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Mallorca 2012

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Old Sunday 1st January 2012, 08:30   #1
Mike Montier
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Mallorca 2012

What a way to start the New Year, a new bird, Italian sparrow near Villafranca. Also Reed bunting, Hoopoe, Fan-tailed warbler, Sardinian warbler and Booted eagle. Let's hope 2012 continues to provide many new and exciting birds. Good birding to you all. Michael
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Old Monday 2nd January 2012, 16:55   #2
Peter Challinor
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Suggested I contact you about possible Greater Yellowlegs I saw at Salinas de Levante on Dec 3rd. Thought it was greenshank when wading but when it came out of water, had very bright yellow legs. Sadly flew before could study at length. V brief glimpse in flight suggested only rump white but only fleeting view. Has there been any sighting of this species recently and is this enough to say it was this bird? Am BTO wader ringer but don`t know GYL. Best wishes, Pete
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Old Monday 2nd January 2012, 19:08   #3
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Originally Posted by Peter Challinor View Post
Suggested I contact you about possible Greater Yellowlegs I saw at Salinas de Levante on Dec 3rd. Thought it was greenshank when wading but when it came out of water, had very bright yellow legs. Sadly flew before could study at length. V brief glimpse in flight suggested only rump white but only fleeting view. Has there been any sighting of this species recently and is this enough to say it was this bird? Am BTO wader ringer but don`t know GYL. Best wishes, Pete
Hi Peter. A Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) was present at the Albufera Reserve in Alcudia on the 26th of April, so your sighting of one is quite possible.
Here's the link in the local bird forum (in Catalan, sorry) with some pics:

http://gobmallorca.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2899

Hope this helps

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Steve
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Old Sunday 8th January 2012, 10:24   #4
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A couple of hours at Palma port yesterday in the hopes of seeing rare gulls. It is possible to see Great black-back and Lesser black-back but no luck. I saw several Sandwich terns and a Great-crested grebe, many Chiff-chaffs, Yellow-legged gulls, Little egret and Grey wagtail. The weather remains calm and warm so not much hope of storm driven rares just yet.
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Old Sunday 8th January 2012, 10:30   #5
Mike Montier
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Thanks for reporting the Yellowlegs Peter. As Steve says, there was a Lesser yellowlegs on Mallorca last year which I was lucky enough to see so it is possible that it was the same bird. Salobrar is an excellent location for waders so anything can turn up and Greater yellowlegs could never be excluded. Shame you did not get a detailed description, it would have been a great record. I would be very interested to hear what you saw on your trip so if you have posted elsewhere please let me know. Good birding for 2012. Mike
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 07:36   #6
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Three different people have seen what they claim is a Moussier's redstart at SaComa on the East coast. I have been back three times but cannot re-locate the bird. They are not experienced birders but all said it was very distinctive with a brilliant white supercillium and large white wing panel and orange breast. They all picked it out in the field guide. I cannot think of anything else it could be except eastern Redstart. As I was nearby at the time I am rather miffed. I will keep trying and post, it surely could not have been on migration and should therefore still be in the area. Mike
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 10:39   #7
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Originally Posted by Mike Montier View Post
Three different people have seen what they claim is a Moussier's redstart at SaComa on the East coast. I have been back three times but cannot re-locate the bird. They are not experienced birders but all said it was very distinctive with a brilliant white supercillium and large white wing panel and orange breast. They all picked it out in the field guide. I cannot think of anything else it could be except eastern Redstart. As I was nearby at the time I am rather miffed. I will keep trying and post, it surely could not have been on migration and should therefore still be in the area. Mike
Hi Mike,

This is news! Exactly where was it seen and by who? As you probably know a bird was ringed a while back in Cabrera, first for Balearics (and Spain?) if I remember correctly...
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 11:32   #8
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Mike - maybe this will help? 2 winters ago we had a wintering ad male Moussier's Redstart near Sagres, Portugal - it stayed for about 7 weeks - from late Nov- late Jan (or later?). Anyway, I visited this gem a number of times (my patch!). It held a very small feeding territory - like maybe some 100mx100m. It would chase off Black Redstarts, Robins and Stonechats and was very faithful to the area. Often, it would take half an hour or more to show - sometimes resting hidden or feeding on the ground between bushes. Once in a while it would perch up high on view but was often quite frustrating - a couple of visits I thought it had gone - but no it was there next time! Maybe, if you know exactly where it was seen a 2-3 hour stake-out might be fruitful?

Cracking bird - I had seen lots in Morocco but the bird in Portugal (a first for the country) was extra special - good luck!

PS: Its habitat was mixed metre high evergreen bushes (Juniper, Pistachia etc) - fairly dense but with rocky soil between.

