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“Local Knowlege and Personnal Service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Madeira Wind Birds

Madeira Wind Birds
Rua da Pena, 10J, Funchal, Madeira 9050-099, Portugal
+351 917 777 441
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Owner description: Madeira Wind Birds is a small size company with more than 10 years leading people through Madeira's wildlife and nature. Specialised in birdwatching tours the couple who runs the company are both passionate naturalists who collaborate with the Madeira Natural History Museum. Both Catarina and Hugo are knowledgeable and experienced local tour leaders with plenty of knowledge on birds, butterflies, endemic plants and sea mammals. From dolphin & whale watching trip to half-day birdwatching you can enjoy Madeira wildlife and also amazing sceneries of Madeira! Land tours with pick ups available in Santa Cruz, Canico or Funchal and sea trips depart from Machico. On Wind Birds website the descriptions of each tour follow the rule "what you see is what you get" so that we can fulfil our customers expectations.
Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Local Knowlege and Personnal Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

Maderia may not be an idea place to visit if you want to see large numbers of birds, as only 40 or so species breed on the island. But those that do are rather special and many can't be found anywhere else. Knowing this a local guide is essencial if you want to find all the birds on offer, so we booked a trip with Wind Birds before we left, we also booked a Dolphin watching trip, while browsing their website.

For our full days bird watching trip we were promptly picked up from out hotel by Hugo, and although upto 8 people can be on the trip it was only me and my wife. Hugo was constantly chatting to us as we traveled around the island about birdwatching and life in general in Madeira, while also showing a great deal of interest in our lives back at home. It felt like we were with a friend rather than a guide. Although the weather was not the best for seeing some birds, we still managed to connect with most of the targeted birds, many at sites we would never have found without local knowledge. When Hugo dropped us off at the hotel, before leaving he gave me a map of the island and annotated it with all the sites to find the birds we had missed. Later in the week with our hire car i am pleased to say, visisting these sites we managed to find the birds we had miss.

Although our dolphin trip was slightly more expensive that some operators the experience was more intimate. After again being promply collected from the hotel we join only 6 other customers on Wind Birds high speed boat. During our trip we found a rare Monk seal, and numerous dolphin and had the opertunity to swim with them. Other cheaper dolphin trips i have been on have been on larger crowded boats and failed to offer the intimate expeience offed by Hugo and Catarina.

While on holiday Hugo conviced me to join another of his trips (it didn't take much). This was a night time hike to visit the rare Zino's Petrels. Again the group was small just 1 other person join me and Hugo. I can't recommend this trip highly enough, walking to the site as the last of the sun set over the mountain tops, a clear sky full of stars, one of the rarest sea birds calling above your head and casting ghoastly sillouettes, and all to a sound track that is Hugo great knowledge. Its is and experience impossible to find else where. Hot tea and cookies also helped!

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Maribor, Slovenia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Dolphin watching - the best memory of Madeira :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

Nice price - everyone can afford it! :))
Easy to book and quick response to pre booking!
Good & useful recommendations before trip. Safety on first place.
Very friendly & kind staff :)

For me, swimming with (bottlenose) dolphins and see them for first time in natural enviroment was amazing experience!

I want to go back to Madeira and book another trip with Catarina & Hugo to see whales :)

:)

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Taxi ride rather than a biodiversity tour”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2011

We went on a tour entitled biodiversity which we booked when we organised our holiday in December 2011.
There seemed to be a challenge to ensure this tour was happening but we were assured the day before that all was in order.
On the day, we were picked up 20 minutes late - apparently the truck had not been working that morning. After ten or so minutes of travelling, it was a surprise to find ourselves walking beside a drain area of water in the middle of a town initially. The binoculars that the two guides had were of great strength and made what we could see in the shallow waters, interesting. However the birds we saw were not unusual.

We were then taken to the end of the island to see the rocks before driving to a garden to walk on the pathways. There seemed little shape or preparation for the trip and we returned to our hotel slightly bemused. We saw it as rather an expensive taxi ride around some of the island.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fareham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A wonderful way to find the bird-watching sites of Madeira”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011

We knew that December was not going to be the best time to see migratory birds on Madeira, but we thought we'd try a full-day with 'Madeira Wind Birds' and see what birds could be found. First, my wife and I were collected on time at 9.00am from our Funchal hotel by Catarina and Hugo, having contacted them just to check that they had all our details correct. Then, impressively, we were asked to make a lunch choice from the restaurant menu and the details were then phoned ahead (We had a choice of Portugese wines, soups, flatbread rolls, fish or steak main courses with vegetables and a fruit dessert - I'd particularly recommend the Scabbard Fish if you are adventurous!). We knew that it was going to be a good day because we got into continuous conversation and found that as well as talking about the birds we'd seen already, both Catarina and Hugo, as locals, were keen to answer all our questions and told us lots about the culture, history and geography of the island. We had no language problems since they both speak perfect English.

We travelled north across the island and altogether visited seven sites at varying altitudes, from sea level up to the high central plateau. First sightings for us on our own were the Yellow-legged gull,Turnstone and Little Egret, but over the course of the day we saw the indigenous Trocaz Pigeon, Whimbrel, Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Firecrest, Kestrel, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Canary, Berthelot's Pipit, a Green-winged Teal (from the USA) and finally a Waxbill. We learned so much about viewing these birds in their natural habitat and Catarina's calm approach and patience was impressive, particularly with the minute Firecrest. Hugo topped the day off for us by finding us a Red-legged Partridge hiding in the deep grass!

For over eight hours travel over much of the west and north of Madeira, and endless information and support from this talented couple, this trip must rate as tremendous value for money for anyone who wants to learn more about bird-watching. As naturalists, Hugo and Catarina don't only work on land, but have a fast powerboat available to pursue migrant flocks and sea-life many miles offshore. We know what we're going to do next time we go to Madeira!

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheRevenueManager, Manager at Madeira Wind Birds, responded to this review, December 17, 2011
Dear Chris,
Thank you very much for our first review here! It was delightful to
read it and to know that you really enjoyed the day out with us. It is
always a pleasure to do birdwatching and show Madeira's nature with
friendly people as you! Hope to have you back in Madeira and on one of
our tours.

All the best,

Hugo & Catarina
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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