Madeira bird-watching ; Euro interest rate held at 1% ; How to make a Poncha stick video

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Rita … "More dark satanic mountains!"

madeira news blog 1002 rita More dark satanic mountains!

Thanks a lot for Becky for coming up with a few more web snippets (videos) for our enjoyment :

"A few more for you…. I would love to be able to help out on a more permanent basis, as you were asking for help the other day.  My only problem is that I’m freelance so sometimes I’m busy, sometimes not.  Just going into 4 months of very long days, so I know I won’t be able to offer on a regular basis yet, but will help where I can Der". Many thanks Becky, some nice videos.  I am still hoping that someone else will come forward to help with these snippets. 

Machico Antigamente (and some nice music to accompany it):

It seems a lot of effort to go to, just to mix a jug of Poncha, but I thank him for it! VIDEO

I made the mistake of watching this when I was hungry. Gastronomy week in Machico 2009. VIDEO

Many thanks to Paul (Paul do Mar) for this piece :

Bird-watching in the Madeiran islands

The total number of birds that can be observed on the island of Madeira which includes its Natural Park, almost three-quarters of the island, is around 220 species!

Bird-watching in Funchal: Ponta da Cruz is by far the best seawatching point in Funchal: Cory’s Shearwater, Bulwer’s Petrel, Little Shearwater, Manx Shearwater and sometimes Madeiran Storm-Petrel, Fea’s Petrel and White-faced Storm-Petrel can be spotted here.


Bird-watching in Calheta region

Ponta do Pargo has a very diverse birdlife. Because it’s still a very remote area, it has not changed over recent years and mixed woodland, agricultural fields and derelict houses define the landscape. Almost every species of passerines that occur in Madeira can be observed here. Seabirds like Madeiran Storm-Petrel and Cory’s Shearwater can also be seen here. Sometimes trans-Saharan migrants make a resting stop here

The best seawatching site on Madeira? Porto Moniz. Go to the coach parking lot, overlooking the natural swimming pools and look for a concrete wall, a good place to watch from. Here you could find: Fea´s Petrel, Bulwer’s Petrel, Cory’s Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Little Shearwater and Manx Shearwater. If lucky, it is also possible to see some whales and dolphins. Best time for seabirds is from late April to October.

Bird-watchers usually come to Madeira looking for rare seabirds, and the endemic species and subspecies of landbirds. Most of them are resident so it’s possible to find them almost every year.

Paul is a member of SPEA. Here is a LINK to a really useful Factsheet, available in English, on bird-watching in all the Madeiran islands. Happy Bird-watching!

The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept eurozone interest rates on hold at a record low of 1% for the ninth month in a row. Member countries’ economies remain fragile and no increase in borrowing costs was expected this month. Some are showing signs of recovery, but with inflation low and continuing fears about the health of certain members, it is seen to be too soon to move rates. Credit / Source : BBC

Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories :

DIÁRIO 08/02/2010


CMF orders contingency plan. The Municipality of Funchal has invited tenders for the preparation of the Municipal Emergency Civil Protection Plan. There are national and regional guidelines for drawing up these plans. The first phase will be dedicated to the assessment of the levels of various risks already defined at the national level, each council indicating those that will occur most frequently in that municipality. These include national disasters such as landslides and those that can be generated by human means, for example from the transportation of hazardous material. In the second step, a survey of the existing resources available at the civil protection level to meet a catastrophe, such as a fire. These include bombeiros, council teams and contractors. The third phase is preparation of the plan itself. It will then be tested by simulation exercises. The company will have a year to draw up the plan which has a starting value of 150,000 Euros.

Neglect after bad weather. The Association of Friends of the Ecological Park of Funchal on Saturday visited the parishes of Faial, São Roque do Faial and Porto da Cruz. There are still areas of danger and neglect after the storms, jeopardizing homes and the expressway. There is a significant possibility of intense rainfall until the end of March so it is essential to take preventative action and clear areas.

