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A Report from

Ibiza, 7th – 14th October 2007,

Bob Marchant

Holiday based at Cala Llonga, a quiet resort on the east coast, staying at El Pinar apartments (booked through Thomas Cook with Aspro Holidays, flying with Excel Airways.) No problems at all with the travel arrangements and flights were on time both ways. Accommodation for four was in two adjacent studio apartments on the top floor (4th) of a small block giving good views over the town, beach and wooded hillsides. Accommodation was of a very reasonable standard at a cost of £230 pp for flight and accommodation. Car hire was with Hertz, booked through Expedia (mid-size 4 door rate) at a good price of £142 for the week for a roomy Megane saloon with a large boot (2nd driver cost is extra at c. £40.) There is a large choice of restaurants in Cala Llonga as well as plenty of opportunities to “eat Spanish” in beach side and inland bar-restaurants around the island.

The holiday was a mix of birding/touring (with 2 very accommodating non-birders in the party) using A Birdwatching Guide to Menorca, Ibiza & Formentera by Graham Hearl as our birding reference.

Convenient to the apartment was a track leading to the Sol d’en Serra viewpoint providing a good range of passerines on several early mornings (before buying fresh bread at the supermarket!) It was rare to leave the apartment before 10.30 each morning on our trips out and lunch was usually around 3.00pm.

The weather was generally kind with sunshine and light winds most days with temperatures in the low twenties, exceptionally was a vivid thunderstorm in the early hours of 11th and heavy rainstorms and strong easterly winds on 12th.

Not, not all sightings are listed in the daily reports below, most common european species are excluded and birds such as Sardinian Warbler are referred to only occasionally, these being found all over the island. A full list of species concludes this report.

7th October            Airport – Cala Llonga

Arrival early evening, highlight being 3 or 4 Audouin’s gulls on the beach at Cala Llonga.

8th October            North-east: Cala Llenya – Cala Boix – Punta Grossa - Cala de Sant Vicenc (lunch) – Portinatx.

At Cala Llonga, a Booted Eagle was scoped by Wendy from the balcony, flying over the wooded hillside close to the apartment and a Peregrine followed shortly after. Firecrest and Sardinian Warblers were noted in the nearby pines.

A stop at Cala Boix on our drive around the north-east of the island produced the second, or the same, Booted Eagle of the day. A drive up the hillside overlooking Cala de Sant Vicenc to Punta Grossa came up with 2 Wheatear, 4 Blue Rock Thrushes, 2 Crag Martins and a calling Raven.  A Grey Wagtail called by the stream near the carpark in Cala de Sant Vicenc.

Sunrise at Cala Llonga

9th October      South-west: Cala Moli – sa Talaia de Sant Josep – Cala d’Hort (lunch) – Cala Vedella.

Stonechats, Whinchat, Chiffchaff and Red-legged Partridges were the highlights of an early morning walk from the apartment, meanwhile Wendy had a Black Redstart from her balcony.

The first stop of the day at Cala Moli on a drive out to the south-west produced Eleonora’s Falcon, Blue Rock Thrush and Audouin’s Gull, then we headed for the track up to Talaia ( in search of Marmora’s Warbler). A brief stop after a few hundred metres produced very little, climbing higher we stopped at a junction of two tracks (signposted Cami des Puig Blanc and Cami de sa Talaia) where Stonechats, Whinchat, Redstart and Black Redstart were evident as well as several inevitable Sardinian Warblers. A few Skylarks flew over and the highlight was a calling Ring Ouzel which subsequently flew over our heads. Lunch was taken at a beach restaurant in Cala d’Hort followed by a Booted Eagle overhead as we climbed out of the valley. Looking for a place to park later in the day to watch the sunset produced a flock of 40+ Serins in a car park at Cala Vedella, then we stopped between Cala Vedella and Cala Moli for the sunset and set up the scope for seawatching. Between 6.30 and 7.30pm some 70 Cory’s Shearwaters passed north and at least 3 sightings of Eleonora’s Falcon were had. 

Audouin’s Gull, Cala Llonga
Serin, Cala Llonga

10th October          North-east: Es Canar (Hippy Market!) - Cala Boix (lunch) – Portinatx.

The early morning walk to Sol d’en Serra produced Blue Rock Thrush (on a hotel TV aerial), Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 2 Song Thrush, 2+ Firecrests, Hoopoe, 2 Grey Herons, Stonechats, Serins, Redstarts, Red-legged Partridges and a Reed Warbler.

