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A Report from

Mallorca (North) May 2000 Trip Report,

Wilton Farrelly


A two week family holiday in Northern Mallorca between May 11th and 25th 2000. We were based in a villa 1km west of Pollenca booked through OSL in the UK. Although a family holiday, the proximity of excellent birding sites enabled me to undertake a considerable amount of birding. A car was hired for the full two weeks but only sites in the North and West were birded. The exception was a half day to the Arta mountains. In general it was an excellent holiday, a great country to visit, generally cheap and of course, good birding.

Bird Guides

Graham Hearl’s, ‘A birdwatchers guide to Mallorca’ is invaluable and definitely the guide for the area. Dave Gosneys guide was also used and is recommended as it contains site specific \ species information and is handy in the field.


The first week was constant sun whilst the second week was a mixture of sun and cloudy mornings with the very occasional light shower. Early mornings were often cold, particularly during the first week.

Site updates

Since the completion of the Graham Hearl guide, a number of site changes have occurred:

Ternelles Valley – The upper parts are now closed with no access.

Cases Velles – Now fenced in with no access of the road (the potential of finding birds has been reduced considerably).

S’Albufera – For latest hides, see the information point in the park. The Watkinson hide is no longer in the middle of the reeds and some of the reeds in the reserve (mainly around the access road) have been cut back. Cars are no longer allowed into the reserve.

Tucan Marsh – Although not visited, visiting birders said that it was no more.

Sites visited

In addition to the area immediately adjacent to the villa, the following sites were visited during the two week period.

Bocquer Valley – Access still available. Migrants were seen, particularly at the base e.g. Pied Flycatchers and Willow Warblers.

Postage Stamp Wood, Port de Pollenca – Held Redstarts and the odd migrant.

Formentor Lighthouse – An hour on the second day produced 29 Honey Buzzard and a Black Kite moving through. The café at the lighthouse is excellent for relaxing with a drink and scanning the hills for migrating raptors!

Cases Velles – With viewing now restricted, it would seem to offer only limited opportunities. Did have Crossbill, Song Thrush and Booted Eagle.

Hotel Uyal, Port de Pollenca – This was the site that held Scops Owl. The bird was using a vent pipe at roof height to the rear of the Hotel. It was not heard calling but was seen hunting along the roadway and using the vent pipes.

Ca’n Cuarassa – This site is to the rear of the Cuarassa restaurant on the Port de Pollenca to Alcudia road, behind Pollenca Bay. It was very good, holding excellent numbers of Yellow Wagtails, a Stone Curlew, Roller and Bee Eaters.

Albufereta – Small numbers of waders at the bridge \ river to Pollenca Bay. Best viewed from ‘the mound’ or the road along the eastern side. No doubt it was once a much better site.

S’Albufera – The number one site in the North of the Island. Described well in existing literature. Mid morning produced good numbers of Eleonora’s Falcon (50+).

Cuber Resevoir – Pleasant birding and good for raptors. Water levels were however extremely low.

Arta Mountains – The furthest site away (1 hour). Thekla Lark at the TV aerial (site 4 in Hearls book) and Marmoras Warbler at Betlem. However, one site that was superb was Ermita de Betlem, the church at the end of the road and as described in Hearls book. Held easy Blue Rock Thrush, Firecrest and migrants including a Chiffchaff and Melodious Warbler. I was able to do the TV Aerial, Ermita de Betlem and Colonia de St Pere \ Betlem in one morning with an early start.

K11.1 – Birding the mountains for Raptors is difficult due to a lack of access points and vantage points. However, one area that I found to be very good and accessible is at K11.1 on the Pollenca to Lluc road. You can park on the downhill side at K11.1 (or K11). There are then two options:

(i) Where the fence meets the road barrier on the downhill side, you can walk through about 10m onto rocks that give a view down the valley and over to the peaks to the east, or

(ii) The better vantage point is however on the higher rocks on the uphill side of the road. Clambering up onto these produces an amazing vantage point with excellent all round views. Three one hour visits here produced 18 Black Vulture sightings, Booted Eagle, Peregrine and Eleonora’s Falcon. If raptor migration was occurring, this higher advantage point could be very productive.

Cala de St Vicenc – Go through the village, past the coves up the hill as far as the road takes you. Egyptian Vulture was seen from here.

