We started the day at the north coast of the island immerse into the Laurissilva’s forest with the MFF’s naturalist guides.

The weather was fantastic! We had a sunny day with a temperature of about 19ºC even though we are in middle winter which made it possible to absorb more of the island’s nature. The birds were singing, flying around, the plants had such a vibrant green colour and the levada’s water was shining!

We did the Hell’s River walk with a group of Swedish biology students and it was so interesting due to the explanations given by the guide about the species that live there. We saw lots of plants, lichens, fungi species and obviously birds! Some of the species were:


  • Regulus madeirensis – Madeira Firecrest (8);
  • Fringilla coelebs madeirensis – Madeira Chaffinch (9);
  • Motacilla cinerea schmitzi – Madeira’s Grey Wagtail (3);
  • Erithacus rubecula – Robin (1);
  • Turdus merula cabrerae – Macaronsian Black Bird (1);
  • Columba livia atlantis – Macaronesian rock pigeon (2);















  • Phyllis nobla – Bastard Hare’s ear;
  • Musschia wollastoni – Wollaston’s musschia;
  • Ocotea foetens – Madeira laurel;
  • Clethra arborea – Lily-of-the-valley tree;
  • Woodwardia radicans – Chain fern.


Join our next Hell’s River levada walk adventure. A stunning walk out of the beaten track, midst the Island’s lush pristine rain forest – Laurissilva – which is the unique Portuguese natural heritage and world heritage by UNESCO since 1999. Come and enjoy!


20 February, 2018

Today we had a wonderful birdwatching morning with our nice party of five birdwatchers. Although it was a typical cold and windy winter morning in Madeira Island we managed to observed some unusual birds species. During Winter many species migrate from Europe to warmer Africa and along the way they stop on our magnificent island. Truly a stunning variety of landscapes and birds.

We have started at the most eastern part of the island known as São Lourenço peninsula, one of the most important bird areas on the island that belongs to Natura 2000 ecological network. Some of the reasons for being a good birdwatching spot are due a dryer flattish terrain and diversity of molluscs and arthropods providing food items for the birds. Here we saw the Berthelot’s Pipit or the Canary and a lot more.

To increase the diversity of spotted species we visited a riverine habitat, with beautiful landscapes and magnificent trees like Barbusanos (Apollonias barbujana) or Canary Willow (Salix canariensis) in the north and the south of the island where we can find some bird species that feed of molluscs and small fishes like the Eurasian Coot or Grey Heron.


Full list of species watched:

Madeiran subspecies

3 Berthelot’s Pipit Anthus berthelotii maderensis

1 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea schmitzi


Macaronesian subspecies

1 Common Kestrel Falcus tinnunculus canariensis

6 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla heinecken

6 Canary Sernius canaria canaria


Introduced species

2 Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa


Native species

8 White Wagtail Motacilla alba

1 Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

4 Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops

28 Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris

1 Common Moorthen Gallinula chloropus


Migratory species

2 Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto

2 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

3 American Black Duck Anas rubripes

15 Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata

1 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea


Join us on our next birding adventure!