Five ‘7 Wonders of Portugal’ pre-finalists. Update on yesterday’s story. In this region, the following five of the nine original entries go forward to the next phase of the competition: Cabo Girão, Floresta Laurissilva, Ilhas Selvagens, beach at Porto Santo and the fossilized reefs and galleries of the Ilhéu da Cal.


Hospital will not meet the MPT. The Health Service of the Region (SESARAM) have not responded to the request made by the MPT (Earth Party)  last October. They asked the administrators for a meeting to discuss whether economics prevented the admittance of patients to hospital. The MPT have received complaints from users of the health service about lack of humanity in the hospital and discriminatory situations. The MPT are now handing the case over to the Ombudsman. They want to know if the hospital is governed by economic criteria when deciding whether or not to admit a patient. The MPT state, "Anyone who is a lifelong taxpayer is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect when ill."

Ismael critical of the stance of the CDS in Ribeira Brava.  The centrists say they will still submit proposals favoured by the population. The mayor, Ismael Fernandes, says his rejection of these proposals is not an obsession but a necessity as they are not part of the Plan of Action or this year’s Budget. Rafael Sousa (CDS) argues that such "proposed ideas were presented by the very people who feel the need for something to be done." "Why not change the Plan and give priority to works that are understood to be more useful," he challenges. "It is the people who decide at the time of voting on who actually cares." Ismael Fernandes continues unabated, stating that the Plan and Budget did not have the agreement of the opposition parties, so it was not the majority of the Municipal Council that accepted proposals that were not part of our election manifesto, they were approved by the majority of ribeira bravenses. A PS councillor considers this position to be too uncompromising and the PSD should show openness "to the possibility that opposition proposals are also viable and contribute to the improvement of the county."


Alberto Sousa sings on Valentine’s Day.  Alberto Sousa is a young Madeiran tenor who is invited by the Amigos do Conservatório de Música da Madeira (AACMM) to sing at the ‘Serenata de S. Valentim’ on February 14th at 18.00 at the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias. He will be accompanied by the Hungarian pianist, András Ervin Hennel, already well known to people in Madeira. The recital will consist of popular operatic themes. At present, Alberto Sousa is studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London for a Master’s Degree. Tickets are on sale at the theatre.



Registration for the Festa da Anona. The 12th edition of the Exhibition of Regional Anona takes place on the 27 – 28 February. Farmers can now enter the event until the 23rd February. The stands at Faial will be judged on the Sunday. The show helps to promote Faial and possibly increase exportation of the custard apple to Continental Portugal and France.


Driver assaulted at zebra crossing. The attack on a car driver on the Caminho do Poço Barral, near a large commercial area, happened eight days ago. At 23.00, she stopped at a zebra crossing to allow three ‘false pedestrians’ to cross. They pulled the car door open, dragged her into the road and stole her purse and phone. They then damaged the car when they realised the purse was empty. The woman’s immediate reaction was to leave the area as soon as possible, returned to her house then called the police an hour later. The police went to the area but could not find the suspects.

Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

Bloco [Left Block] wants Jornal da Madeira discussed in the Assembly of the Republic – Madeira will be in the widened debate about pressures and control of Social Communication [Media] at a national level.

Today’s main news headline : Lagoon [pond] has a dump to be cleared waiting for 5 years – The protocol in order to create a centre of environmental education in Lugar de Baixo and enhance ecotourism was never advanced. Quercus also made a study of redevelopment in 2003 that fell on ‘deaf ears’.  That is that large pond along the sea side of the road, that is near to the main sea-front café, and was full of ducks last time I looked. The main front page photo today shows the state of the place, and you have to look closely to see that the forefront ‘greenery’ actually consists of hoards of empty green bottles. Aren’t some people disgusting!

Law of Sponsorship doesn’t excite – The philharmonic [orchestra] of Santana received a van from a private sponsor. A rare case, say DRAC. The ‘Banda Municipal’ received the 9 seater minibus from constructor Zagope, a rare event indeed according to the directorate for culture, because the law that covers such donations makes the act of giving uninteresting to potential donors, who prefer to give to more visible causes, like certain sports. We don’t need sponsors to buy transport for cultural or sports groups in Ribeira Brava, our local council will just go out and buy a new bus at the drop of a hat, and then leave them parked unused for days on end where they shouldn’t  be.


