July is not a very popular month for vagrant bird species though there are still a few found around the archipelago of Madeira. These are the birds seen while birding on Wind Birds tours:
23rd July 2014 at Machico
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
2 Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
19th July 2014 at Ponta do Sol
Common House Martin Delichon urbicum
A pelagic expedition with light westerly wind (not the predominant direction) that only allowed us a very brief view of a Zino's petrel on the first day and which was only identifiable by photos... So not really a good sighting of a Pterodroma madeira but in compensation there was a good number of Fea's Petrels and great views of 4 species of Storm Petrels. Of course, Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis and Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii are well observed everyday.
June is the first summer month though some late migrating bird species might still be around or visit Madeira. Lets see what Madeira gets:
21st June 2014
Ponta do Pargo
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
19th June 2014
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus
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!