hudsonicus which remained into September. On 14 June, an adult pale-morph South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki was photographed off the Desertas Islands. A Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica was reported on 28 September.

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

Five species that would constitute firsts for the island, if accepted, were reported in November 2011 - May 2012: Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus (a female / juvenile at Caniçal on 10 November; seen again in January), American Coot Fulica americana (one photographed at Lugar de Baixo on 20 January; remained until at least 9 April), Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens (one claimed at Ponto do Pargo on 14 March), Bluethroat Luscinia svecica (one at Ribeira Brava on 17 March) and Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius (a female photographed at Ponto do Pargo on 10 March).

Other noteworthy records from the period include the following. A Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii was present in the Selvagens on 2–25 April. Pelagic trips during the period 22 - 28 May produced a Wilson’s Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus, a White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina and a Leach’s Storm-petel Oceanodroma leucorhoa. Up to four Glossy Ibises Plegadis falcinellus were at Faial in January - February, with six at Machico on 1 - 26 May. Also at Machico, a Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus was seen on 25 May and a Spotted Crake Porzana porzana on 9 February. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was observed at Faial on 17 February. On 2 - 25 April, a Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscata was present in the Selvagens. The second Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus for Madeira was at Fanal on 12 March. A Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans stayed at Caniçal on 1 - 10 May. Five Snow Buntings Plectrophenax nivalis were at Pico do Areeiro on 13 January, with one still there on 12 February.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

Noteworthy records from May - October 2011 include the following. A singing Leach’s Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa was recorded on Bugio, Deserta Grande, in the second week of July whilst a Black-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta tropica was photographed 15 nautical miles north-east of Madeira on 8 August. The immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violacea discovered at Funchal in early February 2011 was still present in late October. On 27 August, a Merlin Falco columbarius was at Ribeira da Janela and a Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus at Paul da Serra. A first-year American Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinicus was found at Ribeiro Machico on 25 October. Vagrant waders included an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica at Chão das Feiteiras on 23 September, a Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla at Praia de Machico on 17 September, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis at Tanque, Porto Santo, on 11 September, and a Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria at Praia de Machico on 25 - 28 September. A South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki was claimed off Madeira on 30 May. The first Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola for Madeira was a first-year photographed at Lugar de Baixo on 10 September.

from ABC Bulletin 18.2

The first Yellow-crowned Night Heron Nyctanassa violacea for Madeira was an immature discovered at Funchal in early February 2011 which remained until late May at least. Zino’s Petrels Pterodroma madeira were photographed at sea on 18 - 19 May.

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Noteworthy records from June - October 2010 include the following. A Swinhoe's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma monorhis was video-taped off Madeira on 3 June. On 9 September, a record 10,865 Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis were counted at Porto Moniz. The second Brown Booby Sula leucogaster for Madeira (or last year's returning individual) was observed off the Desertas Islands in late July - early September. On 26 October, the first and second Gadwalls Anas strepera for Madeira were noted: a juvenile at Lugar de Baixo and a male at Ribeira Brava. The two long-staying male Green-winged Teals Anas (crecca) carolinensis were still present in October. A Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris stayed at Lugar de Baixo in October. At the same site, a pair of Eurasian Coots Fulica atra bred successfully for the second successive year. Three waders were new for Madeira: a Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva, photographed at Caniçal on 14 September; an adult Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata at Lugar de Baixo from 27 August to at least 2 September (from 28 August accompanied by a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos); and a Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria at Lugar de Baixo and Machico on 2 and 11 September. A Semipalmated Sandpiper C. pusilla at Machico on 30 September - 1 October was the second record for the archipelago. A Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus was photographed on 24 - 27 August. Lugar de Baixo also produced a Common Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus, apparently Madeira's second, on 26 October.

Noteworthy records from February– May 2010 include the following. A peculiar Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira with largely white wings and very pale upperparts and head (possibly a morph of another species) was observed for the third time in Madeiran waters on 13 May and filmed. On 8 May, a Black-capped Petrel P. hasitata was reported twice from a cruise ship north-east of Madeira. A Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris was at Porto Santo on 28 February and a Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima at Caniçal harbour on 30 April. A Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus was present at São Vicente on 22 February. The second Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius for the archipelago was seen north of Madeira on 15 May.

Records from late April–November 2009 include the following. During an expedition on 20–29 April, 13 Zino’s Petrels Pterodroma madeira were observed at sea off Madeira, of which four were photographed. Daily maximum counts of seabirds off Porto Moniz during the first week of September included 3,482 Cory’s Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea borealis on 1 September, 5,072 Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis on 2nd and 862 Manx Shearwaters P. puffinus on 6th. A Wilson’s Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus was seen off Deserta Grande on 27 August. A Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus was observed south of Funchal on 3 and 7 August. The first Brown Booby Sula leucogaster for Madeira involved an immature photographed between Funchal and Bugio on 1 September.

