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Bulwer's Petrel - Spisshalepetrell - Bulweria bulwerii
Spetsstjärtad petrell - Bulwers stormvogel - Bulwersturmvogel - Petrel de Bulwer - Pétrel de Bulwer

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!!

Bulwer's Petrel, Madeira

All images taken on Madeira Wind Birds Pelagic trip 04-06 August 2011
For more details of birding in Madeira see this link

Bulwer's Petrel, Madeira

Equipment for all pictures was a DSLR with a 400mm telephoto lens

Bulwer's Petrel, Madeira
Bulwer's Petrel photographed off Madeira,  30 August 2011


Two essential books for Madeira:

Bulwer's 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.

Bulwer's Petrel, Madeira

Bulwer's Petrel, Madeira

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".

Bulwer's Petrel, Madeira
A view like this is a seabirders dream come true...this is reason enough in itself to visit Madeira.

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