• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Pelagics in Azores looking for Monteiro's Storm-petrel (5 to 10 Aug) (1 Viewer)

Mike Hunter

Well-known member
We are three heading for Azores 5 to 10 August. We have booked two pelagics, a place to stay (which accommodates 5). We fly from Manchester but plenty of options from other UK airports and indeed from Europe.

We were 5 but two of the crew are regrettably not yet double-vaccinated, a requirement to enter Azores.

Everything is organised, and all being done at cost, and is an excellent opportunity for up to three additional birders to team up and see one of Europe's rarest breeding birds.

Very happy to provide more details. Do please DM if interested.

Mike
07701 319087
 

simmojunior

Well-known member
I was looking at the Madeira pelagics around then but the price is jaw dropping so lookingfor other options. What is the price of this one? What other targets are there from the pelagic or is it all about the storm petrel?
 

foresttwitcher

Virtually unknown member
United Kingdom
I was looking at the Madeira pelagics around then but the price is jaw dropping so lookingfor other options. What is the price of this one? What other targets are there from the pelagic or is it all about the storm petrel?
I recommend the Madeira Windbird pelagics - yes expensive but you're unlikely to regret it...
 

Arbu

Well-known member
What is your analysis of the Covid regulations? If I understand correctly, for returning to the UK, if you have had both jabs, it will be necessary to have taken a test before you leave Portugal, and then book a Day 2 test for when you get back. What about on the Portuguese side? Are there any issues for travelling between islands?

I would join you, except that I have done this excursion before. However I'm thinking of going for Mako and Blue Sharks The best shark diving in the Azores is in Pico. Join our Adventure Package for divers on Pico. No doubt there are some birds to be seen on the way out to the Princess Alice sea mount, if you can persuade them to slow down for you.
 

rdcny

Well-known member
Thought this might be of interest to folks reading this thread...info from 15 July 2021:
-----------------
Thank you for your interest in our Zino's petrel pelagic expeditions.

At https://windbirds.co/d/pelagics2021.pdf you have a pdf document with more details about the trip, payment terms, some recommendations on accommodation and a species seasonality table.

In early June we get some storm petrels migrating North, as European, Wilson's, sometimes Leach's storm petrel while in (late) August we get other seabird species passing by, like Great and Manx shearwaters and Skuas/Jaegers (Long-tailed, Great, Pomarine and Arctic). In June we get more Zino's than in August and White-faced storm petrels are also more probable in June as they migrate by early August.

Let us know if you need any further assistance or when you wish to book, even if there isn't any booking yet, we will count on you two for those dates and will confirm the trip as soon as we get 3 more bookings.

Kind Regards,
Catarina Correia-Fagundes
Naturalist

wb_horizontal.png

Madeira Wind Birds | Observing Madeira's Nature since 2004
p: +351291098007 | m: +351917777441
madeirawindbirds.com | facebook.com/windbirds | twitter.com/windbirds
 

Arbu

Well-known member
I don't think the Covid regulations are simple at all. Firstly you won't have the EU COVID Digital VACCINATION Certificate because you're British. So, on this page Como Viajar? -, it seems you can go for the green category or the red one. The green one requires you to get a "Digital Test Certificate" within 72 hours of your trip. I think this may be the "EU Digital Test Certificate". In which case, maybe you will be able to get it soon in the UK, according to this article EU COVID-19 Passport to Be Open for International Travellers - Including UK & US - SchengenVisaInfo.com. But it's not quite clear where to go. So perhaps it's better to go for the red category, for which you can get a test on arrival at the airport. If that's positive then I suppose you have to go home again and write off the cost of the trip. And is it really the case that you can just get tested at the arrival airport? I would be extremely apprehensive at the departure airport as to whether I was going to be allowed to board my flight with no documentation.

Then for coming back you have to find a testing centre in the Azores and go there a few days before your return flight. If you test positive I think you have the choice of returning to the UK and paying a £500 fine, or continuing to get tests in Portugal until you are negative. That could take several weeks, although I suppose there are worse places to be stuck.

Then you have to get another test within two days of returning to the UK.

And of course the rules could change at any time...

Edit: I forgot the four hour delay at immigration to get back into the UK.
 
Last edited:

Mike Hunter

Well-known member
Hi - sorry catching up on the thread.

Azores
August provides a better chance of seeing both Grant's and Monteiro's Stormie. You won't see Grant's in June as it's a winter breeder.

Cost of each pelagic is about £650 divided by the number going. I really don't think that's bad. With 6 on the boat, that's less than £110 for a 6 to 7 hour pelagic.

PCR test to go out and antigen test to come back, through this company: C19 Testing | C19. A requirement to be double-jabbed to enter Azores. A couple of extra forms and a bit more planning is needed.

Bit of scare mongering there Arbu.

Madeira
I'd recommend Wind Birds - went with them last year, great experience. OK not cheap, simmojunior, but you are getting three long pelagics for little over 500 Euro. Hi Catarina - hope things good with you. See you next year!

Hope this helps.

Mike
 
Last edited:

Arbu

Well-known member
Maybe you have read somewhere that the Azores government accepts the NHS Covid Pass (in which case it would be more helpful of you if you could tell us where, rather than accuse me of scaremongering) but I can't see this on the Azores Government website at all.

I see on C19's website that you can self test for the return to the UK, so that certainly makes things a bit easier.

Anyway, I hope it goes well, and hopefully you will let us know how it all works out.
 

