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Hardcore Madeira Madness - 15 - 20 June 2022 (2 Viewers)

rollingthunder

Well-known member
England
A nice account Nick.

It oozes the frenetic mountain driving and sea birding, all that is needed is that Tinnitus-inducing disco beat that you complained about ;-) but did you actually partake of the local Madeira?

I have toyed with a trip but considering the price I would be paying for the flights I would not be shelling out top whack for the pelagic I would make do with one of the cheaper options and some sea-watching. My mate did 2 days on Windbirds at about 100 quid a day so it looks like prices have been hiked somewhat possibly linked to demand. Although, like yourself, we are both primarily birders he did say that he would have been better zapping anything that flew and check for ID later rather than just looking. With Windbirds you are getting a running commentary from knowledgeable people so that helps but the other operators less so. I don't drive and the bulk of the time I am glad I do not as I hate spending time in cars but needs must.

Good birding -

Laurie -
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
A nice account Nick.

It oozes the frenetic mountain driving and sea birding, all that is needed is that Tinnitus-inducing disco beat that you complained about ;-) but did you actually partake of the local Madeira?

I have toyed with a trip but considering the price I would be paying for the flights I would not be shelling out top whack for the pelagic I would make do with one of the cheaper options and some sea-watching. My mate did 2 days on Windbirds at about 100 quid a day so it looks like prices have been hiked somewhat possibly linked to demand. Although, like yourself, we are both primarily birders he did say that he would have been better zapping anything that flew and check for ID later rather than just looking. With Windbirds you are getting a running commentary from knowledgeable people so that helps but the other operators less so. I don't drive and the bulk of the time I am glad I do not as I hate spending time in cars but needs must.

Good birding -

Laurie -
Thanks very much Laurie, your best bet would be Ryan Air flights (but not from Brum unfortunately only Manchester), about £100 return without hold baggage Friday to Monday, taxi to Funchal about 20 euros each way, and try to find a cheapish hotel from booking.com or the like within walking distance of the harbour, then the 80 euros Ventura do Mar boat to Desertas day trip 80 euros, or if not available the VMT trip I did. Windbirds price is pretty extortionate at 540 euros but you can't just pick one day, you have to do all 3 afternoons. They must be rolling in dosh. Only risk is cancellation due to weather.

Totally agree about the need for a camera. Paul Chapman took some great shots from his Windbirds trip and really this is the only 100% safe way of distinguishing some Desertas from Zino's. The VMT wildlife watcher on the catamarans reckoned 90% of birds seen close to the Desertas would be Desertas, with Zino's apparently favouring waters north of Madeira. But you never know. Windbirds purposely choose different areas of sea each day for this reason. The 2 birds close to the boat I saw were classic Desertas (the Wildlife watcher agreed), but the other 3-4 I saw I am just presuming were also Desertas based on the lack of white in the underwing in flight and the fact we were near the Desertas Islands.

For contrast, Windbirds blog has the following seen on their 3 days out 16th-18th June, which I have copied and pasted.........I reckon Day One they went north of Madeira for the Zino's, Day Two not sure (possibly to west), then Day Three (18th - same day as my pelagic) I reckon they were in same area, the Desertas Islands....and they had 7 sightings of Pterodromo birds whereas I had 5 so I didn't do too badly to be honest, with just one set of eyes.

18th June 2022 - North wind between 9 and 3 knots, waves 0.5 meters from same direction
3 Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta - 1 on the way up
4 Pterodroma sp.
2 Madeiran storm petrel Oceanodroma castro - both at 9:20 pm
Lesser Black-backed gull Larus fuscus
5 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Atlantic Spotted dolphins Stenella frontalis

17th June 2022 - NE wind up to 15 knots and waves up to 1.2 meters
7 Pterodroma sp. - all too far to ID
2 Common tern Sterna hirundo
3 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Barolo's shearwater Puffinus baroli - flew across the bow when moving up to the chum slick

European conger Conger conger - a black fish (not usual the color), dead with Cory’s and Bulwer’s feeding from it

16th June 2022 - NW wind between 10 and 14 knots, 1.5 meters swell from same direction
6 Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira - 2 on the way back
Great shearwater Puffinus gravis
2 Common tern Sterna hirundo
 
