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Mallorca Trip Report 28TH April TO 5TH May 2000,
Mallorca is an excellent destination for a birding holiday. During our week we totalled a respectable 122 species which included all of the islands specialities.
A fantastic place to watch birds and surprisingly overlooked by many of the birders we met during our trip. Early morning and early evening to dusk were the most productive times of day as most if not all of the tourists have left and it's much cooler. The most productive area on the reserve was the CIM pool. We saw some of our best birds from the CIM hide particularly between 5pm and dusk. At around this time gulls come into bathe before going to roost, mainly Yellow-legged Gulls but we often had 1-2 Audouin's and on one occasion we had a stunning Adult Slender-billed. Terns and Waders would often come to bathe during the evening and species recorded included Whiskered Tern and Marsh Sandpiper.
The track between the CIM pool and the raised mound was good for close views of Moustached Warbler and the canal behind the Bishop Hides proved a good site for Little Bittern. Another good place to watch from is a wooden platform, which overlooks an area known as Es Ras. We had stunning views of White-winged Tern and Squacco Heron; this is also a reliable site for migrant pipits particularly Red-throated. Apparently a group of 9 were recorded here during our stay. Also check the bushes for Cetti's Warbler and Nightingale as well as migrants. An Orphean Warbler was recorded near the visitor centre on 27th April.
One of the most productive sites on Mallorca for migrants as well as 1 or 2 specialities. Early morning is the best time to visit although spending the whole day in the Bocquer will reap its rewards. We tended to bird the entrance to the valley first and then walk through Postage Stamp wood several times and then do a spot of raptor watching. The best places for migrants was the ploughed field at the valley entrance, the small fig plantation left of the track leading to the finca and Postage Stamp wood. The latter was hardly watched by other birders, which is a pity because it was often full of warblers and flycatchers and was hard to cover between just two. We didn't find anything rare in the wood but a group of German birders had Bonelli's Warbler during our stay and Golden Oriole is recorded most years. Raptor watching from the bottom of the valley proved fruitful. We had 11 species of raptor during our week including Montagu's Harrier, Black Kite and Steppe Buzzard.
Resident species recorded included Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Vulture and a pair of very confiding Marmora's Warblers, which were watched well for over an hour feeding their young.
Depuradora de S'illot
Situated near S'Albufera this site proved to be very productive. Fan-tailed Warbler, Short-toed Lark and Tawny Pipit were all recorded. Migrant species included Red-footed Falcon, Bee-eater and Whiskered Tern. The motorcross track was best for Larks and pipits and the cultivated fields surrounding the Depuradora works held several Fan-tailed Warblers, they were often seen perched on water sprinklers. Check the telegraph wires for Falcons, Bee-eaters and shrikes.
Well worth a visit but can be quite difficult. Mornings would probably be the best time as the heat haze can make birding difficult at other times. The usual assortment of herons and waders are ever present and it can be good for migrant terns and gulls. We had Gull-billed Tern and Slender-billed Gull here. Check the back roads described in Graham Hearls guide for migrants particularly Chats and Wagtails. Roller and Golden Oriole were both recorded here during our stay.
As described in Graham Hearls guide the area near the radio station was excellent for Thekla Lark and Booted Eagle was also recorded. However if you're a vertigo sufferer then the drive can be a bit scary particularly if there is oncoming traffic! Porto Colom is an alternative and Black-eared Wheatear was recorded there during our stay.
Hard work! But to see 1 or 2 of the Mallorcan specialities a must. We had a superb male Rock Thrush near the quarry and a pair of Tawny Pipits showed down to 10 yards near a small building 100 yards or so from the quarry. Unfortunately we blanked on Spectacled Warbler probably due to the wind and rain! Other species recorded included Firecrest, Cirl Bunting, Northern Wheatear, Blue Tit and Crag Martin.
An excellent site for migrant waders particularly Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. An overwintering Greater Flamingo was present throughout our week as well.
Black-necked Grebe A single summer plumaged bird on 30th April Depuradora.
Little Grebe Common at S'Albufera.
Cory's Shearwater 10+ off the Arta peninsula on 5th May.
Balearic Shearwater 5 off the Arta peninsula on 5th May.
Cormorant 3 at the Albufereta on 1st May.
Shag Common off Pt. Pollenca. All were of the race Desmarestii.
Little Bittern A female on 2nd May and a male on the 3rd, both at S'Albufera.
Night Heron Common. A maximum of 17 at the English Bridge roost, S'Albufera.
Cattle Egret Common at S'Albufera.
