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Post Info TOPIC: Mallorca


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RE: Mallorca


We had nine days on the great Island recently, a couple of lifers, unsavoury issues and help at hand.

Unsavoury issues first, people walking off track to try and locate birds and proclaiming " I go anywhere I want"á and people with six foot camera lenses not happy from being 20 yards from a bird on eggs but going on property to try and photograph the eggs !!!á

Lifers for us both with Spotless Starling and Roller, we managed four in total of the Roller two separate birds in two different locations. We observed two pairs of Red footed Falcon and a female Little Bittern fly over my shoulder final highlight was twenty Vultures in the sky at once, both Griffon and Black. Eighty five species ticked in total.

Finally a big thank you to aá forum member who kindly picked up my driving licence and debit card from our hotel after I had left it in the safeánoá and didn't notice until I was home, he went out of his way to help, thank you Ian from Timperleyábiggriná áá



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Spent a week with my wife & son at Puerto Pollensa 3rd -10th October. Being limited on time as expected back by lunch managed to use the local bus service to squeeze in 4 mornings birding.á

Recorded 50 species the following highlights for me as follows;á

á

3/10 on arrival Hotel Pollensa Park & Spa, Wryneck in hotel gardens.

4/10 S'Albuferata.á Only visited viewing platform number 5. Glossy Ibis and several Flamingos.

5/10. Top of Sa Colobra in the Tramuntana mountain range while sightseeing in hire car.á 3 Griffon Vultures.

6/10 S'Albufera. Walked along channel to visitor centre and then to hides nearby, with best sightings at number 23.

Kentish Plover, 24 Night Herons (1 juv) in bushes along entrance channel. Disappointed to dip on Little Bittern and lack of visible warblers except for Cettis and Sardinian

8/10á Boquer Valley. Booted Eagle, Eleonora's Falcon (dark phase). Despite scouring the peaks and rocky outcrops not a single Blue Rock thrush.

9/10á S'Albuferata. Did the 1.2km circuit. 8 Stone Curlew basking in the corner of a field. As soon as I moved to get the camera they were off, I located them again but this time they were in long grass with only heads visible in an inaccessible area. They called from time to time.

Photo of Audouin's Gull on Puerto Pollensa beach, hopefully attached.

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Need another trip on my own to really give this place justice and visit at end of April during migration.

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Seven days on the Island from 19th-26th September, we visited S'Albufera four times, Son Real and Maristany once each. Weather conditions were comfortable as the temperatures were an average 25C and a nice breeze coming in off the east most days with an odd rain shower on Saturday.

A total of 82 species were recorded which exceeded my expectations at least. I will just summarise the highlights of which there were a few.

We visited Son Real on the Thursday 22nd walking from Can Picafort to the hide on the reserve across the beach deperatley trying to locate Balearic and Dartford Warblers again to no avail. Whilst in the hide several species visited the pool to drink, Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Pheasant and an Island first for us Crossbills, back along the beach we had Thekla Larks in good numbers and another Island first Turnstones.

On Friday I went to S'Albufera alone very early morning to complete the " full circuit" of the reserve and by 07.45 two Little Bittern had been ticked off by 08.10 I added a bogey bird in the form of a magnificent Moustached Warbler that finally gave my at least four seconds of its time before it flew off. I bumped into two expats and we shared a juvenile Red-rumped Swallow. On the last straight of the circuit I picked up another Little Bittern a " hat- trick" back at the hotel I was shattered after nearly nine miles and seven hours in the saddle. Cath was not impressed by my hat-trick as she had never seen a Little Bittern let alone three.

Saturday I was forced back to S'Albufera in search of Little Bittern by Cath at my first spot we drew a blank however at the second spot a fantastic female Little Bittern had taken up her stance for Cath to get herself a lifer at last, we ticked off Caspian Tern before we headed back to the hotel to watch some triathletesá return after a 140.6K event!!! My triathlon is breakfast, dinner and tea...........

