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Mallorca query

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Old Thursday 3rd April 2014, 22:18   #1
GiG
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Mallorca query

Hi,
I'm likely to be visiting on a family holiday in a couple of months staying in Puerto Pollensa. I'll only have one day out, at S'Albufera and a couple of early morning walks to the Boquer Valley. I have a couple of questions please, firstly for these sites will a scope be needed? Secondly, I have a general interest in wildlife so would be interested in details for plants, reptiles, mammals to be found at these places or maybe nearby that would be accessible (not by car).

Many thanks,
Gi
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Old Friday 4th April 2014, 07:44   #2
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A scope would not be essential at S'Albufera as you should get plenty of birds close up from the hides but it might not be any harm to have it around the Boquer valley. S'Albufera won't disappoint and there is a regular bus service from the marina in Puerto Pollensa that stops outside the front gate.

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Hi,
I'm likely to be visiting on a family holiday in a couple of months staying in Puerto Pollensa. I'll only have one day out, at S'Albufera and a couple of early morning walks to the Boquer Valley. I have a couple of questions please, firstly for these sites will a scope be needed? Secondly, I have a general interest in wildlife so would be interested in details for plants, reptiles, mammals to be found at these places or maybe nearby that would be accessible (not by car).

Many thanks,
Gi
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Old Friday 4th April 2014, 17:15   #3
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A scope would not be essential at S'Albufera as you should get plenty of birds close up from the hides but it might not be any harm to have it around the Boquer valley. S'Albufera won't disappoint and there is a regular bus service from the marina in Puerto Pollensa that stops outside the front gate.

regards
Sean
Thanks Sean.

Gi
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Old Friday 4th April 2014, 19:42   #4
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This website might be of use to you http://www.birdinginspain.com/birding-in-mallorca.html
I'd also recommend the Dave Gosney guide to Finding Birds in Mallorca, which has detailed maps of the s'Albufera aswell as the Puerto Pollenca, the Boquer Valley & the Albufereta, which is an area of wetland between PP & Alcudia.
As for access, there is a regular bus service that runs from Puerto Pollensa via Alcudia, Playa de Muro (s'Albufera) & C'an Picafort, but be warned, its only a single decker, & can be quite full in both directions, so don't leave it until the last bus back to Pollensa, as you may not get on, & its a loooong walk back to Pollensa.
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Old Saturday 5th April 2014, 08:52   #5
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The area called La Gola, which is in Puerto Pollensa on the seafront heading east from the pedestrianised centre is always worth a look, especially early morning.

I would recommend the new "A birding tourist´s guide to Majorca ( see http://www.birdingmajorca.com), or the new "Mallorca Birding map". Both of these are available for sale in the reception office at s´Albufera. They should also have copies of "Plants of paths, marsh and meadows". This was compiled originally for s´Albufera but it is useful anywhere - but it depends exactly when you will be here as much will have ´gone over´as things tend to flower early. That said, the season is some weeks behind what it should be so you may be OK. I´ve never been here later than late June.

There´s not much in the way of mammals that would be easy to see. Pine Marten occurs but I´ve been a regular here and have never seen one. Others have been more lucky. With reptiles it will mainly be two species of gecko, you might be lucky to see a snake or two at s´Albufera (usually Viperine snake) and there are frogs, mainly marsh frogs of a couple of species (can´t recall exactly). You are bound to see terrapins at s´Albufera but these will most likely be the introduced American Red-eared slider (they seem to have ousted the European pond terrapin).

No doubt others will reply with additional information.

Have a great time.

Martin

ps I´ve just returned from a quick visit to some of the hides at s´Albufera and on the way I had a brief sighting of a mustelid. My first reaction was that it was a stoat as it had a black tail, but it wasn´t very long and, according to all the information, only weasel occurs on the Island, so it must have been a weasel.

Last edited by honeym : Saturday 5th April 2014 at 10:10.
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Old Sunday 6th April 2014, 20:03   #6
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The area called La Gola, which is in Puerto Pollensa on the seafront heading east from the pedestrianised centre is always worth a look, especially early morning.

I would recommend the new "A birding tourist´s guide to Majorca ( see http://www.birdingmajorca.com), or the new "Mallorca Birding map". Both of these are available for sale in the reception office at s´Albufera. They should also have copies of "Plants of paths, marsh and meadows". This was compiled originally for s´Albufera but it is useful anywhere - but it depends exactly when you will be here as much will have ´gone over´as things tend to flower early. That said, the season is some weeks behind what it should be so you may be OK. I´ve never been here later than late June.

