For most birders
Bulwer's Petrel is
not something we see every day and would blow any normal seawatch out
of the water. In the waters off Madeira, however, it was one of the
commonest species encountered and it was amazing to see how quickly the
"just another Bulwer's" mindset kicked in among all the participants of
the pelagic trip. The point being there is no such thing as "just
another Bulwer's" - these birds are AMAZING!!
images taken on Madeira Wind Birds Pelagic trip 04-06 August 2011
For more details of birding in Madeira see this link
for all pictures was a DSLR with a 400mm telephoto lens
Petrel photographed off Madeira,
30 August 2011
essential books for Madeira:
Petrel has to be the most
difficult to photograph species I have come across - moving a high
speed and with rapid and unpredictable changes in direction they are
almost impossible to focus on. Only a pathetically small percentage of
images were of an agreeable standard - thankfully I was not alone with
this problem. Luckily there were so many of them that a few of the
hundred of photographs I took ended up being up to scratch.
In Madeira one really needs to take a pelagic trip to stand a good
chance of seeing this species well. Although I also saw one close
inshore during a dolphin trip I saw none during the short spells of
seawatching I did from my hotel room. Strong onshore winds would no
doubt bring this species into "hotel range".
A view like this is a seabirders dream come true...this is reason
enough in itself to visit Madeira.