At Maristany ( behind Lidl in Alcudia) we got a Little-ringed Plover to seal our 82 species, this location was first for us it is soá I am told good for waders but was almost bone dry.á

Our two visits this year have produced 124 species.

Thank you for reading Tony and Cath



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We have just returned from seven days on Mallorca, staying at Port de Pollenca, the weather was dry and hot at times (31C on Sunday). Migration was in progress and was steady, as is usual we encountered highs and lows....We had 73 species which includes lifers and I will just include highlights on a daily basis in our summary of the trip.

Monday 9th: after unpacking a quick walk to Boquer Valley car park produced around 12 Yellow Wagtail which included a magnificent black headed (feldegg) 6 Bee-eater, a Booted Eagle and 1 Eleonora's Falcon.

Tuesday: Early morning in Boquer Valleyá 1 Stone Curlew, 1 Hoopoe, 2 Blue Rock Thrush. Back for breakfast and then to the lanes around Can Cuarassa 1 Red Kite,á two Golden Oriole a lifer for Cath and 1 Swallowtail butterfly.

Wednesday :Albufereta and Pollenca back lanes, 1 Black Vulture, 2 eels, 2 crabs and lots of Clouded Yellow butterflies. We searched hard for Rollers and Red Footed Falcon but didn't find either a RFFalcon was found by a birder later in the week in the area.

Thursday: Albufera, Collared Pratincole a lifer for both of us. 1 Great Reed Warbler, 1 Gull billed Tern and Wood Sandpiper. I was lucky again with a Little Bittern which land 30 feet from me!!! We again had a Swallowtail butterfly.

Friday: Son Real, 1 Turtle Dove, lots of Tawny Pipit and 14 Hermann's Tortoises.á

Saturday: Boquer Valley this time all the way to the beach, 21 Eleonora's Falcons above the ridge at one time, 1 confiding Balearic Warbler which gave us a few minutes unbroken viewing time.

Sunday: Son Baulo a search for some very very elusive Dartford Warblers which we failed to connect with in the 31C heat.....á Lots and lots of Painted Ladies.

Monday: taxi to Airport 1 Barn Owlá

Our tally is an average for us, one chap had 114 for the week. Our next trip may see us going for quality rather than quantity " Nightjar guaranteed"ábiggrin

á



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Over the last few months, I had spent hours planning an itinerary for a two week holiday to Iceland, birding, walking and photography, only for the airline to cancel our flights at the last minute. Nine hotels and car hire, which I had arranged myself, had to be cancelled and needless to say, I was hugely disappointed.

Instead, we hastily arranged a ten night break in Mallorca. Not the best time to be birding, mid July but we felt we needed a break, so Mallorca it was. The weather was sunny and hot throughout. The first five or six days got up to about 28*c, thereafter climbing up to a sweltering 36*c on the day we came home. As usual, I did a bit of birding first thing each morning, on the beach at Port de Pollenša, where we were staying plus a few visits to a small wetland, La Gola, which was within the town itself.

Additionally, we hired a car and went up to Cuber Reservoir, which nestles below Mallorcas highest peak, Puig Major at 4711 ft asl. I last came here around 30 years ago, when Black Vultures were the star attraction, now named the Cinereous Vulture. It was a baking hot day, as we walked the circumference of the reservoir. We soon saw several vultures up in the air, tiny specks above the ridge to the north west. They kept disappearing and then reappearing in various numbers and, at one point there were 14 up in the air together, as well as a Red Kite. There appeared to be adults and immatures of both Cinereous and Griffon and I initially thought and equitable mix of each. However, on later looking at my photos, it seems Griffon are now the dominant species and there may well have been 8-10 Griffons. Thirty years ago, they were a real rarity on the island. Not too much else about in the late morning heat. A few Crag Martin, two Blue Rock Thrush, a pair of Raven, a few Sardinian Warbler and a few other odds and sods.