There´s not much in the way of mammals that would be easy to see. Pine Marten occurs but I´ve been a regular here and have never seen one. Others have been more lucky. With reptiles it will mainly be two species of gecko, you might be lucky to see a snake or two at s´Albufera (usually Viperine snake) and there are frogs, mainly marsh frogs of a couple of species (can´t recall exactly). You are bound to see terrapins at s´Albufera but these will most likely be the introduced American Red-eared slider (they seem to have ousted the European pond terrapin).

No doubt others will reply with additional information.

Have a great time.

Martin

ps I´ve just returned from a quick visit to some of the hides at s´Albufera and on the way I had a brief sighting of a mustelid. My first reaction was that it was a stoat as it had a black tail, but it wasn´t very long and, according to all the information, only weasel occurs on the Island, so it must have been a weasel.
Pine martins and genets are possible although I've only ever seen road kills. There are two species of tortoise - I've seen one. Hares are not uncommon in the right areas in the north. Although not essential take a telescope to Albufera - plenty of places where it will really help, particularly outside the hides
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Old Sunday 6th April 2014, 21:51   #7
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Thanks to everyone for their help. I'd realised hadn't mentioned insects in my original list!

Cheers,
Gi
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Old Monday 7th April 2014, 09:15   #8
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Hi

There are insects a plenty.
Butterfly species are quite poor in terms of numbers of species but there are some nice ones (Swallowtail, Cardinal, Cleopatra, Two-tailed Pasha, etc.).
Moths (my own subject) are very diverse but there´s still not a lot known about them. Hawk-moths always seem to be popular and there are a number of species (Southern Spurge, Convolvulus, Death´s-head, Elephant, Striped, Silver-striped and, of course, Humming-bird). You may see Spurge Hawk-moth mentioned but it doesn´t occur on Mallorca. The Greater Spurge is also mentioned but in 15 years of (sporadic) moth trapping I´ve never seen one, or come across a recent record of one.
Dragonflies, particularly at s´Albufera can be very numerous - or anywhere where there is standing fresh water (even irrigation tanks can be worth a look). The most recent addition to the dragonfly fauna is the Violet Dropwing - a very smart looking beast.
Other Orders are equally well provided for, especially beetles, bees and wasps, and grasshoppers. There are also mantis species.
Of course, there is a down-side, there can also be lots of mosquitoes at times.

Martin
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Old Monday 7th April 2014, 12:45   #9
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Hi

A quick visit to Es Cibollar I was well-timed as a Collared Pratincole flew in circled a few times and then landed in front of the hide. It stayed for about 20-30 minutes, drinking and preening before setting off north.
A good example of being in the right place at the right time.

LATE PM UPDATE

The Pratincole must have just flown off to hunt as it reappeared in the middle of the afternoon at Sa Roca hide and is still there as I write (19.00). I was also told of a Black-necked Grebe at the Depuradora, but hard to see.

Martin

ps just transferring this to the Mallorca 2014 thread

Last edited by honeym : Monday 7th April 2014 at 17:32.
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Old Monday 7th April 2014, 14:17   #10
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Hi

A quick visit to Es Cibollar I was well-timed as a Collared Pratincole flew in circled a few times and then landed in front of the hide. It stayed for about 20-30 minutes, drinking and preening before setting off north.
A good example of being in the right place at the right time.

Martin
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Old Monday 7th April 2014, 22:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeym View Post
Hi

There are insects a plenty.
Butterfly species are quite poor in terms of numbers of species but there are some nice ones (Swallowtail, Cardinal, Cleopatra, Two-tailed Pasha, etc.).
Moths (my own subject) are very diverse but there´s still not a lot known about them. Hawk-moths always seem to be popular and there are a number of species (Southern Spurge, Convolvulus, Death´s-head, Elephant, Striped, Silver-striped and, of course, Humming-bird). You may see Spurge Hawk-moth mentioned but it doesn´t occur on Mallorca. The Greater Spurge is also mentioned but in 15 years of (sporadic) moth trapping I´ve never seen one, or come across a recent record of one.
Dragonflies, particularly at s´Albufera can be very numerous - or anywhere where there is standing fresh water (even irrigation tanks can be worth a look). The most recent addition to the dragonfly fauna is the Violet Dropwing - a very smart looking beast.
Other Orders are equally well provided for, especially beetles, bees and wasps, and grasshoppers. There are also mantis species.
Of course, there is a down-side, there can also be lots of mosquitoes at times.

