Madeira Wind Birds
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Zino's Petrel Pelagic Expedition
Three afternoons at sea chumming to ID and photograph Zino's, Fea's and Bulwer’s Petrels, White-faced, Madeiran and other Storm-petrels. The ultimate Western Palearctic pelagic trip!
Madeira Pelagics Highlights
- Great and close views of Petrels, Storm-Petrels and Shearwaters
- Marine Mammals often visit us while drifting for seabirds
- The crew are ornitologists dedicated to the conservation of Zino's Petrels
- These trips originated from the research of Hadoram Shirihai and Wind Birds
- The quest for "Snowy-winged Petrel" seen only on research trips
This is a package of three long afternoons of a pelagic adventure on the Western North Atlantic Ocean, around Madeira Island. An ultimate birdwatching experience that consists in observing closely the greatest number of tubenoses on the Western Palearctic and some close encounters with whales and dolphins too.
Finally Madeira has real pelagic trips run by birdwatchers for birdwatchers! Three days of ultimate pelagic expedition focused on Petrels, Storm petrels, Shearwaters and any other vagrant bird species that might be around the North Atlantic Ocean.
Since 2008 Madeira Wind Birds, together with Hadoram Shirihai, have been researching Madeira sea to find the hot spots for seabirds as Zino's Petrels, Fea's/Desertas Petrels, Madeiran Petrel and White-faced Storm Petrel. During these long days at sea they developed the chum technique, found the right and safest boat for these kind of trips and .... Now Catarina and Hugo, from Wind Birds, are the most experienced team to organize and run deep sea pelagic trips in the North Atlantic and the 11 meter rigid-hulled inflatable boat, Oceanodroma, the best boat ever used for this kind of sea expedition.
On the first two afternoons of this pelagic expedition around Madeira island we will search for different bird species at different hot spots, being one day for Zino's Petrels and Madeiran Storm Petrels while on the second pelagic trip we look for Fea's Petrels and White-faced Storm Petrels. The third afternoon at sea is kept for missing species or to increase the sightings of bird species. Everyday we will look for cetaceans and if we spot any whales or dolphins we will spend some time watching them.
Below is a list of pelagic birds and sea mammals seen during Wind Birds pelagic trips, since 2010:
Procellariidae: Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira, Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta, Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, Macaronesian Shearwater Puffinus baroli, Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Cory's Shearwater Calonectris borealis, Scopoli's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea, Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus, Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
Hydrobatidae: Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro (winter & summer populations), European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, Swinhoe's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma monorhis, Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus, Leach's Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina, Black-bellied Storm Petrel Fregetta tropica (1st Record for the Western Palearctic)
Laridae: Sabine's Gull Xema sabini, Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis, Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Stercorariidae: Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus, Great Skua Stercorarius skua, Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus, Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus, South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki
Scolopacidae: Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Sulidae: Northern Gannet Morus bassanus, Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
Mammalia: Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus monachus, Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus, Bryde's Whale Balaenoptera edeni, Cuvier's Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris, Blainville's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris, Gervais' Beaked Whale Mesoplodon europaeus, Short-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala macrorhynchus, Common Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus, Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Stenella frontalis, Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba, Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis
Note that some of these bird species are rarely seen in the Western Palearctic or even in the North Atlantic Ocean making these pelagic expeditions so special and memorable!
Madeira Pelagics 2014
- May 27, 28, 29
- June 24, 25, 26 (confirmed trip)
- July 29, 30, 31 (confirmed trip)
- August 26, 27, 28
- Other dates by request.
Madeira Pelagics Trip Reports
August 26, 27, 28 2013
August 9, 10, 12 2013
July 30, 31, August 2 2013
June 25, 26, 27 2013
May 28, 29, 30 2013
August 28, 29, 30 2012
August 22, 23, 24 2012
August 10, 11, 13 2012
August 6, 7, 8 2012
August 1, 2, 3 2012
July 23, 24, 25 2012
July 10, 11, 12 2012
June 12, 13, 14 2012
June 4, 5, 6 2012
May 28, 29, 30 2012
May 22, 23, 24 2012
August 29, 30, 31 2011
August 8, 9, 10 2011
August 4, 5, 6 2011
June 29, 30, July 1 2011
June 6, 7, 8 2011
May 30, 31, June 1 2011
May 23, 24, 25 2011
May 18, 19, 20 2011
Aug 30, 31 & Sept 1, 3 2010
August 5, 6, 7 2010
June 7, 8, 9 2010
June 2, 3, 4 2010
May 24, 25, 27 2010
May 14, 15, 16 2010
The Ultimate WP Pelagic Expedition by Hadoram Shirihai 2010
Expedition diary by Hadoram Shirihai 2009
Related Seawatching Articles
Madeira by Olli Tenovuo
Wind Bird's Zino's Petrel Expedition by Kirk Zufelt
Zino's petrels in the flesh! by Brent Stephenson
Madeira Wind Birds by Roef Mulder
Madeira Pelagics by Kjetil Schjølberg
Pterodroma Heaven! by Chris Townend
Zinos's Petrel at Sea by Andy Paterson
Madeira 2010 (Zino's Petrel Pelagic Expedition) by Paco Chiclana
buscando el Petrel de Zino by Andy Paterson
Tour days: Refer to Description
Departure times: 2h15 pm
Typical duration: 8 hours on each of the 3 days
Space: maximum 9
Staff to Guest ratio?: 1:4
Tour Languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese
Pick up location: On request, subject to crew times
Return details: On request, subject to crew times
Friendly advices: Take warm and impermeable clothes (trousers, jacket and shoes), hat, sunscreen and water. Sleep well on the nights before these trips and eat well before departing to the sea, these are fundamental conditions to spend a nice day out at sea. Try to stay 2 more days in Madeira after your pelagic expedition dates as we might need to postpone the trips due to bad weather. And remember rough sea is the best for Petrels!
Photography: Allowed and recommended. There is a possibility of getting salt water spray on your equipment during the trip to and from the spot, so bring waterproof bag for it.