Porto Santo Day 6

You can’t go far wrong as a birder being next to a lighthouse in mid October. When I wanted to make the short trip to the Ilheu de Cima just off the south east of the main island I had fanciful ideas of seeing a few migrants. Before we set off I genuinely wondered if there would be any birdlife at all.

In the event the reality was somewhere in between. We saw several several species including Buzzard, Kestrel, Canary, ‘Rock Dove’, Berthelot’s Pipit, Hoopoe and even Rock Sparrow. Above all however it was an entertaining and informative experience, the quality of the guides on both the excursions we’ve done this week has been first rate. Well worth the ascent of over 700 steps from the landing area.

Scanning the sea I saw four whale blows without ever actually seeing the whales. As we zipped back to the port on the rib the Sandwich Tern that has been around all week passed in the other direction.

This afternoon I gave Tanque a final roll of the dice for the holiday. The Mallard were back, and there was a Greenshank. A Grey Heron was on a small patch of water to the south.

Heading towards the golf course clubhouse I heard a Ring Ousel tacking in a small clump of trees near the lower set of ponds. It then departed and flew strongly away, but I did see the white collar as it did so. This is probably the scarcest bird I’ve seen during the week in Madeiran terms, though there is evidence from ebird records that they have wintered here in the past.

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