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A Report from

Mallorca 14-21st May 2004,

Robin Hadley

I have to start with an apology as I have mislaid most of the in depth information about what we did and where we went day-by-day etc.

However I believe I can pass on to you some useful data "on the fly" as t'were.

This was our first trip to Mallorca and found it to be a really very stimulating place, the bird variety is very good and the scenery spectacular. We booked through First Choice, a relatively short flight of 4 hours, the transfer through the airport and on to the coach was very efficient and the time from airport to hotel was about 1 hour.

We stayed at the Club Puerto Pollentia and I can't recommend this hotel highly enough to birders. It is situated mid way between Alcudia and Puerto Pollenca and backs on to Mallorcas' new second nature reserve - Albufreta. The coast road separates the Hotel from the small beach and the two resorts are only 20 minutes bus ride away, old Alcudia is nice but if you want traditional English tourist fare then it's a bit further along, Puerto Pollenca is a quieter, more cosmopolitan place.  The hotel has a hide of its own but it was closed for repair when we were there, but you can wander into the scrub/marsh area for a little way. Some rooms over look the reserve (we easily changed rooms when we discovered this), so you can balcony bird watch! The rooms have their own fridge and air conditioning, the food was good and the staff very helpful. I think a memory that will stay with me is sitting on the balcony one evening watching an Osprey, a few hundred metres away, eating its catch. The Hotel was very helpful on our last day, by letting us have our room until early evening (for a very small charge), we were able to get another days birding in.

You can hire bikes, cars or taxis from the hotel or catch the local bus. We usually took the bus and found it very satisfactory, the drivers deserve medals for their patience with us tourists. The First Choice rep was very good and helpful.

We journeyed to Albufera reserve (fare about 2 euros each) on a couple of occasions and it is well worth a visit. The bee-eaters are at the far end of the reserve from the visitor centre, the little bitterns are at the little pond not far from the centre where the red-faced coot (? not sure if that's the correct name but if you go you'll know where I mean) are.

There are lots of birds here and somewhere I have a long list of them.

We also did the Boquer valley (hopefully map attached) on a couple of occasions and again this is well worth the walk. There's a new dual carriage way been built before you get to the lane leading to the finca, with 'roundabout that I've added to the diagram. How this affects the valley, who knows. We also went on another valley walk that was well worth the effort - Cala Sant Vicenc. It was on this walk that I missed the white tailed Eagle that wifey and two strangers saw - I was distracted by the Elanoras Falcon. On both walks we took the bus into Puerto Pollenca and then walked from there, probably taking about 20 - 30 minutes.

One day we took the bus to Formentor - the bus stops about a 15-minute walk from the town and a good hour walk from the lighthouse.

Unfortunately the bus only runs a few times a day so we had to curtail our walk, however we did see firecrests in the fir trees by the side of the (quite fast) road.

Mosquito's could have been a problem but we found a supermarket In Puerto Pollenca (via Tourist Information) where plug in/spray repellents were purchased, this shop was also good for bottled water and other sundry items such as wine.

On reflection I think Mallorca was slightly cheaper than the UK but since we only had 7 days there and we spent most of it in the one area then I really can't advise you on "bangs per buck". For us a great holiday and place we would like to return to and explore more.

Guides we used were:

Birds of Europe: With North Africa and the Middle East
by Lars Jonsson (Illustrator): Fantastic. If you want just one guide then this must be it.

The New Birdwatcher's Pocket Guide to Britain and Europe
by Peter Hayman, Rob Hume (Editor): Handy size and we found it useful.

I also found the website Puerto useful and the Hotels website is also pretty good at:

Maps courtesy of the First Choice rep. I asked him if it was ok to use these on the web and he said it was fine.


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