Last edited by Simon Wates : Saturday 14th January 2012 at 11:35. Reason: Habitat
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 18:10   #9
Mike Montier
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That is really helpful Simon, thank you. It is certainly worth another visit or two. Out of the four people who claim to have seen it only one was a birder but when I showed them the field guide, they all (independently) picked it out. They do not usually notice birds but they said that this one was so striking that they could not fail to notice it. It was hopping around the rocks, which I think is typical behaviour and the habitat is perfect. I just hope they are right and it is genuine, not a good position to be in when some people travel a long way to see it and then it turns out to be something else, but it does sound quite good on the information I have at present. This is why I wanted to see it myself before putting the news out. Such a responsibility! Still, the more people looking, the better I suppose. Steve, it was on the rocks around the monument at the point. There is a café and then a path which goes to the monument and coast. I am going to go again in the morning as I want to see it for myself. If others want to go fine, but it just may turn out to be something else. I bloody hope not though. Mike
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 18:22   #10
Mike Montier
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Steve. I am going early tomorrow. As I said, all four identified it from the field guide, but all at different times that evening (I went to see them all!!) and they all picked it out. They all described it as "hopping around the rocks with a large and bold white eye stripe and with a white panel on the wings and orange breast" I went through every other bird I could think of and they all stuck to their identification. Only one is a birder though. What else could it have been??
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 18:55   #11
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Steve. I am going early tomorrow. As I said, all four identified it from the field guide, but all at different times that evening (I went to see them all!!) and they all picked it out. They all described it as "hopping around the rocks with a large and bold white eye stripe and with a white panel on the wings and orange breast" I went through every other bird I could think of and they all stuck to their identification. Only one is a birder though. What else could it have been??
Many thanks for the info Mike. I agree with you that this species is just about unmistakable, especially with the description you've been given.
Some of us are heading over tomorrow morning as well to have a search, so it won't be for the lack of effort!
Good luck!!
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 20:40   #12
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Hi All

In case it's of interest, here's a report (with pics) of the Cabrera bird (3rd for Spain):
http://www.rarebirdspain.net/arbsr810.htm

Good luck tomorrow

Martin
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Old Saturday 14th January 2012, 20:45   #13
Mike Montier
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Thanks Martin. I am rather nervous as we may not see it or it may turn out to be something else, you know what non-birders can be like. But if it is one and we see it, it will be quite a celebration!
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 11:20   #14
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Hurrah!!!!
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 11:43   #15
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Congrats!!! 3rd for the Balearics afaik.

Eduardo Amengual
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 11:55   #16
Mike Montier
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That was emotional. After looking for over three hours we went for coffee and there it was! What a stunner and mega. I felt so responsible for all the guys who had travelled so far to see it but it was all worth it in the end. It is a fabulous bird to see and has been there for several weeks so there is a good chance it will stay for a while longer. I will try to upload a photo. Thanks everyone for all the help and encouragement. I would have given up on my own. Brilliant.
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 11:58   #17
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Just read the good news on the rarebirdspain twitter page & checked the website.
Try & keep it occupied until i go over there in May will you.
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 11:59   #18
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I bet your coffee got a little cold!
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 12:51   #19
Mike Montier
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We abandoned the table and left all the coffees and cakes behind. There were quite a lot of people there and they must have wondered what on earth was going on. It reminded me of Nancy's cafe many years back when we used to leave our breakfasts uneaten and unpaid for. Thanks for all the helpful comments and I will try to keep it there as long as possible! Mike
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 16:44   #20
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Hi Mike

Congrats on relocating it. I've seen the photos by Maties here (http://www.gobmallorca.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3229). As you say, what a stunner!

Martin
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 16:57   #21
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Mike - interesting that the bird is on Juniperus phoenacea and on limestone - just like our bird in Portugal (2007-8) and an adult male too!
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Old Sunday 15th January 2012, 19:41   #22
Mike Montier
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Simon, you were a great help and gave me the confidence to go on looking. Thanks.
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Old Monday 16th January 2012, 08:49   #23
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Big congrats Mike, glad it paid off in the end.
I got there at midday and there it was!! Wow, a text book male. Having said that though, if a female were to turn up one day I think there are very few birders who would be able to separate if from a female of other redstart species..

I see the bird has a routine, so it has probably been there a while. Amazingly tame. Even I managed to get a few terrible pics with my compact camera.
Click image for larger version

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Lets hope that this bird is a premonition of the year to come

Last edited by ESTEBANNIC : Monday 16th January 2012 at 08:52.
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Old Monday 16th January 2012, 19:49   #24
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I hope so Steve, thanks. Two new birds in January so far is quite good! The bird is still present today and has been extensively videoed and photographed. Interestingly, where we were all looking originally early on Sunday morning ie further out towards the point, was the right place and where it had been first seen. It now seems to be always around the cafe area. I think the one in Portugal left in February so this one may well follow the same pattern. Mike
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Old Tuesday 17th January 2012, 11:50   #25
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Hi,

I'm visiting the Island for my first birding trip at the beginning of May, can anyone recommend any web resources I can use to research/plan the trip in terms of best sites to visit?

Regards,

Neil
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