Single Squacco Herons Ardeola ralloides were at Porto da Cruz on 7 July and Machico on 18 July, whilst juvenile Purple Herons Ardea purpurea were noted at Ribeiro Salgado on 6 October and on Porto Santo on 7 October. Three Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were seen at Tanque on 4 October. A female-type Wood Duck Aix sponsa remained at Ribeira de Janela from 27 October until late November at least, whilst three American Wigeons Anas americana stayed at Lugar de Baixo throughout November. The long-staying first Green-winged Teal A. (crecca) carolinensis for the island was still at Ribeira da Janela in November, and the second at Lugar de Baxio was still there in July. A Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris was observed at Tanque on 4 October.

On 20 July, a Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus wasat Ponta do Pargo. A pale-morph Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae photographed at Ribeira de Janela on 14 and 16 August was the fourth for Madeira. A Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus was at Ponta do Pargo on 10–13 October. The third Barbary Falcon F. peregrinoides for the island was photographed on Porto Santo on 31 August; probably the same bird was seen there again on 5 October. A Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus that remained at Porto Moniz from 7 July to 28 August at least is reportedly the second for Madeira. Three adult Long-tailed Skuas Stercorarius longicaudus flew past Porto Moniz on 24 August and three Alpine Swifts Tachymarptis melba were observed at Machico on 7 July.

Records from January - May 2009 include the following. A Great Northern Diver Gavia immer was observed in the Funchal area from 29 January until 21 February and on 13 March. A Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides was at Lugar de Baixo on 26 May, whilst four Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis, reportedly present since September 2008, were still at Santana on 24 February. The long-staying first Green-winged Teal Anas (crecca) carolinensis for the island was still at Ribeira da Janela in late March (the bird has now been at this site for two years), and the second at Lugar de Baixo was still there in May. A Black Kite Milvus migrans flew over Caniçal on 9 March and a Spotted Crake Porzana porzana was on the Machico River on 14 February. A pair of Eurasian Coots Fulica atra with four chicks at Lugar de Baixo in late May is the first breeding record of the species for Madeira.

A Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica was at Calheta power station reservoir on 17 May, with a Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor also there on 15 May. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was seen on the island on 11 February. Noteworthy gull records include a Laughing Gull Larus atricilla at Funchal from 31 January through March, with up to seven Iceland Gulls L. glaucoides also there, a Ring-billed Gull L. delawarensis at Caniçal on 19 February and a record flock of 15 Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla there on 14 - 19 February. A Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata and four Roseate Terns S. dougalli were noted at Selvagem Pequeña, Selvagens, on 11 April. Two Woodlarks Lullula arborea at Ponta São Lourenço on 14 February may represent the first record of this species for Madeira. Calandra Larks Melanocorypha calandra were reported on 14 February (one) and at Caniçal on 20 March (two). Also on 20 March, c.20 Red-rumped Swallows Cecropis daurica were seen at Machico.

The nine day pelagic expedition on 20-29 April 2009 around Madeira was designed to find Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira at sea with the goal of learning and documenting its field characteristics.

The species had only been claimed on a few occasions at sea, and then usually as ‘possible’ or ‘suspected’.There are no previous photographically documented at sea records of Zino’s Petrel, even in the recent highly acclaimed Petrels Night and Day by Robb et al. (2008), wherein there are images of a bird labelled an 'apparently small-billed gadfly petrel’.

However, the present expedition, during which 13 Zino’s Petrels were identified at sea and four photographed, at last provided the first ever documented at sea record of Zino’s Petrel. For further details, see www.madeirabirds.com.

Records from May 2008 - January 2009 include the following. A Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma monorhis was observed five nautical miles south of Porto Santo on 20 September. A Great Egret Egretta alba was at Porto Moniz on 14 - 15 September, whilst an exceptional 25 Grey Herons Ardea cinerea were counted at Ponta São Lourenço on 17 December. The long-staying first Green-winged Teal Anas (crecca) carolinensis for the island remained at Ribeira da Janela throughout the period, and was joined by a second in December - January. A male and an immature Eurasian Wigeon A. penelope were at the same site on 10 December. Two other firsts for Madeira were at Lugar de Baixo: a Blue-winged Teal A. discors on 4 October and an American Wigeon A. americana from 4 November until 4 December.

On 22 June a Black Kite Milvus migrans was seen at Pico Ruivo, whilst a pale-morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus stayed at Caniçal on 6 - 22 July. Two Red-footed Falcons Falco vespertinus remained until 14 June. Two Peregrine Falcons F. peregrinus were at Ponta do Pargo from 21 June until 19 July, with another at Porto Moniz on 12 July.

