9. Azores Marine Birdwatching Expedition
Cruise the Azores coastline and stop at the off-coast nature reserve of the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo to observe known seabird colonies and other marine wildlife alongside a professional birdwatching team.
After a safety brief about the “Zodiac RIB” boat you will be traveling in, start your sea journey with an introduction to you the bird species you will observe, their migration routes, and their behavioral patterns.
Follow directions provided by inland lockouts via VHF Radio allowing the boat to carefully approach at an undetected distance. Learn about the field imagery and data collection for local research.
Many Birds find an oasis in the Azores Islands to breed and raise chicks and as an on-route refuge. Marine birds can be observed yearlong, peaking in abundance in Spring and Autumn with the arrival of migrants and vagrants.
See vast colonies of Cory’s Shearwater, Barolo Shearwater, Common and Roseate Terns, Yellow-legged Gulls, Bulwer’s Petrel, Wilson’s, and Madeiran Storm-petrels. On lucky days spot less-common species like Bridled or Sooty Terns.
Not breeding but regularly sighted are Great Shearwater and Leach’s Storm-petrel, Manx and Sooty Shearwater, vagrant Northern Gannets, Arctic, Pomarine, and Great Skuas. Shorebirds encountered include Buzzards, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Canaries, Little Egrets, Wagtails, and Whimbrels.