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Old Monday 16th June 2014, 23:05   #1
GiG
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Mallorca June 2014

I visited Mallorca for the first time from June 7th to 14th and although not a specific birding holiday managed to get some birding in, some early mornings around Puerto Pollensa and a full day at S'Albufera.

Really enjoyed my visit, staying at the Hotel Pollentia which was nice, had friendly staff and made a good base even though a good half hour walk to the Boquer Valley. Got by with travelling by bus which were regular, on time and cheap and put UK buses to shame (well the ones I use to get to work!).

Even though I've been birding a fair few years now there were a few species that would be new to me including some fairly regular scarce migrants that I've never caught up with in the UK such as Kentish Plover and Night Heron. Along with these more specialised species like Moustached and Balearic Warbler.

The day at S'Albufera was great and had a feeling of discovery and potential from those days long gone when I first started birding. This was helped by not carrying a field guide and not sticking bird songs on my old phone, relying on experience of picking up/hearing something new and taking time to see it for id. I spent 10 hours on site and walked about 10km and was great to just take it easy and potter around.

I'll just list the sites I visited with some details of species and some digiscoped bird photos as well as a few insect ones too.

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Old Monday 16th June 2014, 23:21   #2
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Sites visited:

Puerto Pollensa
Generally lots of Swift and House Sparrows around which was good to see. Along the beach a maximum of four Audouin's Gulls, often near Tamarells Bar the beach, Yellow-legged Gull and Shag offshore. Other sightings included Spotted Flycatcher and a Kestrel, one flying up the beach road and one on a pylon at the back of Hotel Pollentia. A bit of rough ground nearby there also had singing Nightingale, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola and Sardinian Warbler. On the last day also saw a Booted Eagle and two Eleonora's Falcons over the hills at the back. Saw Geranium Bronze in the hotel garden. Saw my only Osprey of the week distantly along the bay.


Puerto Pollensa - La Gola
Went there a couple of times, fairly quiet for water birds with Mallard, a Little Egret and Moorhen. Greenfinch, Serin, Goldfinch, Sardinian Warbler in the scrub with Stonechat and Zitting Cisticola on rough ground at the back of the site.
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Old Monday 16th June 2014, 23:38   #3
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Boquer Valley
Initially walked up one afternoon to find where the track starts and saw a nice Cleopatra there.

Visited again early morning at the end of the week, deciding on catching a taxi there for first light to maximise time birding. On arrival past the finca could hear raptors on the rock face and saw a couple of Peregrines. The initial section had lovely views of Cirl Bunting and a couple of Sardinian Warblers. Walking through I heard Red-legged Partridge, Chaffinch and Blue Rock Thrush, saw lots of Swifts as the sun was beginning to rise and a Kestrel.

Soon got to an area with some new bird song and a bit of a wait got great views of Balearic Warbler. Probably saw up to three birds in all, great to watch them feed low on the ground, occasionally popping up on to some low vegetation.

Heading back I chatted to a Finnish birder, Tuomas, who just after we parted called out a Booted Eagle high up. Further along I saw a couple of Eleonora's Falcons and two Crag Martin and the Peregrines again, this time perched up.
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2014, 22:40   #4
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Formentor
A ferry trip to Formentor beach with Yellow-legged Gull and Shag en route. At the bus stop for the return journey a singing Blackcap.

Pollensa
A couple of visits, with lots of Swifts seen and some House Martins, a few birds walking up the steps to the church including Serin. On the bus back one time thought I saw a Woodchat Shrike on a fence, the only (possible) sighting all week, also failed to see/hear Hoopoe too during the week.

Soller/Sa Calobra
Took the bus to Soller, tram to Port De Soller, then ferry round to Sa Calobra then bus back to Puerto Pollensa. Saw little along the journey but at Sa Calobra the most showy Shag was fishing in the cove often feet from swimmers. It was great to watch it in the beautiful clear waters. Heard Cirl Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush and Wren there too and amongst the many Swifts am sure I also heard Pallid Swift too.
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Old Tuesday 17th June 2014, 22:54   #5
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Torrent De Sant Jordi
Being towards the southern end of Puerto Pollensa took a lovely early morning walk along the beach to Torrent De Sant Jordi, passing a section of beach near pines with a good variety of coastal plants including Yellow-horned Poppy that attracted a Violet Carpenter Bee. In this area several birds with families of Spotted Flycatcher and Greenfinch and some House Sparrows. On the way back had good views of Moorish Gecko there.