At Portinatx a search for scrubby areas (in the quest for Marmora’s warbler) came to nothing but a walk in the wooded area came up with 2 Firecrests.

11th October          North-west: Sant Miquel de Balansat – Sant Mateu d’Aubarca – Santa Agnes de Corona – Cala Salada – Buscatell – Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera (lunch) – Sant Llorenc.

A tour of the north-west showed a general change in the landscape to a farming region, far fewer pinewood areas and generally more open than in the north and east of the island. Many minor roads were covered as we drove in widening circles around the area and more finches and sparrows were in evidence. Highlights included Wheatear and an excellent flock of 17 Rock Sparrows (somewhere between Sant Miquel and Sant Mateu) with larger flocks of Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Linnets and House Sparrows. Also seen were Redstart, Black Redstart, Grey and White Wagtails plus a Booted Eagle overhead near Sant Mateu d’Aubarca. Late afternoon we parked at Sant Llorenc by the Refugio de Caza and in a half-hour spell one bush by the car park was visited by 2 Redstarts, 2 Sardinian Warblers, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Firecrest.

12th October          South: Ses Salines – Sant Josep (lunch)

First stop was off the road to La Canal overlooking the Cavallet Salines with views of 16 Greater Flamingos, Osprey, Great White Egret, a flyover Cattle Egret and 11 Little Egrets. Moving to the beach carpark at the north-east corner, the track south along the eastern side produced more Greater Flamingos, 5 Greenshank, 2 Ringed Plover, 5 Kentish Plover and 2 Common Sandpipers on the muddy margins. At least 1 Black-headed Gull was around and 2 Thekla Larks flew over. A notable flock of some 1200 Starlings was continually moving around.

A drive into the Salt Works and along the track along the south side of Ses Salines to Cap de Falco Restaurant gave us Blue Rock Thrush, more Greater Flamingos and 5 Black-winged Stilts. Parking near the end of the track, overlooking the salines, some 90 Greater Flamingos and 10 Little Egrets were counted plus Black-necked Grebe and 4 Pintail. In the scrubby area by the restaurant, no hoped for Marmora’s Warblers were evident in the very strong winds but 2 more Thekla Larks flew up.

Leaving the Salines, we drove to Sant Josep for excellent tapas at a restaurant called El Destino, unusually open at lunch time as the day was a public holiday (recommended, not to be missed though not usually open for lunch.) Following lunch another attempt for Marmora’s Warbler at Talaia was made. However the drizzle which had been on and off all morning turned to torrential rain and thunderstorms and we beat a hasty retreat down the mountain – typical public holiday weather! (The storms continued all evening and many restauarants, particularly those facing east, closed for the night.)

Sardinian Warbler, Cala Llonga
Chiffchaff, Cala Llonga

13th October          South-west: Sa Caleta – Sa Talaia – Cala Moli (lunch) - Cala Conta

The early morning walk came up with several Firecrests, at least 8 Sardinian Warblers, Serins, Song Thrushes, 4 Stonechats, 2 Chiffchaffs, Redstart, Red-legged Partridges, Blackcap and White Wagtail.

We headed out (in the much improved weather) in yet another attempt at Marmora’s Warbler up Talaia stopping at Sa Caleta on the way where a dark phase Booted Eagle flew overhead.

Up the mountain we stopped at the same junction of tracks and were rewarded with Redstart and Black Redstart and a bonus Southern Grey Shrike, though views were brief as the bird was disturbed by SUVs towing bike trailers up the track. No Marmora’s however but Serins, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Firecrests, Peregrine, Red-legged Partridge and of course Sardinian Warblers were around.

Late afternoon we headed for Cala Conta (this is THE place for sunsets as the sun dips down behind the I. De s’Espart) and a juvenile Gannet was noted c 5.30pm feeding offshore while we were swimming. Between 6.30 and 7.20pm 25 Cory’s and 5 Balearic Shearwaters were counted heading north.