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Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Nice one Nick. I didn't do any better than you for lifers, even though I went on the windbirds pelagic. I was pushing it for Zino's though datewise (late end of regular sightings). We missed Zino's and didn't get Barolo either. Only saw one Band-rumped Stormie, but it was close views. And obviously the Deserts Petrels and Bulwer's would probably have been closer too. Did get Wilson's Stormie and cracking views of Great Shear though.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Nice one Nick. I didn't do any better than you for lifers, even though I went on the windbirds pelagic. I was pushing it for Zino's though datewise (late end of regular sightings). We missed Zino's and didn't get Barolo either. Only saw one Band-rumped Stormie, but it was close views. And obviously the Deserts Petrels and Bulwer's would probably have been closer too. Did get Wilson's Stormie and cracking views of Great Shear though.
Thanks Larry, I’ve just booked to go back on Friday next week, back on Monday, for 58 quid with Ryan Air. Booked the same catamaran trip on the Saturday with VTM and enquired to see if I can get on the Zino night trip.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Just to update, that I have just returned from another weekend to Madeira, using Ryan Air from Manchester, and staying in Funchal, Friday 8 July to Monday 11 July 2022.

Costs included: -

£25 petrol
£16 park on my drive Heald Green, near the airport
£58 Ryan Air return flights (just taking ruck-sack on board - clothes, toiletries, binoculars)
5 euros each way Aerobus from arrivals area to Funchal. (Taxi is 30-35 euros each way)
£165 for 3 nights accommodation at Hotel Catedral (B & B) via booking.com, ideal as 2-minutes walk from harbour
£100 cash
80 euros VMT day trip to Desertas Islands with VMT (alternatives include Bonita do Madeira, or Ventura do Mar) - Wed / Sat only
28 euros afternoon 3-hour dolphin and whale trip with 'Sea Born' (truth of these trips is 1 hour dolphins, 2 hours by coast for swimming)
50 euros Windbirds Zino Petrel late evening trip to Pico do Arieiro
18 euros Cable Car Funchal to Monte, and ? cable car and entrance to Botannical Gardens.

Total cost = £550

I guess I am very lucky to have no mortgage now, at my age. Indeed, is twitching a rich man's hobby?

Flights on both legs, Friday and Monday, were very reasonably timed, departing early pm meaning arrival at Funchal and back home early evening, which added to the attraction as I was not arriving shattered, though the return flight was delayed for four hours due to strong winds. This can happen here, Easyjet delayed until following day!

Saturday 9th July 2022

After a great nights sleep and a hearty breakfast at my perfect, air-conditioned hotel, at 8.30am on Saturday 9th I trundled on down through the beautiful Funchal streets and harbour area, to the pre-booked VMT Madeira catamaran departure point just 2-3 minutes away. The cruise to Desertas Islands departs bang on 9am, and returns by 6pm. Take a hoody as it can get cool and breezy towards Desertas Islands. To be truthful, there is not much to do or see at Grand Desertas, where you can opt to disembark, but us birders are on this trip for the journey each way, not the location itself. But you can see why some have a feeling of ant-climax once they get there. You can only walk around 100 metres on tracks because it is a protected area.