Martin
Thanks Martin, that's excellent. Just had a look at images of Violet Dropwing, very nice indeed.

Cheers,
Gi
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Old Saturday 12th April 2014, 16:38   #12
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The Violet dropwing does indeed look splendid and I would love to see one. Are they very rare and what is the best time of the year to see one Martin? Many thanks, Mike
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Old Sunday 13th April 2014, 09:04   #13
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Hi Mike

Violet Dropwing – Trithemis annulata (Palisot de Beauvois, 1807)

From a quick look at available literature it seems to be an African species that expanded in Europe in the 1980s and 90s. The first record from mainland Spain was published in 1981 and it was recorded from the Maltese Islands as breeding in 2008.

August/September seem to be the best months for seeing it, gleaned from postings and photos on the GOB Forum (Fauna) by searching for “Trithemis”, but Askew in The Dragonflies of Europe states that adults have been seen from April to November.

I´ve seen males perched on vegetation just outside the Es Ras hide in s´Albufera in September.

Best wishes

Martin
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Old Sunday 13th April 2014, 12:56   #14
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Thanks Martin, I will keep my eyes peeled for one of those, they are stunning looking so I hope I get to see one. Not sure when you are going back but I hope to see you before you leave. Mike
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Old Sunday 13th April 2014, 18:34   #15
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Hi Mike

I leave on Tuesday so I guess it will be another time. There´s just a slim chance that I´ll be back for a week (or two if I can manage it) at the end of May, as it looks as if there will be a TAIB course.

All the best

Martin
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Old Monday 14th April 2014, 22:44   #16
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Hi Mike

Violet Dropwing – Trithemis annulata (Palisot de Beauvois, 1807)

From a quick look at available literature it seems to be an African species that expanded in Europe in the 1980s and 90s. The first record from mainland Spain was published in 1981 and it was recorded from the Maltese Islands as breeding in 2008.

August/September seem to be the best months for seeing it, gleaned from postings and photos on the GOB Forum (Fauna) by searching for “Trithemis”, but Askew in The Dragonflies of Europe states that adults have been seen from April to November.

I´ve seen males perched on vegetation just outside the Es Ras hide in s´Albufera in September.

Best wishes

Martin
Useful info thanks, hopefully I'll get to one as I'll be visiting in about a couple of months.

Gi
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Old Friday 25th April 2014, 09:08   #17
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Out of interest when u heading off there as I'm on a family holiday in June and hope to nip of for birding ?
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Old Sunday 18th May 2014, 10:19   #18
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Looking at the s'Abulfera map can the Son Bosc viewing area be accessed from the Cami de ses Puntes track as there looks like a bridge across?

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Gi
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Old Sunday 18th May 2014, 10:40   #19
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From memory of last year the gate is locked & access this way not possible.
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Old Sunday 18th May 2014, 10:49   #20
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Looking at the s'Abulfera map can the Son Bosc viewing area be accessed from the Cami de ses Puntes track as there looks like a bridge across?

Cheers,
Gi
Yes it can, the gate is locked, so you need to climb around the side of the wall.
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Old Sunday 18th May 2014, 16:05   #21
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Do not fall off. The water below looks deep, and filthy.
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Old Sunday 18th May 2014, 20:34   #22
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access this way not possible.
Perhaps I should have said not easy or recommended - presumably the barrier is there for a reason!
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Old Monday 19th May 2014, 18:37   #23
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Hi

Yes, the barrier is there for a reason - the Parc does not want open access from that track. It´s annoying, I know, but please respect local rules. It used to be open but was abused by large cycling groups and joggers, neither of which are allowed in the Parc.

This is especially true of the Son Bosc area. It is surrounded by a fence for a reason. The area is still under threat from development as a golf course and if birdwatchers are found in there it will not help the legal battle to keep the area as it is (one of the highest biodiversity hot spots in Mallorca). I have already spoken to one birder who was proudly telling people that access was possible.

There are huge areas where birding is possible but if a few create problems, it is everyone, including the local birders, who suffer in the long term.

Martin
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Old Monday 19th May 2014, 22:13   #24
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Thanks all for the info and to Martin for clarifying the situation.

Gi
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