Monday, 23 May 2016

The Laurisilva and Teixeira

We started off this morning at Ribeiro Frio in the heart of the ancient Laurisilva forest of Madeira. It's classed as rainforest and true to form, just like the tropical rainforest of Queensland Australia, it was more or less completely green and at times seemingly birdless.

What it did have was a lot of ferns  and bryophytes and a particular abundance of liverworts, and this was enough to keep me entertained. I'll be doing a separate blog post on the ferns and bryophytes I saw in Madeira in due course.

I probably only saw about five species of birds, and the most abundant was the beautiful Madeiran Firecrest.  We completely failed to see the endemic Trocaz pigeon, though to be fair I was looking at the bryophytes most of the time and whole flocks of the pigeon could have passed by and I wouldn't have noticed.

Eventually we moved on to Santana and then up into the mountains, above the annoying clouds and mist, and up into the sunshine. We were close to the summit of Pico Ruivo and only a few miles walk to Pic do Arieiro.  It was beautiful up here, lots of butterflies flitting around as well as plain swifts and Berthelot's pipits. Oh and a Trocaz pigeon flew across the road in front of the car on the way up. A great end to the day.

Erica arborea endemic to Madeira.

Small copper subsp. phlaeoides.

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