VMT need a minimum of 12 to sail (on commercial grounds), and of course the trips can be cancelled if winds are too strong. When I was here a month ago, just 17 were on board, today 46 joined the cruise, but there was still good room to get a 'seaboard-seat'. I joined a Spanish birder and together we at least had 2 sets of eyes. I did move around depending on the angle of the sun. But if by yourself, I would choose the best side based on the light conditions on either side, and concentrate mainly on that side, but casting a cursory glance to the other routinely. Snacks were enjoyed and wc at hand. Again, for me, this relaxed-pelagic was the clear highlight, even though it was quieter overall than the previous identical trip, with only around 250 Cory's this time whereas there were probably 1000 last time. No 'Manxies' either this time, whereas they were quite common just a month ago. But there were 'goodies'. In fact, as we left the harbour, a Loggerhead Turtle was bobbing around by the surface, and Common Terns flew around but there were no Roseate Terns for me. For the first hour of the 2.5 hours 25 mile-trip, things were every quiet, though I enjoyed seeing 15 Flying Fish, and a Portuguese Man of War. A group of 200 Cory's were encountered sat on the sea, though nothing more rare was sat amongst them. But then around half-way across, I looked back and saw our 1st Pterodoma / Gadfly Petrel but it was 300 metres away, with the airport runway as a back drop which was probably five or even ten miles away. People often refer to this zone (opposite the airport) being a bit of a hot-spot, and the sea starts to swell up more as you get half-way across, in this section. Then, sixty metres to the starboard side, a small, lighter-looking ‘Gadfly’ petrel showed well for thirty seconds, possessing a clear pale under-wing bar, myself and the Spanish birder simultaneously said "Zino's", though I stress these assessments are subjective. Within the next hour, as we approached the very-choppy waters of Grand Desertas, 4 Desertas Petrels showed in flight, all at around one-hundred metres distance. Good stuff! Just 7 Bulwer's Petrels were seen on this outward section, which is a low number. The drawback of these 'non-specifically-birding' cruises, is that you spend 3 hours on Grand Desertas, though this time I opted to stay on the boat and snooze with a beer. You can transfer by dinghy to the shore, but there is really nothing to do except have a swim and sit on the rocks, or watch the Canaries and Bertholot’s Pipits that hang around the reserve centre. From the boat you can watch Common Terns fly around but the bonus today was the appearance of a huge Monk Seal that offered crippling close views two metres off the back of the catamaran, though people who went ashore missed this. People eventually returned to the boat after a couple of hours, and a meal was served, very nice beef, fish and vegetables and salad, which is all part of the 80 euros cost. With the wind ever increasing, we set off back towards Funchal, and overall it was very quiet but with a few goodies thrown in! Half-way back, another small gadlfy petrel 'rocketed' past us only twenty metres away, looking very small and compact with a pale mantle, and it instantly looked different in profile and size to the Desertas Petrels. We followed it for thirty seconds, and both of us felt confident that this was a Zino's Petrel. Twenty minutes later, another good candidate for Zino's Petrel flew to our right, around two-hundred metres away, again looking different to the Desertas Petrels. So that was 3 Zino's we felt we had seen. Although they are more common north of Madeira, E-bird reports suggest they can certainly be seen between Funchal and Desertas Islands. Another distant Gadfly petrel was then seen but we just couldn't say, but probably Desertas. The final 'gadfly' was a certain, larger Desertas that flew past, just thirty metres from the catamaran. Around 20 Bulwer's were seen on this return leg. Overall it was another great trip, with 11 'Gadfly' Petrels seen including 6 Desertas, 3 Zino’s, and 2 undesignated (I saw 6 Desertas Petrels on this trip a month ago but no putative Zino's), up to 30 Bulwer's Petrels, 250 Cory's, Monk Seal, 15 Flying Fish, Portuguese Man of War, and Loggerhead Turtle. I slept well that night after a MacDonalds 'crappy meal' and a couple of beers in my room watching 'Mad Max' on Fox channel.

Sunday 10th July 2022

A relaxed start, and a short walk past the bus station to the Cable car station, which I had pre-booked on-line. A fifteen-minute journey then takes you up to the pretty village of Monte, where a sign indicates that you walk for two minutes to the adjoining cable car back down to The Botanical Gardens. You pay for a ticket for both at the kiosk here. It drops you off at the top of the gardens, where I spent two hours, meandering slowly downwards, amongst the shaded paths looking for Madeiran Firecrest, as I had only seen one individual on my last visit, and only briefly. But despite two hours of searching, I still couldn't find another of these blighters. Only Blackcaps, Blackbirds, Canaries, Grey Wagtail, Feral Pigeons, and Kestrels were seen ( I didn't need Trocaz Pigeon as I saw them last time). At the pond near the bottom, I saw my first Dragonfly, a Blue Emperor, which I was very pleased with until it dawned on me that in fact they were simply Emperor Dragonflies that I see routinely here in the UK. Doh! Brain-fart moment! The clue is in the feckin name! 🥴. Also at least 1 spectacular Monarch butterfly was seen. Anyway, I shared a taxi back down the short way to the hotel, and relaxed in the coolness of my room.

At 3pm, I joined my second catamaran cruise with a company in the harbour called 'Sea-born' for just 28 euros. This was crammed with young, body-beautiful types, and I was like a fish out of water, looking particularly-pervy with my binoculars :). I didn't really enjoy the three-hour cruise, with only the first section spent looking for cetaceans, though we immediately found a pod of 6 Bottlenose Dolphins, and later up to 20 Atlantic Spotted Dolphins. I noted 25 Cory's and 6 Bulwer's Petrels, but truthfully, was pleased to get back to port.