Squacco Heron A single was recorded at S'Albufera on 30th April and 2nd May. Then 2 birds were noted there on the 3rd and 4th.
Little Egret Common at S'Albufera and the Albufereta.
Grey Heron Small numbers recorded at S'Albufera throughout the week.
Purple Heron Common. A maximum of 21 was counted at S'Albufera on 30th April.
Spoonbill A single juvenile was noted at S'Albufera on several dates.
Greater Flamingo A single juvenile was present throughout the week at Ses Salinetes.
Marbled Duck A pair was seen from the CIM hide on 2nd and 3rd May. On the evening of the 3rd they were displaying.
Teal A drake was noted at S'Albufera on 2nd May.
Garganey 2 drakes and a duck were recorded at S'Albufera on 4th May.
Pochard A drake was noted throughout the week at S'Albufera.
Red-crested Pochard Common.
Black Vulture 5 drifting along the Bocquer valley on 1st May was a spectacular sight. A single was also recorded at the Embalse de Gorg Blau on 4th.
Egyptian Vulture 1-2 was regularly observed over the Bocquer area. A single was also noted over Turo de Llenaire.
Osprey Recorded in small numbers throughout the week.
Booted Eagle Common at several sites.
Black Kite A single north over the Bocquer on 1st May and 2 north on 5th.
Marsh Harrier Resident birds were noted at several locations. Migrants were recorded through the Bocquer Valley as follows: 1/5, (50+) , 2/5 , (11), 5/5,( 4)
Montagu's Harrier A single female along the Bocquer on 2nd May, a Male over S'Albufera on 3rd and another Male over Turo de Llenaire on 5th.
Common Buzzard A single on 1st May and 2 on 5th were noted over the Bocquer Valley. A single on 2nd was of the eastern race Vulpinus or Steppe Buzzard as it is often called.
Honey Buzzard All records are as follows and concern birds over the Bocquer valley: 2/5 ,(6), 5/5 , (5) 3 , Noted passage between 08:45 and 13:30 the largest group consisted of 15 birds.
Sparrowhawk A single Male watched well along the edge of the road near Lluc on 4th May.
Red-footed Falcon A female at S'Albufera on 2nd May and a 1st summer Male commuted between the Depuradora and S'Albufera on 3rd. An unidentified falcon was also noted at the Albufereta on the 3rd and was probably a Red-footed.
Eleonora's Falcon A single over Arta on 29th April was our first of the week. A group of over 40 birds was hunting over the Bocquer on 5th May.
Peregrine A pair regularly seen at the bocquer.
Pheasant A single male at Cuber on 4th May.
Water Rail Heard frequently at S'Albufera but only one sighting from the CIM hide.
Purple Gallinule Common at S'Albufera with a maximum of 20 noted on 30th April, 9 were showing on the CIM pool which included an Adult and 2 chicks.
Avocet A single on the CIM pools on 29th April.
Black-winged Stilt Common.
Stone Curlew A pair was on territory throughout the week below the Finca in the Bocquer Valley.
Little Ringed Plover Common
Ringed Plover 2 at the Albufereta on 2nd May.
Kentish Plover Common.
Knot A single at S'Albufera on 4th May.
Turnstone A single on the CIM pools on 30th April.
Curlew Sandpiper A maximum of 7 noted at Ses Salinetes on 4th May.
Temminck's Stint 3 were present at S'Albufera throughout our stay.
Little Stint Common.
Wood Sandpiper Common.
Green Sandpiper 2 on the CIM pool on 30th April.
Common Sandpiper Common.
Marsh Sandpiper 4 roosted on the CIM pool on 3rd May and a single there on 4th.
Black-headed Gull A maximum of 4 roosted on the CIM pool on 29th April.
Slender-billed Gull A stunning summer Adult came to roost on the CIM pool on 29th April and showed well for over an hour until dusk. Another or the same was recorded at the Albufereta on 2nd May and was present until the 5th.
Yellow-legged Gull Common.
Audouin's Gull Several were seen particularly in the evening from the CIM hide. 2 Adults were our maximum there on the evening of the 3rd May.
Gull-billed Tern A single at the Albufereta and 2 at the evening roost (CIM pool) on 2nd May. A single was also noted at S'Albufera on 4th.
White-winged Tern A stunning adult showed well at S'Albufera on 3rd May.
Whiskered Tern Apart from a single at Depuradora on 30th April all records were from S'Albufera as follows:, 29/04 (5), 30/04,(6). 02/05 1
Wood Pigeon Common.
Collared Dove Common.