The following day we spent two and a half hours at the Albufera reserve, south of Alcudia and again in baking heat. Just covered the Es Cibollar and Sa Roca hides, so didnt venture too far. Good numbers of Kentish and Little Ringed Plover, a dozen Glossy Ibis, plenty of Black-winged Stilt, 18 Pied Avocet, a Stone Curlew plus a summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper, well into its moult, were the main waders around. One Marsh Harrier noted and also two Western Swamphen.

The third day of our car hire, we were due to drive to Formentera to have a look for Eleanoras Falcon and Yelkouan Shearwater. However, you now have to get authorisation if you wish to travel there between 10am and 6pm, otherwise it is bikes only. Trip aborted!

We did do a walk in the Boquer Valley one morning, which was fairly uneventful other than a Kestrel, 3 Raven, a few Crag Martin and a Cuckoo. The quietest I have ever seen it but, there again, I always used to come here in May. Lastly, a mention for Audouins Gulls around Port de Pollenša. I saw my first here in May 1991 and you had to really search then to find the odd one. Now you can easily see twenty or more on the beach areas south of the marina, with undoubtedly others around the marina itself and more to the north of it. Great to see this most handsome gull, still one of the rarest in the world.

Of note :

Cuckoo
Pallid Swift
Western Swamphen
Stone Curlew
Black-winged Stilt
Pied Avocet
Kentish Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Curlew Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Mediterranean Gull
Audouins Gull
Common Tern
European Shag
Little Bittern
Purple Heron
Cattle Egret
Glossy Ibis
Cinereous Vulture
Griffon Vulture
Marsh Harrier
Red Kite
Raven
Zitting Cisticola
Reed Warbler
Crag Martin
Spotted Flycatcher
Blue Rock Thrush

A few photos below of Audouins Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Black-winged Stilt and Western Swamphen.


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I'm recently back from an 8 day holiday in Sa Coma, east Mallorca. It was a family holiday but with a large nature reserve nearby the allure of some foreign birding was too much to resist. The nature reserve in question is called Punta de N'amer and it is basically a large headland situated between Sa Coma to the south and Cala Millor to the north. It has a historic fort on it which was used in the days of yore to look out for pirates. These days though its just a tourist attraction with a nice cafe. The headland was made up of large wild flower meadows and mature pine trees to the main landward side and further up towards the castle it became scrub with large open areas of rock and loose scree.

On each visit I set out at 6.00am from the hotel and returned by 9.30 as this time of day was best before the sun got too high and the bulk of the tourists started milling around the place. I'd already done a bit of reseacrh so I knew roughly what to expect from the place but out of my four visits to the place the first visit was the real eye opener. Sardinian Warblers were amazingly common with one being in virtually every bush. It was very amusing to watch them as they fed on the ground figetting about in the long grass like mice. Nightingales sang hidden from many of the areas and during my stay I only managed to see two. A few Cetti's Warblers were also present and these were identified only from call as the denseness of the scrub put paid to any views. Further up along the meadows I encountered Thekla Larks - not a bird I'd encountered before but I'd done my research and got very good close views which aided identification. These birds would sometimes be on the ground but often sang from bushes or piles of stones. Stonechats were also very common with pairs of them seemeingly every few hundred yards - the males looked much darker than the males we encounter here in the UK. Hoopoes, Spotted Flycatchers and Red Legged Partridges were also quite plentiful plus several Turtle Doves were also present.

Further up, on the edge of some mature trees and meadow good numbers of Serin, Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Greenfinch and Goldfinch were encountered feeding on thistle heads in one meadow. The Serin were quite easy to ID with their unique song and tell tale yellow rump as the took flight. Also around this part of the reserve were several Corn Buntings and Whinchat.

