Tuesday 9 September 2014

Azores Natural History Tour May / June 2015

Following on from a recent recce to the Azores, I am pleased to say that I shall be leading a trip next year with Peter Alfrey of Azores Nature 
The tour will be focusing on all natural history of the Azores covering geology, botany, birds, cetaceans and insects. The tour will visit 3 islands: Sao Miguel (4 nights), Terceira (full day and ferry trip) and Graciosa (3 nights).
Highlights are sure to include: stunning volcanic scenery, endemic birds like the Azores Bullfinch and endemic races of Chaffinch, Goldcrest and Atlantic Yellow-legged Gull (Azores Gull). American vagrant birds such as Semipalmated Plover and other surprises at Europe's premier wader hotspot, Cabo da Praia Quarry on Terceira. An abundance of marine life whilst on Graciosa with Atlantic Spotted, Bottlenose, Common and Striped Dolphins as well as a number of whale species as they follow the annual bloom of phytoplankton such as Humpback, Fin and an outside chance of Blue Whale. Resident whales include Sperm Whale and rarer beaked whales such as Cuvier's Beaked Whale. Of course there are plenty of seabirds to be found too with expected species such as Cory's Shearwater, Little Shearwater (Barolo's Shearwater), Bulwer's Petrel and a chance of something rarer like Black-capped Petrel! Add to this an amazing array of endemic plants such as Azorean Holly, Azorean Blueberry, Azorean Cherry, Azorean Heather, Azorean Juniper and Azorean Laurel as well as the endemic Azores Grayling Butterfly and it is a great week of wildlife! 

Dates are to be confirmed but it is looking like Saturday 30th May until Saturday 6th June 2015
If interested, please email Peter Alfrey.
Further information and contact details: HERE

Lagoa das Sete Cidades Volcanic Crater - The setting for the first day of the tour

Bottlenose Dolphin - A likely species to be found on the boat trips from Graciosa Island on days 3-5

Fin Whale - a migrant through the Azores during April to June though recently some individuals have stayed the Summer 

Common Dolphin - a commonly encountered species

A visit to Terceira Island on day 2 and Cabo da Praia Quarry is a must for any birdwatcher
America and Europe meet - Semipalmated Plovers feed alongside a Kentish and Common Ringed Plover
Short-billed Dowitcher - This individual has been resident at Cabo da Praia Quarry, Terceira since August 2013

Great Shearwater - a regular migrant through the Azores, mostly during the late summer months

Cory's Shearwater - a breeder from March until October
Common Heather and the endemic Azorean Heather Erica azorica

The endemic Azores Bullfinch or Priolo perched in Azorean Laurel (Laurus azorica) - The tour will end with a visit to the Priolo Project and a visit to the important Laurel Forest in which it lives

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