Species Seen

Little Grebe



2 juv’s at S’Albufereta upto 18th



Little Bittern

1, S’Albufera

Night Heron

Common, S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Squacco Heron

1 S’Albufera on 16th & 4 S’Albufera on 19th,

Cattle Egret

3+ S’Albufera

Little Egret

Common, S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Grey Heron

1 S’Albufereta and at S’Albufera

Purple Heron

Common, S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Greater Flamingo

1, S’Albufera


On canal at S’Albufera


1 drake, S’Albufera on 19th


S’Albufera & S’Albufereta


1, S’Albufereta on 13th

Red Crested Pochard

Common, S’Albufera

Honey Buzzard

29 through Formentor lighthouse on the 13th

Black Kite

1 through Formentor lighthouse on the 13th

Red Kite

1 at Cuber on 15th

Egyptian Vulture

1 adult at Cala de St. Vicenc

Black Vulture

1 Cuber, 2 Lluc, 18 K11.1

Marsh Harrier

Common, S’Albufera & occasionally S’Albufereta

Booted Eagle

About 10 different sightings in the mountains and 1 at Cases Velles


Only 1 sighting, in front of the Bishop hide at S’Albufera



Eleonora’s Falcon

Seen every day. Mid morning seemed to produce groups of birds together at e.g. Bocquer & S’Albufera.


Seen infrequently e.g. at Pollenca and K11.1

Red Legged Partridge

Heard at Bocquer and seen at Emrita de Betlem


Heard at Pollenca


Heard at Cuber

Water Rail

Heard at S’Albufera



Purple Gallinule

Common at S’Albufera



Black-winged Stilt


Stone Curlew

1 bird seen in a field at Cuarassa. (It was reported that a pair bred in the Bocquer)

Little Ringed Plover

S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Ringed Plover

S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Kentish Plover

S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Little Stint

S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Curlew Sandpiper

S’Albufera & S’Albufereta (mainly first week)


3 at S’Albufereta on 23rd

Common Sandpiper

S’Albufereta to 23rd

Black-headed gull

A few birds at S’Albufera & S’Albufereta

Audouins Gull

Seen along Pollenca Bay \ S’Albufereta

Yellow Legged Gull


Whiskered Tern

2 / 3 birds at S’Albufera

Rock Dove \ Feral Pigeon

Bocquer Valley

Wood Pigeon


Turtle Dove

S’Albufereta – 4 on 19th & 2 on 24th


1 heard at Cuber

Scops Owl

1 at Hotel Uyal, Port de Pollenca

Common Swift

Very common


20 at Lluc on 15th, 15 at Cuarassa on 23rd and breeding at S’Albufera


2 birds. 1 at Cuarassa on the 14th and 1 on Nightingale road on the 19th




Breeding in the pines at the base of the Bocquer valley

Short-toed lark


Thekla Lark

1 bird on track beside TV aerial \ small resevoir on way to Ermita de Betlem (as accurately described in Hearls book)

Crag Martin

Seen around mountains, breeds on Cuber Dam



House Martin


Tawny Pipit

Cuber and Arta Mountains

Yellow Wagtail

Common at various ‘wet’ locations. Canassa held numerous birds on the 13th including 1 Feldegg.


Mountain areas only


Common (but only one seen)

Common Redstart

2 birds in Postage Stamp Wood on the 14th


Bocquer and Pollenca on 12th \ 13th




1, Pollenca, 12th May

Rock Thrush

1 male at the Quarry at Cuber

Blue Rock Thrush

Birds seen in the mountain regions, around villa, monastery at Pollenca and Ermitta de Betlem



Song Thrush

1 at Cases Velles on the 13th

Cettis Warbler


Fan tailed warbler


Moustached warbler

Heard only at S’Albufera (There is no longer a hide in the middle of the reeds and the reeds have been cut back around some of the tracks)

Reed Warbler


Great Reed Warbler

S’Albufera (easy to see)

Melodious Warbler

1, Ermtta de Betlem, 21st

Marmora’s Warbler

2 birds seen (others heard) at Arta – Piere St Colom on 21st.

Spectacled Warbler

Heard at Cuber only

Sardinian Warbler

Very common

Garden Warbler

1, 12th May Pollenca, 1 Ternelles Road 23rd May



Wood Warbler

Bocquer valley, 1 on 13th


1, Ermitta de Betlem, 21st May

Willow Warbler

2, Bocquer Valley on 12th


Surprisingly hard to see. However birds in the gardens at Ermita de Betlem provided excellent views

Spotted Flycatcher

Very common

Pied Flycatcher

2, at Bocquer valley on 12th & 13th

Blue Tit

Seen in mountains \ Lluc

Great Tit


Woodchat Shrike



Common in the mountains

House Sparrow

Very common


Common in the mountains


Very common




Very common




Birds seen around Formentor, Cases Velles & Ermita de Betlem

Cirl Bunting

Common in suitable habitat e.g. Bocquer & Arta Mountains

Reed Bunting

A few birds seen in S’Albufera

Corn Bunting


Total species count: 105

Wilton Farrelly
33 Old Dundonald Road
BT16 2EQ

E mail: June 2000


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