I rested in my room for a couple of hours, before being picked up at a designated spot at 9.10pm for the Windbirds pre-booked trip costing 50 euros, to Pico do Arieiro, to the Zino Petrels' breeding site. I had reservations about this, as I thought I would struggle with the steep inclines and declines, and possibly vertigo along the precipitous paths, and indeed I was conscious of slowing the group and at one point thought I wouldn't make it, being breathless. But I did, just! The paths were always fenced or had rock sides, and I didn't personally struggle due to the height or steepness as feared, it was just that I was breathless at times. Birds didn't start to show on what was a perfect moonlit night until 11.30pm, but over the next hour we had around 10 silhouettes of Zino's, and listening to their 'mournful calls' was memorable. I would add that not once did I see the silhouette of a bird up against the moon-lit sky, they were always down in the valley below. The white undersides were clear as they flashed past. Due to my slowness, I set off a little early before the rest of the group, with Hugo one of the two tour leaders accompanying me, and the climb back up was indeed difficult with around 200 steps up, taking forty minutes in all. Some of the rest of the group even caught me up, but I made it. Knee joints and lungs took a real pounding, and the canal paths of Wolverhampton just don't prepare you for the constant inclines and declines. You must be reasonably fit. I was embarrassed to be honest :). But at least I just made it. I was dropped back at the hotel at 1.15am.

I departed at 9am the following morning, back to the airport for my delayed Ryan Air flight to Manchester, but at least it wasn't cancelled and I arrived home at 9pm, very knackered from my previous nights' excursion but in one piece, just, but wrecked!

Based on my two VMT catamaran trips in June and now early-July, I conclude that you have an excellent chance of seeing ‘gadfly’ or ‘pterodroma’ petrels, notably Desertas Petrels, especially during the second half of the catamaran trip to Grand Desertas. However, the small petrel-species are seemingly getting scarcer and perhaps only react to chumming (via Windbirds), such as Madeiran, Wilson’s, British, and the highly-prized but rarer White-faced Petrel. Also, you may get better views of all species with the three-day 550-euros Windbirds package. Plus there are expert eyes on board.

Make sure you come at the right time of year for the ‘gadfly’ petrels, I think some of the suspected 85 pairs of Zino’s Petrels arrive a little bit earlier than the 140 pairs of Desertas Petrels, but June, July, and August through to September may provide this window of opportunity to see both ‘gadfly’ species. I am going to be a tad controversial now (but mean no offence), speaking to Hugo of Windbirds when I visited the Zino colony on Sunday night, I told him that we had 11 'gadfly' Petrels from the VMT catamaran between Funchal and Desertas Islands, including 3 suspected Zino's, to which he replied he thought that was unusual as most Zino sightings occur in the seas north of Madeira (where only Windbirds go). Yet looking at E-bird reports, there are quite a few Zino sightings south of Madeira, in fact just about as many have been reported there as to the north of Madeira. Furthermore, E-bird sightings including just last month, show photographed Zino's seen on their very-own trips 'south of Madeira', bang in the middle of the route Funchal to Desertas, so I suspect they can certainly be seen from commercial catamarans, but understandably Hugo is perhaps partly-protecting his own business interests. And they may indeed be seen more reliably and commonly north of Madeira. A photo of the E-bird map of sightings (blue and red, with red being recent) is attached below. For Desertas Petrels, I would say the commercial catamarans provide good opportunity as the trip to Desertas Islands lies in their primary area.

If you can book late, it enables you to look at 7-14 day weather patterns, but of course strong unpredictable winds can still lead to cancellation, so be prepared for this eventuality. Even Windbirds cancel their ribs from Machico if winds are too strong. I found my return flights at 58 quid with Ryan Air just ten days before departure. But maybe I was just lucky! There are ‘currently’ no covid-related requirements on Madeira except for wearing a mask inside. This of course, may change. Finally, do allow for three hours at Madeira Airport, for ticket scanning, security bag check, and then sometimes long passport control queues (as we are no longer in EU). Buying ‘fast-track’ at the Madeira end for an extra fiver is certainly worth considering. Also, if there are strong winds at Madeira, flights are often diverted to Porto Santo, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Grand Canarias, so you may have significant delays or diversions. Best to be aware of the situation here, than not at all.

