Friday, 20 May 2016

Pic do Arieiro revisited

An exhilarating day in in the mountains of Madeira, at Pic do Arieiro. This is the same place I came to  on Tuesday evening to look for Zino’s petrels and it's equally impressive during the day.

I was delighted to find a Zino's petrel burrow today which I had confirmed from photographs by a member of the conservation team which works with the birds and he also confirmed that it is an active burrow. I could show the photographs here, but given that there are only about 70 pairs in the World I suppose it wouldn't be a good thing to do. You'd have to be pretty insane to even attempt to get to it and everybody knows roughly the area, but even so.

Lots of plants to see today, many of which are endemics, plus a few Madeiran wall lizards, Madeiran kestrel and plain swifts. Here are a few highlights. With the limited resources at my disposal here some of the plants may have to remain unidentified until I get home but I'll give them a go.

Pride of Madeira Echium candicans

Erica scoparia

Helichrysum melaleucum

Saxifrage sp. possibly mossy?

Madeiran wall lizard, same species as that in Funchal 1800m below.

Madeiran violet Viola paradoxa. This is a Madeira endemic and an IUCN Red listed species with an estimated population of around 1000 individuals.

Orchys scopolurum an endemic orchid of Madeira, only found above 1000m.

Giant buttercup Ranunculus cortusifolius. Endemic to Madeira, Canary Isles and the Azores.

Erysimum bicolor

Madeiran thrift Armeria maderenis an endemic of Madeira.

Aeonium glandulosum seen today but photographed yesterday at Seixal.

Argyranthemum pinnatifidum ssp montanum. I believe endemic to Portugal and Madeira.

Male kestrel of the Madeiran race.

Plain swift.

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