Carnival 2010 – around 2,710 people involved this year. The hotel occupation is estimated at 62%, 10% less than in 2009. I just included it because I though it was a fantastic picture.

BTW – don’t forget that this Friday is the day of the Children’s carnival parades. It doesn’t get publicised like the adult events, but you can see some fantastic ‘home made’ displays, even if not mega-synchronised, with kids of all ages, and a few teachers and parents involved too. It’s big in Funchal, and in Ribeira Brava (late morning) also. If you know of any places or times of these parades, please share your knowledge.


Diocese ‘kicks into touch’ the solution of Padre Martins – The pilgrim image [Fátima] was always going to Ribeira Seca. But the Case of Martins Jr complicated the issue.

The main sport / football headline today : ‘Vuvuzelas dos Magriços’ fazem furor – In South Africa the 2010 World Cup is already boiling. Sometimes I just can’t get a headline to translate into anything sensible, and it’s a case of seeking native knowledge to resolve it. But this one I persisted with and eventually cracked it, thanks in part to Wikipedia. A vuvuzela, sometimes called a "lepatata" (its Setswana name) or a stadium horn, is a blowing horn, approximately one metre in length, commonly blown by fans at football matches in South Africa. Os Magriços was the nickname of the Portugal national football team which reached third place in the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England. So what the headline actually says is ‘Plastic Trumpets used during the 1966 Portuguese World Cup games’ are all the rage. Not quite as punchy when translated, but worth the wait don’t you think? Unfortunately I am all out of time now as a result, but at least I cracked it!

If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated. 

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

You can email [email protected] with any large contributions and photos / videos.


Please use the comments here for general chit-chat, or feel free to ask any questions … someone usually has an answer.

If you post a comment and are not registered on this site (free), your comment will be moderated, so please do not waste time with spam postings.  If you register, your comment will be posted automatically. If you register, your email address will not be passed to any other party … promise!

Please send any topical or Madeira related photos or videos to Der at [email protected] to appear on this blog. Photos may take a while to appear, depending on the number waiting. Please don’t send copyrighted material.

The headline news & other snippets reviewed here on the blog are mainly from the Diário de Notícias of Madeira, although news from any source is used and welcome.

The blogs in the ‘uncategorised’ category come from the old madeira4u blog.


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10 thoughts on “Madeira bird-watching ; Euro interest rate held at 1% ; How to make a Poncha stick video”

  1. Thanks for info on bay trees Karen.
    My bay trees have small green round seeds on the leaf at this time so I guess if these are planted out, a result might be obtained.
    One of my trees have reached 18 feet tall, but my neighbour’s tree is if as a small ash, being over 30 feet high.
    I’m sure these trees are related being only 500 yards apart.
    Whislt the weather appears mild in Funchal today it is snowing here in Ford Anglia.
    Madeirans are blessed.
    DO NOT WATCH film on food if hungry, makes things rumble.

  2. I am looking at Management and or sales opportunities jobs in Madeira. I speak English/Portuguese and am originally from Madeira. There are lots of web sites out there with bogus information. Do you know of any sites that post actual jobs in Madeira? Grateful for any positive information.

    (Question moved from an earlier blog)

  3. Hi Debbie if your looking to rent long term or short term you could try the blogs sponsor Madeira Island Direct.

    Great video on the making of the poncha stick , and the food festival, roll on Summer.

  4. Raw, Becky. Leave in the fridge for a while, then cut the anona in half. Get a teaspoon, and cup half the anona in your hand, and scoop out the contents and eat slowly.

    Don’t forget to have the tin spitoon to your side and within range.


  5. Thanks, Der. I have a feeling that the one I bought probably wasn’t ripe as it was quite hard on the inside which is why I didn’t know what to do with it. I’ll try again next time I’m over with spitoon at the ready (thanks for the tip!)


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