Species List - abject total of 20 species

Zino's Petrel - 10 at Pico do Arieiro breeding site seen poorly, and 3 good candidates on VMT catamaran cruise to Grand Desertas.
Desertas / Fea's Petrel - 6 on VMT catamaran cruise to Grand Desertas.
(Also 2 'undesignated' Gadfly Petrels on VMT catamaran cruise to Grand Desertas).
Bulwer's Petrel - 28 on VMT catamaran cruise to Grand Desertas, 6 on Sea-Born catamaran cruise - total 34
Cory's Shearwater - approximately 250 seen
Common Tern - at least 12 seen
Yellow-legged Gull - at least 100 seen
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1 seen
Plain Swift - 100 seen at least
Canary - at least 15 seen
Linnet - 2 seen
Blackcap - at least 8 seen
Blackbird - around 40 seen
Grey Wagtail - 2 seen
Collared Dove - 1 seen
Feral Pigeon - around 300 seen
Grey Heron - 2 seen
Cayuga Mallard - at least 10 seen
Kestrel - around 10 seen
Sparrowhawk - 1 seen on way back to airport
Buzzard - 1 seen

Also: -

6 Bottle-nosed Dolphin
20 Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
1 Portuguese Man of War
15 Flying Fish
1 Monk Seal
1 Blue Emperor Dragonfly
 

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wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
These two trip reports provide excellent information for a cost-effective and less bouncy way to see these seabirds - Many thanks!
Thank you very much Mike, appreciate your positive feedback.
As long as the info potentially helps others, that is what matters to me.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
Well, with remaining annual leave to take within a certain time limit (or lose it), I searched around Ryan Air to see where I get to mid-June at a low cost, and Madeira came up, with flights from Manchester on 15th June, returning mid-day on 20th June, all for around £150. Travelling 'cattle-class' is just about bearable for anything under 4 hours I find, no luxury BA flights ever for me!
Have you been on BA recently Nick?

I flew regularly to St Petersburg where it was the usual free meals and drinks but that all got cut over 5 years ago, you didn't even get water in the end, this flight no longer exists.

I flew to Cyprus with them last year, 4.5 hours and still no free drinks or meals, not sure what the trigger point is now for booze and fodder.

Nice report.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Have you been on BA recently Nick?

I flew regularly to St Petersburg where it was the usual free meals and drinks but that all got cut over 5 years ago, you didn't even get water in the end, this flight no longer exists.

I flew to Cyprus with them last year, 4.5 hours and still no free drinks or meals, not sure what the trigger point is now for booze and fodder.

Nice report.
Thanks Andy. To be fair I haven't ever flown with them, but I did exaggerate somewhat and realise BA have reduced fares these days. My default is to go to Ryan Air, then Easyjet, and I usually find what I need.

I'm not very ambitious when it comes to locations, I struggled with a bit of hill-walking in Madeira, and I really struggle in the heat. I was looking at Goa or Singapore, but the heat would literally kill me, yet I know the birds there would be just fantastic. Had a few health scares, thought it was my heart or lungs (or I wonder if long-covid even), but CT scan fine. So baffled, but I still know I'm declining :).

Probably just stick to UK and WP birding now.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
Thanks Andy. To be fair I haven't ever flown with them, but I did exaggerate somewhat and realise BA have reduced fares these days. My default is to go to Ryan Air, then Easyjet, and I usually find what I need.

I'm not very ambitious when it comes to locations, I struggled with a bit of hill-walking in Madeira, and I really struggle in the heat. I was looking at Goa or Singapore, but the heat would literally kill me, yet I know the birds there would be just fantastic. Had a few health scares, thought it was my heart or lungs (or I wonder if long-covid even), but CT scan fine. So baffled, but I still know I'm declining :).

Probably just stick to UK and WP birding now.
Goa is fine in Nov, you'll even want a sweater pre dawn, hate Singapore, sweaty and humid all the time.
 

Owene

Well-known member
Wales
really enjoyed the write up. I made the same mistake with blue emperors on Tenerife. Like you said Obvious when you think about it but easy mistake to make
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Goa is fine in Nov, you'll even want a sweater pre dawn, hate Singapore, sweaty and humid all the time.
Interesting, thanks for that Andy, I struggle with lack of breath (early angina) but thrive on cool air. So maybe I will consider Goa as a last hoorah! In November.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
really enjoyed the write up. I made the same mistake with blue emperors on Tenerife. Like you said Obvious when you think about it but easy mistake to make
Thank you very much Owene.
Glad its not just me. Got laugh though haven't you.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Great report, very enjoyable read, liking the beer and birding vibe!!!
Indeed, thanks Paul. Why not watch birds and have a pint at the same time?

