It’s probably hard to admit it, but there is a bit of a ‘twitcher’ in all of us. And I don’t mean a person who can’t sit still, but a person who likes to spot birds. Most of us probably have a bird table in the garden, or a bird feeder on the balcony and surely some of us may have entered the Big Garden Birdwatch in their area. Britain is known to be a nation of dog lovers, but I am sure birds are very popular too – why else would there be Birdsong FM, a radio station completely dedicated to playing birdsong 24/7?
Madeira has its fair share of interesting birds and accompanied by a passionate naturalist, you’ll get the chance to get close to nature and see not only birds, but also plants and butterflies. On these short walks you can spot endemic bird species like the Trocaz pigeon (Columba trocaz) and the pretty Madeira Firecrest (Regulus madeirensis). Or Macaronesian subspecies like the funny Berthelot’s pipit (Anthus berthelotti), the shy Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia) and colourful Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis).
We offer half and full day bird watching trips (maximum 6 people), and they include transfers from your Funchal hotel and lunch. These trips will cover laurel forests in the north of the island, areas higher up in the mountains and a little known hot spot where you can see vagrant waders.
In Madeira seabirds are a major attraction, since at least eight different breeding seabird species can be found on the island. If you’re lucky you may spot the rare Zino’s Petrel (Pterodroma madeira), which unfortunately is one of the most threatened seabirds in the world. It only comes to land at nightfall during the breeding season where it nests in the steep ridges near Nun’s Valley.
If you have never been on a birdwatching trip before, then why not give it a try on the island of Madeira and perhaps at the end, you too will be ticking birds off your list.
For further information on saving the Zino’s Petrel, please visit www.ifcn.madeira.gov.pt or have a chat with one of our Madeira Specialist if you are interested in joining our small group birdwatching trips on 01768 721020. You can also request a brochure or make an enquiry online – just click on the links.