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A Report from

MENORCA - FAMILY HOLIDAY 21/8 - 4/9/2000,

Bob Groves


This report is to compare notes with the 2 previous birders, Mike Millar and John Girdley, who posted reports for Menorca in August. Like Mike I had a family holiday at Son Parc, and managed to get a fair bit of birding in.

I too can recommend Son Parc as a base for a family holiday. The beach is as good as any I saw on the island and safe for children. There are plenty of restaurants and bars within easy walking distance.

I found Graham Hearl's book and John's report very useful (didn't see Mike's report till I got back!), and hired a car (about 20 per day fron Betacars) to visit as many sites as my family commitments would allow.

Don't expect local gen in August - I didn't see any other birders throughout the whole holiday.

I went from 21st August to 4th September, which is maybe too late for some summer visitors like the Shearwaters, Bee-eaters and Great Reed Warblers? Like John I also failed to find a Thekla Lark anywhere on the island - do they live underground?

This is a list of the most interesting (for me) species by site. There were, for me too, some lbj's which were just too quick, and which I would dearly have liked a second look at!


I found the area immediately behind the water treatment works the most productive. At least 2 Fan-tailed Warblers were seen daily, as well as an elusive Moustached Warbler which eventually showed well.

Migrants included Pied Flycatcher, and flocks of Swallows roosting in the marsh.

For 2 evenings running I flushed a Chat-sized bird from the ground which flew up into a nearby small tree giving me a good scolding before flying off to the other side of the marsh. In the fading light I could make out a very long reddish tail, frequently cocked vertically in its agitation, and bold white supercilium. Reading the field guide later I can only assume it was a Rufous Bush Chat. Whether this bird is likely at this location and time of year I don't know.

In the general area, Sardinian Warblers, Turtle Doves, Spotted Flycatchers and Stonechats are very common. I saw 3 Hoopoes in this area during my stay.


Didn't do justice to this large reedbed as I only visited once, and then around midday. The only birds of interest seen were a Little Egret and a juvenile Woodchat Shrike. A Booted Eagle flew over the Eastern side of the marsh.


Only 1 visit, unfortunately, to this impressive site. The first bird I saw after climbing the entrance wall was a Spectacled Warbler.

At least 3 Nightingales heard along the way, plus an unusually obliging Hoopoe which posed nicely on a tree branch in full view for over a minute. There were 2 Booted Eagles together patrolling the sides of the gorge, and at the end there were 10 Egyptian Vultures, including 4 immatures. Fantastic to see these birds soaring overhead and perched on the rocks.


2 all too brief visits. Good views can be had from the Shangri La complex, though I found a morning visit via the entrance at the 6K "milestone" (see Hearl) best for waders.

There were 16 Little Egrets at the Eastern end of the lake, plus 2 Great White Egrets. Also at least 10 Black-winged Stilts.

At the Western end there were 2 Wood Sandpipers and 5 Common Sandpipers amongst the Dunlin and Ringed Plover.


Pallid Swifts breeding in town. Audouin's and Yellow-legged Gulls easy to find in harbour.


On the day I visited it was 90F, very little wind and no shade, so not surprisingly I didn't hang around long or see much. Only birds of interest were a migrant Tawny Pipit, a Peregrine, a Blue Rock Thrush and 2 Wheatears.


This is a private estate and it currently costs 700 ptas to get in, but it's a beautiful location with a disused quarry surrounded by high wooded hills. I was disappointed to be too late for the Bee-eater colony, but got superb views of a Tawny Pipit ,which approached to within 15 feet. Also had Pied Flycatcher in the woods, Woodchat Shrike, Booted Eagle and Raven.


The shearwaters had presumably long since departed, as a late afternoon visit failed to produce any offshore. Blue Rock Thrush and an Audouin's Gull were present.

That's all. Hope to return one May and see all those birds I missed this time.

Bob Groves


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