Can't get much more enjoyable than that. If you are with your better half, I forgot to add that VMT catamarans have a large area at the front with stretched canvas beds on for sun-worshippers.

Windbirds have released their news (SEE BELOW) for same period as my 2nd day-trip to Desertas (well a few days before as I went on 9th) - bearing in mind I had 6 gadfly petrels (5 Desertas, 1 unidentified), 120 Bulwer's Petrels, but no small petrels, on my June catamaran day-trip, then 11 gadfly petrels (6 Desertas, 3 Zino's, 2 unidentified), 30 Bulwer's, but no small petrels on the 2nd repeat catamaran day trip............the best they got was 5 on one day. Though they did get a Storm Petrel too on one day, which I failed to achieve, plus some good cetaceans which are obviously lacking from the catamaran trip. I'm not sure views would be much if any better than from the catamaran, as the gadflys don't particularly seem to come to chum. Any way, others may disagree, and I respect their opinion, but if your key target is gadfly petrels, I reckon you can do the VMT catamaran to Desertas Wednesday then Saturday for 160 euros (80 each) and still enjoy good sightings.............whilst supping a beer. But............you don't have expert eyes with you. But at least, it shows that good pelagics can be enjoyed in comfort, if you don't fancy the toiletless ribs.

7th July 2022 - NE wind between 9 and 12 knots. 1 meter waves from the same direction
4 Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta - 2 on the way up
Pterodroma sp.
European Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus
Scopoli's shearwater Calonectris diomedea
2 Lesser Black-backed gull Larus fuscus graellsii
9 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus
Blue shark Prionace glauca

6th July 2022 - Northeast wind between 11 and 13 knots.1 meter waves from the same direction
3 Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta on the way up
Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira
16 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Lesser Black-backed gull Larus fuscus intermedius

1 Atlantic Spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis

5th July 2022 - Northern wind between 6 and 8 knots. 1.8 meter swell from N
2 Fea's Petrel Pterodroma feae/deserta - 1 on the way up
2 Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus puffinus - 1 on the way back
2 Zino's Petrel Pterodroma madeira - 1 on the way back
2 Lesser Black-backed gull Larus fuscus graellsii
19 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
 
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KenM

Well-known member
Great reports as usual Nick!, very thorough and detailed, especially the dates, wind directions and location (half way across), before that “extra” anticipation creeps in.👍

As I’m a “smidgin” older than you, bouncing up and down on a rib, that’s mine!…not the boats! 🤣might prove to be my undoing, thus I’ll happily read your “young buck” experience from the comfort of an arm chair.

Although finding myself there, with favourable winds and the promise of White-faced petrel might just tip the balance and have me clinging to the “ribbing”.👍

Cheers Ken
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Great reports as usual Nick!, very thorough and detailed, especially the dates, wind directions and location (half way across), before that “extra” anticipation creeps in.👍

As I’m a “smidgin” older than you, bouncing up and down on a rib, that’s mine!…not the boats! 🤣might prove to be my undoing, thus I’ll happily read your “young buck” experience from the comfort of an arm chair.

Although finding myself there, with favourable winds and the promise of White-faced petrel might just tip the balance and have me clinging to the “ribbing”.👍

Cheers Ken
Nice one Ken, go for it, just don't do the midnight Zino walk unless you are fit and a good walker of inclines and declines, and the air is much thinner at such height. I embarrassed the nation with my breathlessness, wheezing, and whimpering :)-.
 
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kb57

Well-known member
Europe
A Windbirds pelagic has been on my bucket list for a while now, but the 3-day list for a not-inconsiderable outlay is not that impressive TBH. The Pterodroma petrels and high chance of Zino's is obviously a big draw, but for storm-petrels and the commoner shearwaters I've had much more bird-rich experiences in a couple of hours off Sagres for considerably less cash.
As Ken says though, the chance of a white-faced storm-petrel still makes it an attractive proposition, but your trip report emphasises how good the catamaran trip can be. Multiple Bulwer's plus beer compares very favourably!
 

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