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Thread: Savages Islands, seawatching report. June 2011

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    Default Savages Islands, seawatching report. June 2011

    Between the 9th and the 12th of june 2011, we made a new seawatching trip to Savages Islands (Ilhas Selvagens, Islas Salvajes, Portuguese islands placed about 100 miles north of Canary Islands, and about 200 miles south of Madeira) with Birding Canarias, local company from Tenerife who make this trips twice a year. This year the we´ve done the trip in june, the perfect date to observe breeding pelagic seabirds in the macaronesian archipelagos. Next we present a short summary of the observations we did in those four days of navigation.

    Thursday, 9th of june 2011.

    Navigation Tenerife to Salvaje Grande.



    We set sail from Santa Cruz de Tenerife´s harbour at 6:00 hrs. and at 8:00 hrs. we were near Anaga´s islets were we started to observe seabirds.

    The number of observations made were satisfactory until 21:00, when the sunset at 20 nautical miles south of Salavaje Grande.

    Cory's Shearwater Calonetris diomedea..... circa 200 specimen.
    Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii..... 31 specimen.
    White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina..... 6 specimen.
    Common Tern Sterna hirundo..... 1 specimen.
    Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis..... circa 25 specimen.

    Cetaceans:
    Common dolphin Delphinus delphis..... 2 specimen.

    Friday, 10th of june 2011.

    Visit to Salvaje Grande.


    After the crossing of 20 hours we arrived to Cagarra´s Bay, were we anchored and spent the night listening to the calling of the Cory´s Shearwaters, Band-rumped Storm-Petrels and Little Shearwaters.
    At sunrise we could enjoyed with the Common Tern´s and Cory´s Shearwater´s flight getting in and out of their nest, something that it can only be seen in this remote island. After having breakfast in the sailing boat, we disembarked and made a trekking around the island with Lourenço, the Madeira Natural Park ranger in charge of the vigilance of the island.


    Cory´s Shearwater Calonetris diomedea, several hundred nests were observed occupied ny adults incubating. Apart from several thousands of birds flying at sunset in Cagarra´s Bay surroundings.
    Little Shearwater Puffinus baroli, about 10 specimen were heard at night the 9th of june.
    Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, several specimen were observed and heard incubating under stone piles.
    Band-rumped Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma castro, a carcass is found in the surroundings of the breeding colonies that are being studied by biologist of the Univesrsity of Lisboa.
    Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus, one adult observed in flight at Gallina´s Bay.
    Common Tern Sterna hirundo, several specimen were observed flying arround the island.
    Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, about 20 birds were seen flying at different locations of the island, as well as 2 chicks running around the interior plains.
    Common Swift Apus apus, at least 4 birds were seen flying together with Common House Martins and Bar Swallows.
    Berthelot's Pipit Anthus berthelotii, is the only land bird nesting in the island. Several birds were observed both adults and youngers, in the interior plains as well as in the coastal range during low tide, where they feed themselves with marine invertebrates.
    Common House Martin Delichon urbicum, about 75 birds were observed fliying at different locations.
    Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica, three birds were seen next to the biggest group of Common House Martins.

    Saturday 11th of june 2011.

    Navigation from Salvaje Grande to Salvaje Pequeña islet.


    At around 10:00 hrs. we left direction Salvaje Pequeña with the aim of search for new species of seabirds. This is what we saw:

    Cory´s Shearwater Calonetris diomedea..... more than 300 specimen.
    Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii..... 16 specimen.
    White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina..... 15 specimen.
    Common Tern Sterna hirundo..... 1 specimen.
    Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis..... 3 specimen.

    Cetaceans:
    Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus..... circa 12 specimen.


    Navigation in the surroundings of Salvaje Pequeña and Salvajita islets.

    With the purpose of conservating and with the aim of avoid bothering to the nesting bird life we didn´t disembarked at Salvaje pequeña islet, as expressed by the managment office of Parque Natural de Madeira, resposible for the conservation of the Archipelago.

    Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata, one bird observed flying next to other terns over a shallow in the shoal at south of the islet.Cory´s Shearwater Calonetris diomedea, several birds were observed flying in the surrondings of the islet.
    White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina, a group of three birds were seen at less than one mile of Salvaje pequeña.
    Common Tern Sterna hirundo, several birds were observed flying in the surroundings of the islet, some of them carrying food. It can be seen a group of about 30 birds with gulls in the southwest side.
    Roseate tern Sterna dougalli, one bird flying in the south side.
    Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis, several birds were observed flying in the surroundings of the islet.
    Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, two birds flying heading to the shoal in ter east of the islet.
    Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres, three birds flying over the lowlands Eastern the islet.

    Navigation from Salvaje Pequeña to 30 miles south.

    At 16:00 hrs. we left for Tenerife, and kept watching seabirds untill 21:00, the momento that we enjoyed the sunset.

    Cory´s Shearwater Calonetris diomedea, about 400 birds were observed flying.
    Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii..... 106 specimen.
    White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina..... 37 specimen.
    Common Tern Sterna hirundo..... 2 specimen.
    Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis..... 3 specimen.


    Sunday 12th of june 2011.


    Arrival into the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

    Common Tern Sterna hirundo..... 1 specimen.
    Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis..... more than 100 specimen.
    Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus..... 1 specimen.

    Next trip to Savages in september. To see pictures visit the blog: blog.birdingcanarias.com/2011/06/cronica-del-tour-las-islas-salvajes-de.html
    Last edited by BirdingCanarias; June 22nd, 2011 at 09:47 AM.

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