|Catarina and Hugo|
I stayed at the White Waters Hotel in Machico which has the advantage of being close to the airport, not expensive, comfortable, with very pleasant owners and staff and only a short walk from the small harbour and a river which is worthwhile taking a look at. As I had little free time the days when not at sea and a lot of work to attack, I didn't bother hiring a car to visit other sites but got a lot of work done instead.
For the samwe reason I I am going to put all the species seen in order, with photos where I have any, and comments about the numbers seen of each and a commentary if there's anything useful to say. Note that we saw no Sooty Shearwaters, only 2 Arctic Skuas and there were few stormies, much fewer than we had all hoped for.
|find the Wilson's S-p|
In the final few minutes at sea on Wednesday evening before starting for port and with poor light, we saw a single White-faced Storm-petrel, a single European Stormie and a single Madeira Stormie (sp.) crossed the bows once started back. In sum, a poor showing from the point of view of storm-petrels. It wasn't any better for skuas either, with only 2 Arctic Skuas seen on the Monday afternoon and a Common Tern.
I walked up-river more than once and apart from 3 young Moorhens on the Monday and never seen again in the dense vegetation, there were always Grey Wagtails, many of these juvs. I had seen a few Common Waxbills but on the Friday morning I came across various flocks, the largest of some 30 birds, with a tiotal of at least 100 feeding on the seed heads. There was also a small flock of Canaries but of other species, little indeed, with singles of Blackbird and Blackcap and a few Spanish Sparrows, as well as up to 6 Plain Swifts each day.
|Common Waxbills (2 photos above)|
As a post scriptum, on the Friday I had lunch with Catarina and Hugo they described, with a luxury of detail, their observation this year of the birth of a young Sperm Whale, which is absolutely incredible and probably seen by very few on this planet. That is another part of the attraction of the sea.
And as you haven't bothered to ask, yes I enjoyed the pelagics as always, especially in good company, even though we could have seen more, but that's birding for you.