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Pelagic boat-trips - Birdwatching Algarve

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Pelagic boat-trips


Boat-trips to watch pelagic sea-birds and other marine wildlife.

Summer & autumn 2020 scheduled so far:

June, 18th (Thursday)

July, 22nd (Wednesday)

August, 12th (Wedensday)

September, 2nd

Please send a request for further dates ! (June to October)

(8.00 - 10.30 a.m., 40€ p.p.)

Birdwatching-Algarve offers Pelagic Boat-Tours heading out from Fuzeta (a fishing village between Olhão and Tavira) in cooperation with the Boat-Tour operator Passeios Ria Formosa.

COVID-19: The Tour operator Passeios Ria Formosa carries out all its activities in accordance to the new safety & prevention standards set by the Portuguese Tourism board ("Clean & Safe stamp"). You can find these prevention measures in detail following this link.

In the coastal waters of the Algarve a few miles off shore, it is possible to observe Storm Petrels (including Wilson's SP. from June to September), Skuas, Shearwaters (including Great SW. in summer and autumn) and many other seabirds, as well as Common- and Bottlenose Dolphins
and other marine wildlife.

Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)
in the Algarve, Oct. 1st, 2014 (GS).

During the c. 2,5 hours Tour we will be headed out for about 5 to 6 miles off shore, until we reach the best areas for the observations of seabirds. (During a "chumming-session", we will then attract several species of sea-birds close to the boat.)* This event gives usually excellent opportunities for photographing or filming. Boat: A glass-fiber boat with a cabin and comfortable seats or a modern rib for up to 12 people. Price: 40 € per Person (4-12 people).
Here is a map to the meeting-point in Fuzeta.
To check for availability and to make your reservation, please send me an e-mail.
*[Note: chumming not done on all Tours anymore]

A juvenile Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) close up next to the boat. October 2014 (GS).

Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) occasionally dive down like a harpoon right next to the boat, to catch a piece of fish before it sinks down. Various Gull-species might perform a fight about the best pieces, soon chased by one or more Skuas, which take away the food from other seabirds (a behaviour called “cleptoparasitism”). Terns show up, too and also Shearwaters might have a look on the scenery. The last birds showing up are normally the Storm Petrels, which pass by often closely and fly around the boat, trying to catch floating particles of the food offered from the surface in their unique manner.
We be will searching for Dolphins – which can be seen on most, but not on all Tours. Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and Bottlenose Dolphin
(Tursiops truncatus) are the most abundant sea mammals. Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) also occurs.
During the trip, we come across sea birds on passage and will get good views of Shearwaters - Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) and Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris borealis ) are, depending on the time of the year, the most frequently seen among them. In- and out from Fuzeta, we will cross the lagoon system of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and will have the opportunity to observe various Waders, Gulls, Terns, Egrets and Spoonbills.

Possible bird-species*:

Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris borealis)
Scopoli's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedia)
Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)
Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)
Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus)
Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) rare
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus)
European Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus)
Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)
Leach's Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) rare
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua)
Pomarine Skua (Stercorarius pomarinus)
Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus)
Long-tailed Skua (Stercorarius longicaudus) rare
Razorbill (Alca torda) winter
Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) winter
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) winter
(*A selection. Gulls and Terns are not included, species occurance depending on season.)

Main season for pelagics here is late May to November, with August and September being perhaps the strongest month (depending on species).

Please contact Birdwatching-Algarve for the booking and for further information.

Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) summers off the Algarve coast from late May to
early October. [Foto: Michael Southcott]

For Trip-reports - visit my blog here

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