Noteworthy waders include an American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica at Caniçal on 18 - 29 September (second record), a Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus at Ribeira de Janela on 13 September, a Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos at Ponta do Pargo on 14 September, a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius at Ribeira de Janela on 18 September and another at Machico on 3 October, and a Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius in non-breeding plumage (only the second for Madeira) seen from the Funchal to Porto Santo ferry on 30 July.

A Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus was observed at Porto Moniz on 7 September. An adult Laughing Gull Larus atricilla at Machico on 6 September appears to be another first for Madeira. On 18 December a Glaucous Gull L. hyperboreus was found at Ribeira da Janela. Tern records include a Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica at Caniçal on 19 September (third record), c.200 Arctic Terns S. paradisaea at Porto Moniz on 7 September, a Bridled Tern S. anaethetus on Selvagem Pequeña, Selvagens, on 27 July, with four adult Sooty Terns S. fuscata there from 20 June until 4 July.

Two Alpine Swifts Tachymarptis melba were seen on 26 June. A Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus and a Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica were found dead on Selvagem Grande, Selvagens, on 29 May. Two Greater Short-toed Larks Calandrella brachydactyla were reported on 3 October (fourth record for Madeira) and at Caniçal on 29 January; also there on the latter date were five Calandra Larks Melanocorypha calandra. A Fieldfare Turdus pilaris was noted on Deserta Grande on 11 December. A high total of 62 Rock Sparrows Petronia petronia was counted at Caniçal on 10 January.

Records from December 2007 - May 2008 include the following. The long- staying first Green-winged Teal Anas (crecca) carolinensis for the islands was still at Seixal at the end of April, whilst the second Greater Scaup Aythya marila remained at Lugar de Baixo until the end of February at least (from 24 November). The second Tufted Duck A. fuligula for Madeira was at Fanal on 21–22 February (the first was in 1906).

A Black Kite Milvus migrans was observed at Caniçal on 17 March and at Porto Santo in late April, a Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus at Paul da Serra on 3 April and 1 May, and a Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus in January and, presumably the same bird, at Caniçal in March, April and May, with two at Santo da Serra on 24 April. Also at Caniçal, a Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus was found on 26 April, with two at Paul da Serra on 1–22 May, whilst a juvenile Pallid Harrier C. macrourus was at Porto Santo. Four Red-footed Falcons Falco vespertinus were photographed at Ponta do Pargo on 1 May and remained there until 22nd. A Barbary Falcon F. pelegrinoides was reported from Caniçal on 17–27 January. At Lugar de Baixo, a Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus and a Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis were observed on 15 April. A first- winter Laughing Gull Larus atricilla, photographed at Funchal on 29 December, remained until 22 February at least. Two Black Terns Chlidonias niger flew west along the coast on 30 April.

Further records from Caniçal include two Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters Merops persicus on 26 April, a Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis on 26 February, and four Red-rumped Swallows Cecropis daurica from 15 February to 27 March at least. The first Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus for the islands stayed at Santo da Serra from 17 November until 12 January at least. A Wood Warbler P. sibilatrix was found at Seixal on 27 April. A Greater Blue-eared Starling Lamprotornis chalybaeus of unknown origin was in Caniçal on 18 March.

Records from June - November 2007 include the following. A singing Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel Oceanodroma monorhis reported from Selvagem Grande, in June and on 19–21 August, appeared to be the same individual as was ringed on this islet on 8 July 1983; previous records from this location were in June–July 1983, 1988, 1991 and 1993–95. A White Stork Ciconia ciconia, a vagrant to Madeira, was observed at the airport on 12 July. The second Black Stork C. nigra for the island was found at Ponta do Sol on 10 October; the first was more than 150 years ago. The first Green-winged Teal Anas (crecca) carolinensis for Madeira, a male, remained at Ribeira da Janela from 11 February until late November at least. The second Greater Scaup Aythya marila for the island, a first-winter / female, was at Lugar de Baixo on 24 November.

A Black Kite Milvus migrans was seen at Ponta do Pargo on 29 June. Also there were a male and a female Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus (first found on 24 May) and a Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus (from 16 March). A pale-morph Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus was on the northern side of Madeira on 11 July. An adult summer American Black Tern Chlidonias niger surinamensis photographed at Funchal on 19 August was the first for Madeira. The first Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus for the island for 50 years was at Danta da Serra on 17 November. On 29 June, an adult female Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator was seen at Ponta do Pargo.

