Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Majorca 27th September -October 4th 2008,
Majorca deservedly holds a high place with birders who want to see an excellent selection of Mediterranean birds in a varied and sometimes spectacular island. At slightly under 2 hours from Gatwick, Majorca offers some special residents and in autumn some special migrants! This was our fifth visit to the island,having been in the past in the Spring as well. We had selected Port Pollensa (Pollensa Park Hotel) as it is central to Top Birding spots like Boquer Valley, Trantumanta mountains,Albuferia and the Albufereta Parc Naturals.
A Car is essential, we hired ours from Amigo Autos on the internet,at 100 euros week, a five door Fiesta pick up from the airport at Palma.Be aware that they charge for a full tank of petrol(in this case 65 euros)and you bring the car back empty!!
POLLENSA PARK HOTEL AND GROUNDS
The hotel offers good accommodation, food is well cooked,entertainment,is every night, local Karaoke bar is noisey,but finishes by midnight. Stonechat Perched on the tennis court fence and in the scrub area was Cettis warbler,and the abundant Sardian Warbler .A resident flock of Serin amounted to a maximum of 40.
POLLENSA SEA FRONT
The sea front is about 100mtrs from the hotel,two rock breakwaters provide roosting sites for gulls like Audouins Gull max 17, BlackHeaded Gull, Yellow legged Gull and Shag were always present.
This super site is very close to the hotel and the road leading up to it often had small numbers of Crossbill and Firecrest in the roadside pines. Four visits to the valley often produced large numbers migrants, early visits after first light was very productive, although the Balearic warblers often only appeared after the sun had warmed the land up.Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher were common, normally well into double figures, they were joined by numerous Redstart, Willow Warbler, Northern Wheatear, the first part of the walk often had the most birds,two Collared Flycatchers amongst a count of 14 Pied were impressive, however an immature Roller took pride of place on one cool morning!. Residents in the valley included Raven, Peregrine,many Blue Rock Thrushes , Kestrel and Cirl Bunting,supported by two Elenoras Falcons.
These impressive mountains have spectacular scenary,one word of warning the roads are not for the faint hearted!, and the Spanish seem to own the road. Cuber reservoir was a major disappointment, but with the temperatures at only 11c, only a Spotted Flycatcher was brave!.
However the viewpoint to the Sa Colabra part of the coast on the main Sollar-Pollencia road proved very rewarding. Park in the layby near the viewpoint and look towards Sa Colabra as the temperature rose, so appeared the raptors, Black Vultures soared constantly, with five in the air at once, they were joined by three Eleonora’s Falcons,and Booted Eagle, these were supported by a gliding Peregrine. A ravine close by also held 22 Rock Dove. Common Swifts and Crag Martins flew constantly around the crags. On the roadside pines Crossbill called persistently.
This is an outstanding reserve, and even after many years of visiting it still always brings out outstanding birds, and with four visits in the week we were not to be disappointed. Recent rain meant that there was lying water, excellent for migrant waders.The approach to the visitor centre always produced interesting flyovers.Osprey was daily,with Peregrine and Marsh Harrier also regular. The Night Heron roast on the main canel was always a delight, with adult and immature birds present max at 18 on one day. Nearer the information centre the Cattle Egret roost was very impressive 50+ seen. The gate area near the information centre viewing Cim hide is worth spending time at, with Hoopoe, Stone Curlew, Spoonbill, Great White Egret and Glossy Ibis present regularly.Cim hide is “the hide” to visit,large numbers of Duck included on one occasion seven Marbled Duck there plumage contrasting well with the many Teal present. A vast arrange of waders included,Spotted Redshank, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Ringed, Little Ringed and over 70 Kentish Plovers. However eclipsing this was a flying Great Snipe ,its plump body and shorter bill very visible, it flew in a straight line across the hide and dropped down into vegetation. The areas around the hide had Fan tailed Warblers, Yellow Wagtails. Bishop 1 and 2 Hides offer very good close up views of waders,Wood,Green, Common Sandpipers always present,with the support cast of Snipe, Black winged Stilts, Greenshanks. White Wagtails were common from these hides, and as you approach Bishop 1 look for Moustached Warbler as we had views of the bird on all four visits!.
Although this area is not on the same level as the Albufera,the area offers opportunities for birders at the Pollensa Park hotel to visit an area close by before breakfast !. Typical birds of the area include covies of Red Partridge, many Corn Buntings, and profusion of Stonechats.The Abufereta exits into the sea under the main Alcudia road - Pollensa road,it is well worth stopping here, Purple Heron was regular supported by Kingfisher and Kentish Plover. It is well worth investigating the habitat inland from this estuary, especially along the river, here Red Rumped Swallow were present and on one morning a Bonellis Warbler was found feeding at first light !
The road from Pollensa to Formentor Peninsular is challenging to say the least. Try to find a suitable pullover and look at the rock peaks, Crag Martin, and Eleonora’s Falcon will come into view , we watched up to seven Elenora’s chasing CommonSwifts. Close to the lighthouse park up on the left, here Pallid Swift and Blue Rock Thrush are common.
Port Pollensa is the idea location for birding in Majorca,other areas i.e Arta and Ses Selinas we offer the possibility of extra species,but for variety this is the area to stay in, and with 110 species seen in one week all birders would be happy.
Derek Lister, October 2008