Pelagic boat trip to watch marine birds

In the coastal waters of Algarve it is possible to observe Storm Petrels, Skuas, Shearwaters and many other sea birds, as well as Common and Bottlenose Dolphins.

On this 2,5 to 3 hour tour we will be heading out for about 5 nautical miles until we reach the best areas for the observation of seabirds. During a 'chumming session' we will then attract several species of sea birds close to the boat. Usually this provides excellent opportunities for photographing or filming. Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) occasionally dive down like a harpoon to catch a piece of fish right next to our boat. Various Gull species might perform a fight over the best chunks, soon chased by one or more Skuas. Skuas are known for taking away food from other sea birds (calles 'cleptoparatism'). Terns show up too and also Shearwaters may have a look on the scene. The last birds to appear are usually the Storm Petrels, which pass by often closely and fly around the boat trying to catch floating bits of food in their unique manner.

During the trip we will search for dolphins as well. They can be seen on most, but not on all tours. Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) are the most abundant sea mammals. Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) also occurs. While sailing we come across sea birds passing and will get good views of Shearwaters. Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) and Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris (diomedia) borealis) are, depending on the time of the year, the most frequently seen amongst them. Leaving Fuzeta and going back in we pass through the lagoon system and natural park of Ria Formosa and have the opportunity to observe various Waders, Gulls, Terns, Egrets and Spoonbills.

During the the pelagic boat tour the following bird species can be viewed (excluding Gulls and Terns):

  • Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra)
  • Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris d. borealis)
  • Scropoli's Shearwater (Calonectris d. diomedia) 
  • Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)
  • Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)
  • Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan)
  • Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus)
  • Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus grisseus)
  • European Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus)
  • Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)
  • Leach's Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)
  • Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
  • Great Skua (Stercorarius pomarinus)
  • Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus)
  • Long-tailed Skua (Stercorarius longicaudus)
  • Razorbill (Alca torda)

Best conditions for sea bird watching are from June to late October. The glass fiber boat with cabin can comfortably sit a maximum of 12 persons.  

Price: 35 euro

Bookings and enquiries: toursandtracks@mail.telepac.pt