Records from November 2006 - April 2007 include the following. A Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis was at Lugar de Baixo on 25 November. The first Merlin Falco columbarius for Madeira was a male on 1 and 4 December at Paul da Serra. A first-winter Little Crake Porzana parva at Lugar de Baixo on 4 December was the second for Madeira. An adult Sora P. carolina photographed at the same site on 4-5 December was another first for Madeira and the second for Macaronesia (the previous was in the Azores on 14-16 November 1998); it remained until at least 22 February. Two first-winter Spotted Sandpipers Actitis macularius occurred in November-December, with one staying through February; an adult was present at Lugar de Baixo from 29 April. From 25 January to 4 February, the first Bonaparte's Gull Larus philadelphia for the island, a first-winter, was in Funchal harbour. Also there were a first-winter Ring-billed Gull L. delawarensis on 25-26 November, with an adult on 26th, and at least four Mediterranean Gulls L. melanocephalus on 20–26 November.

Records from June-September 2006 include the following. On a pelagic tour between Madeira and the Selvagens on 26-29 June, more than 100 White-faced Storm-petrels Pelagodroma marina were seen, most of them near the Selvagens. Other species included more than ten presumed Fea’s Petrels Pterodroma feae (with many more near Deserta Grande on 29-30 June), a few Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus, a few (Madeira) Little Shearwaters P. assimilis baroli, two Wilson’s Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus, c.12 Madeiran Storm-petrels Oceanodroma castro and, on 29 June, an adult Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus and a first-summer Sabine’s Gull Larus sabini. On 1 September, 5,023 Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis were observed off Porto Moniz; the next day 6,600 passed there in two hours.

Two first-year Glossy Ibises Plegadis falcinellus were seen on Porto Santo on 10 July. A Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla was on Porto Santo on 8-12 July. The second Common Crane Grus grus for Madeira was at the westernmost tip of the island on 18-19 October. In the Selvagens, a Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus and adult Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata were found on Selvagem Pequena on 26 June. Two Alpine Swifts Tachymarptis melba flew over Madeira on 1 July.

Records from November 2005-March 2006 include the following. An unidentified frigatebird was reported in November. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was seen on 29 December. Two Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla were in Funchal harbour on 24 November, with five there late January-early March. Seven first-winter Mediterranean Gulls L. melanocephalus and one second-winter were seen in mid-December. A Ring-billed Gull L. delawarensis was found at Funchal on 14 December; also there, an adult Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii was photographed on the same day. The first Stock Dove Columba oenas for Madeira was photographed at Ponta de São Lourenço on 19 January, whilst the second Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra for the island (a male) was photographed on 26 February.

Records from July 2005 at Selvagem Pequena included a Purple Heron Ardea purpurea on 8th, a pale-morph Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae on 7th, and a Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata on 7-8th, following a pair there briefly a month earlier. An adult Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus was seen north of the Salvages on 9th. A first-summer Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis was in Funchal harbour on 17 July.

The 2005 breeding season was very encouraging for the Critically Endangered Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira: six new nests were found, bringing the total number known to 75; of these, 68 were active in 2005 and 39 young fledged. The population is now estimated at 70–85 pairs (per Parque Natural da Madeira).

The 2004 breeding season was very successful for Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira, with a record 29 fledglings (25 of which were ringed). In addition, a new breeding ledge with five active nests was found, raising the total of nests to 72 of which 53 were active in 2004. Several Zino's Petrels were calling in the evening of 3 April 2005 at Pico do Arieiro; this is a surprisingly early date. Up to four Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto were at Prainha, just east of Caniçal, on 10-12 April 2005 (apparently just two previous records in Madeira), and a Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis was at Machico on 12 April. The first Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus for Madeira, a male, was seen in Funchal on 8 November 2004.

In late July 2004, 1,729 Bulwer's Petrels Bulweria bulwerii were counted in one evening at Ponta da Cruz. A White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina and a Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus were seen a few miles south of Madeira on 8 July. If accepted, a White-rumped Swift Apus caffer at Funchal on 29 June will be the first for Madeira.

Records from September 2003 to April 2004 include the following. A Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii flew into the hotel room of the observer at Caniço di Baixo at 03:00 on 27 September. Four Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia were at Tanque, Porto Santo, on 2nd November. A Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides was at Porto Santo on 24 September. A Killdeer Charadrius vociferus was at Machico on 17 February, a Eurasian Dotterel C.morinellus at Paul da Serra on 20 September and a Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos at Porto Santo on 24 September. The fourth Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes for Madeira was at Machico on 9 and 10 January. A juvenile Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was also there on 1 November and is apparently also a fourth record for the archipelago. A first winter Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis was in Funchal harbour on 2 to 8 December at least, and an American Herring Gull L.argentatus smithsonianus at Machico on 18 September. An exceptional number of Red-rumped Swallows Hirundo daurica was seen on 16 April: ten at Ribeira de São João and seven at Ponta de São Lourenço. A Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus was in Funchal Botanical Gardens on 28 November. On 15 March, 15 Snow Buntings Plectrophenax nivalis were reported from Pico do Arerro.