Black Redstart, Talaia
Sunset at Cala Conta

14th October          South: Ses Salines (Pont de Baix) – Platja d’En Bossa (lunch) – Ses Salinas – Airport

A return to Ses Salines (a last ditch effort for you-know-what) saw us again parked near the restaurant at the western end of the track and clambering around the scrubby path from Pont de Baix towards Cap de Falco but were rewarded with just Redstart, Sardinians, 2 Thekla Lark and a Grey Wagtail. Returning to the car to discuss lunch before returning the car to Hertz, Wendy noticed a small bird flicking amongst the scrub – YES! Not 1, not 2 but 3 MARMORA’S WARBLERS just twenty yards from the car in scrub alongside the nearest salines and with just three hours before we had to return the car. 2 Siskins, 1 Reed Warbler and 4 Blackcaps were also noted in the small trees and scrub and it was also a good day for raptors with Osprey, dark phase Booted Eagle over and a female or immature Marsh Harrier hunting over the far side of the salines near the airport. 2 Black-necked Grebes were seen on the near pool plus Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper and 100 + Greater Flamingos were spread around.

After lunch a brief stop and stroll along the eastern bank of Cavallet Salines came up with Cormorant and Kingfisher. This area is obviously very popular with locals on a Sunday with the beach car park being very busy.

Greater Flamingos, Ses Salines


Life List




4 Ses Salines 12th

Red-legged Partridge


Several Cala Llonga + heard on Talaia

Black-necked Grebe


2 max Ses Salines 12th & 14th

Cory’s Shearwater


70 Cala Moli 9th, 25 Cala Conta 13th

Balearic Shearwater


5 Cala Conta 13th



1 Cala Conta 13th



1 Ses Salines 14th



Regularly seen around the coast

Cattle Egret


1 Ses Salines 12th

Little Egret


21 max Ses Salines 12th & 14th

Great White Egret


1 Ses Salines 12th

Grey Heron


Occasional sightings

Greater Flamingo


100+ Ses Salines 12th & 14th

Booted Eagle


1 Cala Llonga 8th, 1 Cala Boix 8th, 1 Cala d’Hort 9th, 1 Sant Mateu 11th, 1 Sa Caleta 13th, 1 Ses Salines 14th

Marsh Harrier


1 Ses Salines 14th



1 Ses Salines 12th  & 14th 



Frequent sightings

Eleonora’s Falcon


1 Cala Moli 9th am + 3 sightings late pm



1 Cala Llonga 8th, 1 Talaia 13th 

Black-winged Stilt


5 Ses Salines 12th

Ringed Plover


2 Ses Salines 12th

Kentish Plover


5 Ses Salines 12th



5 max Ses Salines 12th  & 14th

Common Sandpiper


2 max Ses Salines 12th & 14th

Black-headed Gull


1+ Ses Salines 12th & 14th

Yellow-legged Gull



Audouin’s Gull


3 or 4 regularly on Cala Llonga beach mornings and evenings, occasional coastal sightings elsewhere

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon




Collared Dove




1 Ses Salines 14th



1 Cala Llonga 10th

Thekla Lark


4 max Ses Salines 12th & 14th



3 Talaia 9th, 1+ over Cala Llonga 13th

Crag Martin


2 Punta Grossa 8th



Occasional flocks feeding overhead

Grey Wagtail


1 Cala de San Vicenc 8th , 1 Sant Miquel 11th, 1 Ses Salines 14th

White Wagtail


Occasional sightings



Black Redstart


1 Cala Llonga 9th, 1 Talaia 9th & 13th



Regular sightings



1 Cala Llonga 9th, 1 Talaia 9th



Frequent sightings



2 Punta Grossa 8th, 1 near Santa Agnes 11th

Blue Rock Thrush


Regularly seen, highest count 4 Punta Grossa 8th

Ring Ouzel


1 Talaia 9th



Song Thrush


2+ Cala Llonga 10th & 13th  

Reed Warbler


1 Cala Llonga 10th, 1 Ses Salines 14th

Marmora’s Warbler


3 Ses Salines 14th

Sardinian Warbler


Frequently seen and heard



Occasionally sightings, max 4 Ses Salines 14th



Occasional sightings



Fairly common, mostly heard

Great Tit


Southern Grey Shrike


1 Atalaia 13th



1 heard Punta Grossa 8th



Notable flock of 1200 Ses Salines 12th

House Sparrow


Rock Sparrow


Flock of 17 between Sant Miquel and Sant Mateu 11th





Widespread, largest flock Cala Vedela 40+ 9th







2 Ses Salines 14th



Total species:       66          

Life List ***:        2              (Wendy’s life list increased by 3 species)

Bob & Penny Marchant and Carl & Wendy Sully (birders: Bob & Wendy)

31st October 2007



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