Further down at the river and along the road a couple of singing Corn Buntings, Cetti's Warblers, Sardinian Warbler, Nightingale and Zitting Cisticolas with Linnet and Stonechat present. Wish I had more time to explore round there.
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Old Friday 20th June 2014, 23:15   #6
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S'Albufera - visit 1
I visited briefly one afternoon to obtain a permit so I could start early on my full day. Along the track from the road Great Reed Warbler and Nightingale singing.

Several egrets flew over, both Cattle and Little. Insects included Emperor Dragonfly with Wall and Speckled Wood butterflies. Heading back to Puerto Pollensa I studied the map of the site I'd received and couldn't wait to return.
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Old Friday 20th June 2014, 23:30   #7
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S'Albufera - visit 2
Fantastic reserve and had a great time walking the tracks, visiting and re-visiting the various hides.

Again on he way up the main track Nightingale singing, and over the day, heard/saw several. At the top end where the track turns left as I scanned the egret colony on the other side of the canal Little Bittern flew over.

The final stretch up to the centre near by the boardwalk a Moustached Warbler was singing away and with a bit of patience got great views. The digiscoped shot was in poorish light and through vegetation so not the best. At the top end of the boardwalk a family of Serins.

Headed to Sa Roca hide first with another Nightingale singing away and, while trying to locate it, found a young Sardinian Warbler. I could also hear Stone-curlew and from the hide found a couple on the islands. Had really close views of Little Ringed Plover, a number of Red-crested Pochard with Mallard and Shelduck.
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Old Saturday 21st June 2014, 07:38   #8
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Great stuff Gi.

Heading to Puerto Pollenca next month,so your report and photos have whetted my appetite even more.
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Old Saturday 21st June 2014, 08:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Nevis View Post
Great stuff Gi.

Heading to Puerto Pollenca next month,so your report and photos have whetted my appetite even more.
Thanks Ben, good luck on your trip.

Here's a video of Cirl Bunting from the Boquer Valley - Cirl Bunting.
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Old Saturday 21st June 2014, 09:09   #10
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S'Albufera - cont.
Headed over the main canal bridge where both Purple Gallinule and Red-knobbed Coot were present.

Following the track down to Es Collibar I a Nightingale sang very close above my head, a video here - Nightingale. At the hide Black-winged Stilt very close protecting a young bird that chased anything that got close including a family of Moorhens and a Night Heron that flew over. Both Kentish Plover and Common Tern with young, Grey Heron and Marsh Harrier flew over further back.

At Es Collibar II good views of the heronry, a Night Heron flew in to the trees while watching young Cattle Egret squabbling, a video here - Cattle Egret young. Similar species viewed from the hide with Purple Heron and Stonechat also noted and a Little Egret.
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Old Saturday 21st June 2014, 09:32   #11
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S'Albufera - cont.
Next was the long walk to Es Columbars, with the morning progressing and as this was quite open it was very hot in the sun. Several butterflies with Common Blue, Swallowtail and Small White and a number of Blue-tailed Damselflies and male Black-tailed Skimmers. A further Purple Heron flew over and from one of the viewing areas Little Ringed Plover and Black-winged Stilt. At the hide more egrets and Little Grebe and Black-headed Gull.

Backtracking then heading up the Cami d'Enmig to the observation tower allowed a bit of shade from the sun along the tree-lined path. Further butterflies of species seen before and more Blue-tailed Damselflies with a Darter species just out of reach for full id.

At the observation tower it gave good views over the site, Serin were in a nearby tree and a Squacco Heron flew close along the dyke in front and in the dyke facing the hills some Gadwall. Over the marsh flying Cattle Egret, Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron and two Eleonora's Falcons.
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Old Saturday 21st June 2014, 10:04   #12
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S'Albufera - cont.
Back at the main canal bridge better views of the Red-Knobbed Coot and managed to get a digiscoped photo. At the centre in the gardens a female Black-tailed Skimmer. Re-visited Sa Roca trail this time going to the viewing platform and then Es Ras hide with Yellow Wagtail and Gull-billed Tern. Back to Sa Roca hide with Grey Heron and Black-winged Stilt again.

Forgot to mention that when walking up the main entrance track noticed a Marsh Harrier dive-mobbing a large raptor sat in top of a pine. Due to distance (in a stand of pines by Es Brac along the main road) and poor early morning light difficult to say what it was but presume it the escaped Golden Eagle that been in the area.

Overall an excellent time birding in Mallorca and look forward to visiting again in the future.

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