Records from June to September 2003. The discovery of a new colony of Zino's Petrels Pterodroma madeira raised the known world population to 45 pairs. A record count of 4,438 Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis was reported from Porto Moniz on 7 September, along with 700 Cory's Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea, 263 Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus and 19 Bulwer's Petrels Bulweria bulwerii. The second Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, a female, was observed at Ponta do Pargo on 12 June. Also there that day were three Roseate Terns Sterna dougallii.

References

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BARONE, R. & DELGADO, G. (2001) Adiciones a la avifauna nidificante de la isla de Porto Santo (archipiélago de Madeira). Vieraea 29 pp 103-109. * download this paper here.

BARONE, R. & DELGADO, G.  (2002): Observaciones de aves migratorias en la isla de Porto Santo (archipiélago de Madeira), julio y diciembre de 2000. Rev. Acad. Canar. Cienc., 13 (4) [2001] pp 79-86. *Download this paper.

BARONE, R. & DELGADO, G. (2003): Datos de interés sobre las aves nidificantes en la isla de Porto Santo (archipiélago de Madeira). Rev. Acad. Canar. Cienc., 14 (3-4) [2002] pp 219-225. *Download this paper.

BERTHOLD, P., MOHR, G. & QUERNER, U. (1996): The Legendary "Veiled Blackcap" (Aves): a Melanistic Mutant with Single-Locus Autosomal Recessive Inheritance. Naturwissenschaften 83 pp 568-570.

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CLARKE, T. (2006) Field Guide to the Birds of the Atlantic Islands. Christopher Helm, A & C Black Publishers Ltd. London. 368 pp.

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DONÁZAR, J.A., GANGOSO, L. FORERO, M.G. & JUSTE, J. (2005): Presence, richness and extinction of birds of prey in the Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands. J. Biogeogr. 32: 1.701-1.713.

FAGUNDES, C. & ROMANO, H. (2010) First breeding of Eurasian Coot Fulica Atra recorded on Madeira Island (Madeira Archipelago). Bocagiana Museu Municipal do Funchal (História Natural), No 227 pp 1-5. *download this paper

FAGUNDES, I. & NUNES, J. (2003) First record of breeding Moorhen Gallinula Chloropus on the island of Madeira and Porto Santo. Bocagiana Museu Municipal do Funchal No. 211 pp. 1-4. *download this paper here.

FAGUNDES, I., NUNES, J.  & FERREIRA, J. (2008): Atlas das Aves Nidificantes do Parque Ecológico do Funchal. Município do Funchal. Funchal. 115 pp.

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GARCÍA-del-REY, E. (2011): Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia. Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Cape Verde. Lynx Edicions. Bellaterra, Barcelona. 341 pp.

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JANSEN, D.Y.M. (2012): Population survey of the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo on Madeira Island (Portugal). Ardeola 59 (1): 145-155.

JESUS, J.A., SAMPAIO, L.M. & SILVA, L.C. (2005): Incidence of Lacerta dugesii Milne-Edwards, 1829 (Sauria, Lacertidae) in the diet of kestrels (Falco tinnunculus canariensis Koenig, 1889; Aves, Falconidae) in a semiarid zone of Madeira. Herpetological Bulletin 93 pp 14-16.

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MARRERO, P., OLIVEIRA, P. & NOGALES, M. (2004): Diet of the endemic Madeira Laurel Pigeon Columba trocaz in agricultural and forest areas: implications for conservation. Bird Conservation International 14 pp 165-172.

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* In order to view and print this article, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Contacts

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African Bird Club representative

The African Bird Club is seeking to appoint a representative in this region. If you are interested in supporting and promoting the Club, have any queries or require further information relating to the ABC representatives scheme, please contact the Membership Secretary at [email protected].

Bird recorder and checklist compiler

Goncalo Elias
Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves
Rua da Vitoria 53
3 Esq.,
1100-618 Lisboa
Portugal

Portuguese Rarities Committee

SPEA -Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves
Adress: Avenida João Crisóstomo, n.º 18 - 4.º Dto.
1000-179 Lisboa
email:  [email protected]

PT: http://www.spea.pt/pt/observar-aves/comite-portugues-raridades/
EN: http://www.spea.pt/en/birdwatching/portuguese-rarities-committee/

 

Conservation

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:34 -- abc_admin
Spectacled_Warbler_Madeira

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicallata, Paul da Serra, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Conservation in Madeira has recently focused on the plight of the endemic Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira with a proposal to build a military installation in the vicinity of the breeding area. Investigations are still ongoing to establish what effect, if any, this may have.

Madeira's laurel forest, the largest remaining laurel forest in the world is also under pressure from construction. Only 14% of the original area of forest is left on Madeira. The creation of the Parque Natural da Madeira which covers almost two-thirds of the island and virtually all the remaining laurel forest has contributed to the recovery of Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz with 3,500-5,000 birds and increasing.