Turtle Dove Singles were recorded on 29th April (Bocquer), 2nd May (Albufereta) and 3rd May (Depuradora).
Cuckoo A single flying north over Ses Salinetes on 30th April.
Scops Owl A single watched well at the rear of the Uyal hotel in Pt Pollenca on 1st May. Frequently heard and several road casualties found.
Common Swift Common. A spectacular gathering of 10,000+ was noted over S'Albufera on the evening of 29th April.
Pallid Swift recorded in small numbers throughout the week.
Bee-eater Recorded as follows:
Wryneck Only one single noted singing from a dead fig tree at the entrance to the Bocquer Valley on 2nd May. Heard frequently throughout the Island but as ever they proved to be very elusive.
Thekla Lark 3 watched well on the Arta peninsula on 5th May.
Short-toed Lark A maximum of 10 was noted on the Motorcross track at the Depuradora on 3rd May.
Sand Martin Common.
Crag Martin Common at the bocquer Valley and Cuber.
Swallow Common. A spectacular roost of 5,000 was noted at S'Albufera on 4th May.
House Martin Common.
Tawny Pipit A pair at the Depuradora on 3rd May and a very confiding pair at the Cuber Reservoir on 4th.
Tree Pipit 2 at the Cuber Reservoir on 4th May and a single over the Bocquer on 5th.
White Wagtail A single male at S'Albufera on 29th April.
Yellow Wagtail 4 races were recorded as follows:
Flava (Blue-headed): Common
Iberiae (Spanish Blue-Headed): Common
Cinereocapilla (Ashy-headed) Several noted
Thunbergi (Grey-headed) Max 7 Albufereta on 2nd May.
Redstart Recorded at the Bocquer and Postage Stamp Wood as follows:
29/4 30/4 01/05 02/05
2 4 7 1
Northern Wheatear Single males at the Bocquer and Cuber reservoir on 29th April and 4th May respectively.
Whinchat Recorded as follows:
Bocquer Valley 6 6 0 0
Albufereta 0 0 9 0
Cuber Reservoir 0 0 0 10+
Blue Rock Thrush Recorded at the Bocquer and Cuber reservoir.
Rock Thrush A singing male showed well at Cuber Reservoir on 4th May.
Garden Warbler Recorded at the Bocquer and Postage Stamp wood as follows:
29/4 30/4 01/05 02/05
1 2 3 2
Blackcap Recorded at the Bocquer and PSW as follows:
29/4 1/5 2/5
2 4 1
Sardinian Warbler Common.
Whitethroat Recorded at the Bocquer and PSW as Follows:
29/4 30/4 01/05 02/05
8 2 6 3
Marmora's Warbler Superb views of a pair feeding young in the Bocquer valley on 2nd May.
Moustached Warbler Common at S'Albufera, a maximum of 5 noted on 29th April.
Fan-tailed Warbler Maximum of 10 at Albufereta on 3rd May.
Great Reed Warbler 4 singing males noted at S'Albufera on all visits.
Willow Warbler Common migrant recorded in large numbers in PSW on 30th April.
Wood Warbler Maximum of 7 noted in PSW on 30th April.
Chiffchaff 3 singles recorded on 1st, 2nd and 5th May respectively (Bocquer).
Firecrest Singing Males noted at Cuber and on the Arta peninsula.
Spotted Flycatcher Recorded throughout the island.
Pied Flycatcher all records from the Bocquer and PSW as follows:
29/4 30/4 01/05 02/05
18 15 25 5
Great Tit Common.
Blue Tit A single at Cuber on 4th May.
Woodchat Shrike Daily totals as follows:
29/4 30/4 01/05 02/05 03/05 04/05 05/05
1 4 5 6 3 1 2
Raven 2 regularly noted at the Bocquer. Also a pair at Arta on 30th April.
House Sparrow Common.
Common Crossbill A male in PSW on 30th April.
Reed Bunting Recorded on every visit to S'Albufera.
Cirl Bunting Recorded at Cuber and the Bocquer.
Corn Bunting Common.
SPECIES RECORDED DURING OUR STAY WHICH WE DIDN'T SEE
Bonelli's Warbler Spectacled Warbler
Golden Oriole Spotted Redshank
Whimbrel Ruddy Shelduck
Hobby Bar-tailed Godwit
Griffon Vulture Alpine Swift
Little Tern Barn Owl
Long-eared Owl Shelduck
Subalpine Warbler Dunlin
Greenshank Reed Warbler
Red-throated Pipit Sanderling
BUTTERFLIES AND OTHER SPECIES NOTED