Heading up towards the castle and beyond the habitat changes and becomes more scrubby and open with loose rock and sandy ground. In this area I saw quite a few Short Toed Larks. I was expecting to see them at some point but my first views initially made me think they were Pipits as they are quite a bit smaller than Skylarks and the like. The short bill and dark undertail were good ID features and I saw many of these whilst wandering around. In this area I also managed to see three Woodchat Shrikes - the best one being a cracking male that perched on a bush for me for a few seconds while I got a shot of him. Beyond the castle and not far from the point, the ground became quite stony with much scrub - this was the area where the Stone Curlew resided. They were quite skittish as I walked around and I would often only see the back end of the them as they flew off.

On the northern side of the headland I came upon a colony of Swifts that were just coming out of roost. I had been studying the Swifts over the town for days trying to decide whether they were Pallid Swifts or not and I just couldn't pick anything different out from them from Common Swifts - which is what they were! These Swifts however did look very slightly different and the brilliant light I had alowed me to study them well. Large pale throat patches could be seen as could the scaly underparts. The call seemed a little lower too than Common Swift. Surely these were Pallid Swifts? I was only fully satisfied with the ID of them when I'd studied the shots of them that I'd taken.

On the last day, I chanced upon a Warbler that dropped into a tree in front of me. It only gave views for a few seconds before it disappeared but upon seeing it I knew it was something I'd not seen before. My initial impression was that it was a Melodious Warbler - slightly larger than a Willow Warbler and more attenuated, no supercillium and a very yellow appearance. The shots I got of it though showed pale edges to the tertials and after studying the Collins it made me think Icterine Warbler. Thankfully after emailling the shots to Ian he has confirmed the ID as Icterine.

Elsewhere on the holiday I managed a few other good birds. Several Booted Eagles over the hotel one day, two Spotless Starlings at a local Safari Park, several Cattle Egrets, Andouin's Gulls and Yellow Legged Gulls were common.

Here's a full list of birds.

Andouin's Gull
House Sparrow
Barn Swallow
House Martin
Blackbird
Sardinian Warbler
Common Swift
Hoopoe
Kestrel
Red Legged Partridge
Stonechat
Stone Curlew
Serin
Greenfinch
Woodchat Shrike
Yellow Legged Gull
Linnet
Cirl Bunting
Turtle Dove
Thekla Lark
Great Tit
Nightingale
Shag
Spotted Flycatcher
Goldfinch
Cetti's Warbler
Booted Eagle
Willow Warbler
Pied Flycatcher
Whinchat
Short Toed Lark
Spotless Starling
Collared Dove
Rock Dove
Wood Pigeon
Sand Martin
Corn Bunting
Mallard
Common Redstart
Icterine Warbler
Pallid Swift
Moorhen
Cattle Egret

A few photo's on my flickr page.

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Some of my photos. www.flickr.com/photos/nickish77


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Just popped back from a 1 week field-course in Majorca studying plant adaptations, so not strictly a birding trip, but managed to bag quite a few exotic species!

When I was given the chance to do a field-course at the start of the year, I was amazed by how this Field-course fitted into a birding dream! I was going further South then ever before, meaning I could see many exotic species; It was an island, so there was a chance to see some endemic species, it was at the migration period and the beginning of the breeding season (for Majorca), so the optimal time to see a big variety of species, many singing loudly; the course was making me visit a wide range of habitat, so I could get to grips with many different birds. The only thing wrong was that the course was about plantscrywink!

On the first day, i got to grips with some of the most common exotic species: Sardinian Warbler and Audouin's Gull, plus a Black Vulture. Unfortunately, I commited the bad mistake of not "revising" about the majorcan avifauna in advance, meaning that when I got glimpses of birds while doing the work-intensive course, I did not look out for those little details making it easy to identify them, and I've got a lot of botched ticks because of thatcry. It took me 4 days to work out that those explosive songs in the undergrowth were not Sardinian Warbler, but actually Cetti's Warbler! (I should add that I had no contact with the outside world or ressourses, just the Collin's and the Advanced ID guide to help me). I also mistook a male Subalpine Warbler for a male Dartford Warbler, purely because I had failed to look in detail at how the Subalpine Warbler really looked like. It was the white moustache which put me in the right direction eventually. Overall, I'm slightly ashamed of my poor birding skills at some moments during the week, though I say in my defence that Majorca was just too exotic compared to my usual avifauna. Many of the birds I was looking for were hidden deep in the bushes, refusing to budge. I had to scale a very steep hill covered in very prickly plants and loose rocks, just to get a 1 second glimpse of the Balearic Warbler...