The pressure of construction is also having a detrimental effect in other areas, for example the destruction of some of the habitat for breeding Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicallata near Caniçal. Disturbance is also an issue with Roseate Terns Sterna dougallii failing to breed near Ponta da Cruz in recent years. The Desertas Islands benefit from protection and visitor numbers are strictly controlled.

Books & Sounds

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:33 -- abc_admin

A good European field guide will cover the birds seen in Madeira as does the Birds of the Atlantic Islands.

 

Book image: 
Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of the Atlantic Islands, Tony Clarke, A&C Black, Softback.
Book description: 

The first comprehensive field guide dealing exclusively with the birds of this spectacular region, covering all resident, migrant and vagrant species found in Macaronesia. Over 450 species are illustrated with full details of all plumages and major races likely to be encountered. Concise text describes identification, status, range, habitats, climate, geographical isolation, endemism and conservation. 320 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Collins Bird Guide (2nd edition), Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström, HarperCollins, Softback, Hardback and Large format hardback.
Book description: 

The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain, Europe, North Africa, most of the Middle East, the Canaries and Madeira. Written by one of Europe's leading ornithologists Lars Svensson (with a translation by David Christie) and illustrated by two of the world's finest bird illustrators - Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström. This book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of year, with detailed text on size, habitat, range, identification and voice.

Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and colour illustrations (over 3500 in all) to show the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding). The book is fully integrated, so that all this information appears on one spread, the ideal structure for use in the field. Each group of birds has an introduction, which covers the major problems involved in identifying or seeing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which species, etc.

The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide, essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Field Guide to the Birds of Macaronesia, Eduardo Garcia del Rey, Lynx Editions, Hardback.
Book description: 

Covering all the species and subspecies of birds in Macaronesia (the Azores, Madeira, the Savage Islands, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde). 341 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Multimedia Identification Guide to North Atlantic Seabirds. Storm-petrels & Bulwer's Petrel, FLOOD, B. & FISHER, A. (2011), Pelagic Birds & Birding Multimedia Identification Guides, in association with www.scillypelagics.com. 212 pp. + 2 DVD.
Book description: 

The guide covers all the storm petrels present in the North Atlantic, and also Bulwer’s Petrel, with good videos and many high quality photos of all the species.

Visiting

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:30 -- abc_admin
Sea_View_Madeira

Early morning view from Santana to the IBA at Ponta da São Lourenço, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Funchal_Madeira

Funchal, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Birding tours

Birdfinders have tours planned to Madeira.

Guides

Landing on Ilhas Desertas may not be possible presently for reasons of safety. There is a persistent danger of rock slides following volcanic / seismic activity in summer 2004. Visiting the Ilhas Desertas is easily arranged via the various kiosks near Funchal harbour.

We have heard that Ventura do Mar which runs half and one day visits to the islands, has good ornithologists and naturalists.

It is understood that it might be possible to arrange permission for a wardened visit to Ilhas Selvagens on application to Parque Natural da Madeira, Quinta do Bom Sucesso, Caminho do Meio, 9050 Funchal, though actually getting there could be more of a problem!

Logistics

General: you may wish to travel in an organised tour but independent travel is perfectly feasible. Most of the land species can be found fairly easily and seawatching from land may produce some of the pelagic species. Trips on boats will be needed to give you the best opportunity to see the pelagic species however.

Language: the national language is Portuguese and English is widely spoken.

Flights: there are flights to Madeira from several European countries and in particular from Portugal, Germany and the UK. We found travel from the UK to be inexpensive. There are also regular flights betewen the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo. The main airport on Madeira is built between the ocean to the south and the mountains to the north. The area around the airport was once said to be good for seawatching but access to the coastal side is limited with the expansion of car parks.

Boats: occasional cruise liners stop at Funchal Harbour. There is a daily ferry from here to Porto Santo. There are a number of kiosks at Funchal Harbour for half day or day trips to sea for game fishing, whale watching and birdwatching.

Visas: visas should not be required for people with EU passports but you may wish to check with your local embassy or travel company.

Vaccinations: your local doctor should obviously be consulted about health matters and the range of inoculations which is advised.

Driving: cars can be hired from a number of operators at the airport. We found car hire to be expensive. An expressway runs from the airport to Funchal where many visitors will be staying. This expressway actually encircles much of the island at the time of writing (November 2008) and uses extensive tunnels through the mountains. Once off this expressway, however, the roads can be precipitous and much of the island's road system is on narrow and steep mountain roads where care must be taken.

