You are here: Pelagic Boat-Tours  


Boat-trips to watch marine birds

Since summer 2010, Birdwatching-Algarve offers Pelagic Boat Tours going out from Fuzeta (a fishing village between Olhão and Tavira) in cooperation with the Boat-Tour operator Passeios de Ria Formosa.

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

On the c. 2,5 to 3 hours Tour we will heading out for about 5 miles until we reach the best areas for the observations of seabirds. During a “chumming-session”, we will then attract several species of sea-birds close to the boat. This event gives usually excellent opportunities for photographing or filming. [Note: chumming not done on all Tours anymore]
Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) occasionally dive down like a harpoon right next to the boat, to catch a piece of fish before it sinks down. Various Gull-species might perform a fight about the best pieces, soon chased by one or more Skuas, which take away the food from other seabirds (called “cleptoparasitism”). Terns show up, too and also Shearwaters might have a look on the scenery. The last birds showing up are normally the Storm Petrels, which pass by often closely and fly around the boat, trying to catch floating particles of the food offered from the surface in their unique manner.
We will search for Dolphins – which 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.
During the trip, we come across sea birds on passage 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 among them. In- and out from Fuzeta, we will cross the lagoon system of the Ria Formosa (Natural Park) and will have the opportunity to observe various Waders, Gulls, Terns, Egrets and Spoonbills.

Possible bird-species - depending on the season*:

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

(*selection. Gulls and Terns not included)

Boat: A glass-fiber boat with a cabin and comfortable seats for up to 12 people

Price: 35 € per Person (4-12 people)

Dates recommended: June to late October

Here is a map to the meeting-point in Fuzeta

Please contact Birdwatching-Algarve for the booking and for further information.

For Trip-reports - click here


Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris d. borealis) by Faísca. The species is common in late summer and autumn.


Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) by Thomas Moor.


Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) by Manuela Nunes.


Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) by Thomas Moor. Two juveniles. The species can be observed all year round in the Algarve.