Arbu

Well-known member
Actually, I don't see where you get the requirement to be double-jabbed for the Azores from. I would have thought your friends could just get the PCR test to go out, like you, since it seems the Azores don't recognise the NHS Covid Pass.

12% risk of failing a test at the moment UK: Share of COVID-19 tests that are positive.

I'm not trying to throw cold water on your plans, it's just that I would really like to go to the Azores myself, and I can't get comfortable with it.
 

Mike Hunter

Well-known member
Actually, I don't see where you get the requirement to be double-jabbed for the Azores from. I would have thought your friends could just get the PCR test to go out, like you, since it seems the Azores don't recognise the NHS Covid Pass.

12% risk of failing a test at the moment UK: Share of COVID-19 tests that are positive.

I'm not trying to throw cold water on your plans, it's just that I would really like to go to the Azores myself, and I can't get comfortable with it.

Hi Arbu

We need a negative PCR test to enter mainland Portugal anyway, so if the Azorean authorities won't accept our NHS jab certificates, they will accept a negative test result taken within 72 hours.

Portugal has to be one of the more welcoming places for Brits. I don't think we'll have any problems, and we are trying to mitigate risk by doing the necessary early planning and completing the obligatory pre-departure forms.

I'll post a brief trip report here when we come back, in case it helps others.

Thanks

Mike
 
Last edited:

James Lowther

Well-known member
12% risk of failing a test at the moment UK: Share of COVID-19 tests that are positive.

just as an aside that's a misinterpretation of the statistic:-
12% of tests are positive at the moment but there is a self selection of people taking the tests and it is heavily biased towards people who are more likely to be positive e.g. with symptoms or contacts of infected people or people in high risk situations. But people getting tested for travel purposes don't necessarily fall into those categories and are more likely to have a risk of infection reflecting that in the general population.

The Infection survey Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK - Office for National Statistics
which uses the same tests but selects people at random gives an unbiased assessment of the rate of infection in the population - last figure for England was 1.36%. Probably it will be higher now but unlikely to be much more than 2%. And lower for e.g. older age groups, fully vaccinated people etc.

cheers,
James
 

Mike Hunter

Well-known member
just as an aside that's a misinterpretation of the statistic:-
12% of tests are positive at the moment but there is a self selection of people taking the tests and it is heavily biased towards people who are more likely to be positive e.g. with symptoms or contacts of infected people or people in high risk situations. But people getting tested for travel purposes don't necessarily fall into those categories and are more likely to have a risk of infection reflecting that in the general population.

The Infection survey Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK - Office for National Statistics
which uses the same tests but selects people at random gives an unbiased assessment of the rate of infection in the population - last figure for England was 1.36%. Probably it will be higher now but unlikely to be much more than 2%. And lower for e.g. older age groups, fully vaccinated people etc.

cheers,
James

Good point James, thanks. An important reminder that interpreting data is anything but straightforward otherwise it's easy to jump to the wrong conclusions.

As for our trip, we've spent a couple of hours tonight ordering the various tests and completing the various passenger locator forms. Looking forward to some immense pelagic birding.

Mike
 

Mike Hunter

Well-known member
A quick update on our trip.

4th August

Owing to a flight cancellation, we opted to fly out on 4th August instead of 5th, staying in Lisbon within walking distance of the airport.

Also within walking distance is the Parque da Quinta das Conchas e dos Lilases, where we enjoyed a pleasant morning's birding with Firecrest, Short-toed Treecreeper, and Ring-necked and Blue-crowned Parakeets (the latter a likely future Cat C).

5 August

Pelagic not possible owing to the weather and we explore the island, finding Quail surprisingly numerous. Cleared up all the passerines including Robin and Blackcap, and a light passage of Roseate Terns was the highlight on the coast.

6 August

Meet our boat chaps at 1200 and in choppy conditions head to South of Graciosa where calmer. Chumming didn't bring in much but with the seas improving we moved a few miles East of Graciosa. Double figures of Monteiro's would ordinarily be the highlight, as they gave incredible views around the boat. But not today as Graeme picks out a Trinadade Petrel (intermediate) which performs with two majestic passes.

The Azores is emerging as the place to see this tricky global mega, with all but two accepted records in the WP from this archipelago.

One likely Grant's candidate, three Great Shearwaters and a Wilson's Stormie completes a spectacular 7 hours at sea, which also included Loggerhead Turtle feeding on remnant squid, and 40+ Atlantic Spotted Dolphin.

Celebratory drinks and beer flowed this night!

7 August

Meet our boatman at 0700 and go further out, to the famous Bank of Fortune area. The regular chumming brought in wave after wave of ca 40 Monteiro's Stormie, with even better views than yesterday. Through careful study we found 3 or 4 Grant's Stormie using a combination of features, including whether in secondary moult, square ended shorter tail, brown toned appearance to upperparts on some birds, and appearing slightly bulkier. Many Monteiro's had not started their wing moult but some were in early primary moult (dropped primaries 1 to 3).

A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins and a whale sp breaching added to the mammal list, and a single Manx Shearwater added to the variety. No megas today but what a 2-day experience.

A quick note on travel. It's easy. Just be more organised. Efficiently through all passport controls with barely a glance.

A quick shout out to Rolando and Jose who were brilliant. We'd strongly recommend Nautigraciosa, they know where the birds are and will do everything to get good views.

www.divingraciosa.com
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top