Public transport: taxis are available for hire at the airport, in Funchal, and in many of the smaller towns. A number of people hire a taxi for day trips to the mountains. The local bus services operate out of Funchal and visit many areas of the island. A timetable can be collected from the main bus company offices near the harbour in Funchal.

Currency: the Euro is the unit of currency. Many places including hotels and restaurants do not take credit cards and so it is necessary to carry plenty of cash. Fortunately, there are many banks on the island and cash machines are common at supermarkets as well as banks.

Timing: based on our experience in 2008, October is a good time to visit to find the land birds but more difficult for pelagic species. The breeding season for seabirds is between April to September and these months would almost certainly be more productive for seawatching and visits to the islands.

Travel Guides: there are a number of travel guides for Madeira.

Safety

See the following 2 websites or your own embassy website for safety and travel information: http://travel.state.gov and http://www.fco.gov.uk.

Hotspots

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:28 -- abc_admin
Common_Tern_Madeira

Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Caniçal Harbour, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Chaffinch_Madeira

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs maderensis male, Balcões, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Chaffinch_Madeira

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs maderensis female, Balcões, Madeira

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco, 8th September 2009
Lagoa_do_Lugar_de_Baixo_Madeira

Lagoa do Lugar de Baixo, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Eurasian_Coot

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra, Lagoa do Lugar de Baixo, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Funchal The beach and harbour area is good for gulls, terns and waders with a good list of vagrants. Seawatching from the harbour wall or just to the west at Ponta da Cruz is often excellent in the breeding season with regular sightings of Pterodroma petrels, Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis, Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii and occasional Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro. White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagrodroma marina has also been recorded. Plain Swift Apus unicolor can be found easily in summer with smaller numbers also overwintering. Pallid Swift Apus pallidus breeds in small numbers and can often be found to the west of the harbour and in the west of the old town.

Eastern Madeira The route from Funchal to the far east of Madeira at Ponta da São Lourenço passes the towns of Machiço and Caniçal. Both have small harbours with gulls and terns and offer the possibility of seawatching from the harbour wall. Note that this route passes the airport. Ponta da São Lourenço is a rocky and arid headland and Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii madeirensis and Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis can be found.

Central Madeira The critically endangered and endemic Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira breeds in the high mountains of the islands. They are present from mid-March through to late October. Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz occurs in areas of laurel forest but is perhaps best found at Ribeiro Frio and by following the signposted walk to Balcoes. The endemic races of Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs maderensis and Madeiran Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla madeirensis can be found in this area. Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii madeirensis is found on rocky and moorland areas around the highest peaks.

Western Madeira Ponta da Pargo is the most westerly point of Madeira and Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii madeirensis and Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia occur here. Seawatching is possible from the area around the lighthouse but it may well require a degree of determination and good luck. Porto Moniz on the north-west coast is an excellent for seawatching with sightings of Pterodroma petrels, Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro, Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis and Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea. A little to the east of Porto Moniz is the lagoon at the mouth of Ribeira da Janela which is a good place for migrants. The high plains at Paul da Serra have Madeiran Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla madeirensis and Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicallata has been found here. Lagoa do Lugar de Baixo on the south coast road from Funchal going west is a small lagoon with a breeding population of Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus and Eurasian Coot Fulica atra and the possibility of migrant waders.

Porto Santo Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia, Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis, Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii madeirensis and Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicallata are all easily found on this island. Waders, gulls and terns can also be found along the beach especially towards the southern part. Also the boat trip on the ferry from Madeira to Porto Santo Ferry is excellent for seabirds.

Vagrants

Vagrants can be found anywhere on the islands and are probably under-recorded because there are so few birdwatchers.

Probably the best site in the east of the island is at the town of Machiço. The small river which runs through the eastern part of the town is a mecca for migrants with a long list of rarities including Killdeer Charadrius vociferus, Semipalmated Plover C.semipalmatus, Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius, American Herring Gull Larus argentatus smithsonianus, Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides and Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica.

Ponta da Pargo offers the chance of seeing migrants and rarities such as European Roller Coracias garrulus and Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus have been recorded.

Interesting migrants at Paul da Serra have included Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae and Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus.

Porto Santo Tanque near the airport is a hotspot for vagrants and Cliff Swallow Hirundo pyrrhonota, Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus, Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos and White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis have all been recorded.

Species

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:23 -- abc_admin
Berthelots_Pipit_Madeira

Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii madeirensis, Arieiro, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Island_Canary_Madeira

Island Canary Serinus canaria, Santana, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

Country checklist and status

iGoTerra

 

We are delighted that our Corporate Sponsor iGoTerra has made its country checklists, including subspecies (IOC or Clements) as well as all other species groups like mammals, butterflies etc. available through the ABC website. The only thing required is a Basic membership / registration which is free of charge. Go to Madeira checklists. If you are already a member of iGoTerra, you will be taken directly to the country page. In case you are not a member, you will be redirected automatically to the registration form and from there can go straight to the country page.