I visited the Boquer valley (Blue Rock Thrush and Black-eared Wheatear were the stars), but failed to visit the Albufera reserve.cry

One of the most stressful episodes was when a flock of Stone-curlews started calling and flying in broad daylight just across a field. Unfortunately, the demonstrator was busy showing us the plants of the salt marshes, so it was a real strain as I tried to ignore the Stone-curlews (a life tick), and concentrate on Arthrocnemum fruticosum, a leafless salt marsh plant.

The best experience was discovering my first male Common Redstart, while measuring tree density in a pine forest: absolutely stunning! Definitely in the top 5 of most beautiful birds.

Overall, 13 new life ticks and many other species
Black Vulture
Booted Eagle
Black-eared Wheatear
Blue Rock Thrush
Audouin's Gull
Balearic Warbler
Cetti's Warbler
Spectacled Warbler
Sardinian Warbler
Subalpine Warbler
Kentish Plover
Yelkouan Shearwater
Stone Curlew

Common Redstart
Firecrest
Yellow Wagtail
Cattle Egret
Marsh Harrier
Osprey
Serin
Swifts
Crag Martin
Raven
Hoopoe
Little Egret
Yellow-legged Gull
Little Grebe
Zitting Cisticola

and many others...

Now that I've visited Majorca for a first time, hopefully next time I'll be more prepared, and will be able to fully appreciate the Fauna (and Flora) of this amazing bit of land.smile

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 5th of April 2013 08:38:59 PM

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Went last week 16th - 23rd April

No 'serious' birding as such but did have a brief visit a couple of places such as The S'Albufera Natural Park and The Boquer Valley and managed to pick up a few of the specialities.

Seen at S'Albufera:

Hundreds of cattle egrets put up by Marsh Harriers
Purple swamphen showed very well
Red knobbed coot
Great reed warbler
Spotted redshank
Black winged stilt
red crested pochard
purple heron
spoonbill
night heron
kentish plover
And loads of British people!

Boquer valley:

Black Vulture
sand and crag martins
cirl bunting
kestrel
booted eagles
loads of warblers
possible wryneck - flushed ad very brief view
elonara's falcon and bee eaters weren't seen (perhaps a few days early, but the former was seen later on in the week)

And finally an impressive garden list (to me anyway) - 10 mins walk from the coast:

Cetti's warbler
Sardinian warbler
Wood warbler
Audouin's gull - loads of them around porta pollensa
Booted eagle - daily over the garden and very low one day - great views
Peregrine
swallow, swift and house martin
Serin
Possible elonora's falcon - inconclusive views without bins - but reminiscent of a giant hobby - i.e. a colossal swift!
oystercatcher over (at night)


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Pete, Ian - Thank you very much!

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Or you can use the search facility. Click search on the toolbar at the top of this forum, enter the words Mallorca (or anything else you wish to search the forum for) and hit search, then hey presto smile.gif

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar at 21:14, 2008-04-14

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Hi, if you look under GENERAL BIRDING DISCUSSION and go back a bit you will find a topic on Majorca which will answer some of your questions. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Hello, off to Mallorca at the end of april for a week. Will be taking the bins but limited as girlfriend not interested and neither are her sister and husband with whom I'll be sharing the villa! Although will have limited access to a car.

Anyway, anyone been and got any top tips for the biggies!!

Also, if you have diagrams/ maps of locations that would be very useful and greatfully appreciated.

full (ish) report on return

Cheers e

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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar.