Azores, Madeira, Portugal and Spain

19th November 2010 – 6th December 2010

For a list of birds seen on this trip click here

This was a trip from Southampton  to Southampton on the cruise ship Saga Pearl II. I was a wildlife lecturer / guide on board. We had generally poor weather, which curtailed our stay in the Azores, and indeed suffered a force 10 gale for 5 days and nights on our return to Southampton. Overall it was a miserable time. However, I did manage to see some good birds including the endemic Bullfinch on the Azores as well as a delightful cruise to Seville along the Guadalqivir.

Sunday 21st November 2010

Depart Southampton late afternoon.

Monday 22nd November 2010

Lexioes, Portugal. Dry, sunny. Calm. Morning tour of Porto then a boat trip down Douro river. Depart Lexioes 17:00.

Tuesday 23rd November 2010

Lisbon. Morning trip to Sintra. Dull, drizzly most of the day.

Wednesday 24th November 2010

Morning at sea. Then afternoon cruise up Guadalquivir river to berth for 2 nights at Seville. Dry, calm.

Thursday 25th November 2010

Depart from ship at 06:30 for private trip with my wife to the Coto Donana. Car hired in Seville then drive the 50 miles or so to the Donana. Visited El Rocio, El Acebuche, Matalascanas and then return to Seville before departing evening.

Friday26th November 2010

At sea then Gibraltar from 11:00 – 17:00. I led a trip on a small boat to look for Dolphins in the bay. Grey, dull, drizzle and rain.

Saturday 27th November 2010

At sea to Madeira.

Sunday 28th. November 2010

Arrive Funchal 08:00. Dull, rain, mist. I took a taxi to Ribeiro Frio and Balcoes. Then return to ship for exploration of the town.

Monday 29th November 2010

Maderia (Funchal) in the morning then depart in the evening for the Azores. Drizzle and rain most of the day.

Tuesday 30th November 2010

At sea to the Azores. No birds seen by me.

Wednesday 1st December 2010

Arrive Sao Miguel (Ponta Delgada) 07:00. Hired a taxi for the day to visit Sierra de Troqueira. Excellent views of the Bullfinch and scenic  tour. Depart that evening for planned visit to other Azorean islands but severe weather meant aborting this itinerary then a 5 day trip back via the Bay of Biscay to Southampton.

Monday 6th December 2010

Arrive Southampton.