ABC and other checklists

You can download and print an ABC / Dowsett checklist for Madeira. The ABC lists follow the taxonomic sequence and names of Birds of Africa Volumes I-VII and are kept up to date with published and peer-reviewed records.

Endemic species

Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira
Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz

In addition, there are endemic subspecies of Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii madeirensis, Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus madeirensis and Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs maderensis. Some authorities have recently raised Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla madeirensis to full species status Madeiran Firecrest R.  madeirensis .

Near endemic species (found only on other named Atlantic islands)

Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae Cape Verde Islands
Plain Swift Apus unicolor Canary Islands
Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii Canary Islands
Island Canary Serinus canaria Canary Islands and Azores

Threatened species

Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira Critical

Rare / accidental species are not included in this list.

Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira is critically endangered because it has a tiny breeding population with an estimated 45 pairs known to breed on only three mountain ledges. Birds return to their breeding grounds in late March or early April, a single egg is laid mid-May to early June and the young fledge in late September or early October.

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Birds of the World Version 2.0 ® 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd.

Important Bird Areas

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:21 -- abc_admin
Corys_Shearwater_Madeira

Cory's Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea borealis, taken from a ship travelling from the Desertas Islands to Madeira

Image Credit: 
Rubén Barone Tosco, 4th September 2009
Ponta_da_São_Lourenço_Madeira

Ponta da São Lourenço, Madeira

Image Credit: 
Caroline Caddick

The islands of the Madeiran archipelago are a part of the Madeira and the Canary Islands Endemic Bird Area. The characteristic vegetation of Madeira is laurel forest which supports the endemic Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz. Madeira is particularly important for breeding seabirds, including Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira and Fea's Petrel P. feae.

The following Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are significant for their populations of seabirds.

Bugio-Deserta Islands is a very important site for five breeding shearwaters and petrels. It is the only European breeding ground of Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae which nests mainly on the grassy southern plateau.

Montado de Areeiro, Montado do Sabugal, Montado da Fajã da Nogueira, Montado dos Piquetes, Montado do Cidrão supports the only known breeding population of Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira in the world.

Selvagem Grande is one of the most important shearwater and petrel colonies in the North Atlantic with Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis and Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro. Ilheu Chão and Deserta Grande has important breeding colonies of the same species.

Ilheu de Cima, Ilheu de Baixo, Ilheu de Ferro also has four species of shearwater and petrel as well as Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Common Tern S. hirundo and Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans. On land, Berthelot’s Pipit Anthus berthelotii madeirensis and Plain Swift Apus unicolor are of note.

Ponta da São Lourenço has breeding Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis. On land, Berthelot’s Pipit Anthus berthelotii is common, Island Canary Serinus canaria is abundant, and Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia are all of particular note. This is also an important stop-over site for migrating passerines.

Selvagem Pequena and Ilheu de Fora is an important site for breeding shearwaters, petrels and terns including a large population of White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina.

The following Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are significant for Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz.

Caldeirão Verde, Moquinhas, Pico Casado is probably the most important area for Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz. Madeiran Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla madeirensis, Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs maderensis and Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola also breed in the forest. The same species breed at Montado dos Pessegueiros, Cabeceira da Ribeira do Seixal and Lombo Barbinhas.

Rabaças and Folhadal and Tis amarelos holds Trocaz Pigeon Columba trocaz at very high density as well as breeding Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Berthelot’s Pipit Anthus berthelotii and Plain Swift Apus unicolor.

Further information on Madeira’s IBAs and EBAs can be found at BirdLife International - follow Portugal links.

Geography

Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:19 -- abc_admin
Paul_da_Serra_Madeira

Paul da Serra, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick
Madalena_do_Mar_Madeira

Madalena do Mar, Madeira

Image Credit: 
John Caddick

The Madeiran archipelago is administered from Ilha Madeira centred on 32°45' N and 17°00' W in the Atlantic Ocean having a total land area of nearly 800 km2.

The archipelago consists of the inhabited islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, and the uninhabited Ilhas Desertas and Ilhas Selvagens (30°N and 16°W). It should be noted that Ilhas Selvagens is closer in distance to the Canary Islands than Madeira.

The highest point of the mountainous main island is Pico Ruivo at 1,861 m. Madeira has a mild sub-tropical climate with warm summers and exceptionally mild winters. Temperatures fluctuate between 16°C and 19°C in winter and 21°C and 25°C in summer. The main rainfall is in autumn and spring. Madeira can be battered by strong northerly winds at times.

The population of the archipelago is approximately 260,000 with 5,000 on Porto Santo and the rest living on the main island with about half of these in the capital, Funchal. Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal and English is widely spoken in addition to Portuguese.

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