Join Date: Dec 2012
SEVENTEEN SPRINGS- EPISODE 32- 26TH MARCH-2ND APRIL 2016
CRISTINA'S LAPTOP AND A COLLARED FLYCATCHER
As my wife's health was not so good, we definitely needed a mid-day flight, and having seen a BA plane the year before, I asked our friends at WildWings to investigate, and they found an ideal flight with BA from Heathrow, so we made our way for the first time to Terminal 5. This was much bigger than any other terminal we had flown from, but it seemed pretty efficient, and the boys had loads to look at as the planes came in and out remorselessly. The flight went well until we landed- and the pilot took a wrong turn and ended up down a dead-end taxiway outside the fire station at PMI. He managed to turn round in a very confined space, and rather sheepishly appeared in the doorway to his cockpit to see us off the plane when we eventually got to the stand. Perhaps he had never been to PMI before, as BA were a new addition to the airlines flying there. At the hotel some more upgrading of rooms had occurred, and we were back with one of our two rooms being a family one with views over the bay. That evening a familiar call meant that the Scops was back, although I couldn't see it in the big tree by the Uyal.
On the Sunday we were stuck at the hotel for most of rthe day due to my wife's ME, and I only got to La Gola, but there was a site tick there in the form of an obliging Great White Egret and in the pines nearby were a Blue Tit (at sea level) , some Siskins and two Crossbills. I used a computer at the hotel to book a car with Vanrell at Port d'Alcudia, but then someone vandalised the keyboard, so the confirmation was uncertain.
The Monday was a good day as the centre at La Gola was open, and I met the charming and helpful Cristina for the first time, and she very kindly offered me the use of her lap-top to check the car booking and type my reports on to this site (see Mallorca 2016 thread). An Osprey also posed very satisfactorily on the special Osprey post in La Gola. in the afternoon I noted the road works on the coast road, which caused the buses to be diverted, and mean some circuitous routings when we had the car- and the fact the works had no lights on them at night was not too helpful. What was helpful was the presence of a flock of Balearic Shearwaters in the Bay in the evening, and a close sighting of the Scops Owl in the hotel garden that evening.
On Tuesday our car was meant to be delivered- and after a long wait it was- a black Polo, which we tried out up the hill to the Albercutx watchpoint- but there was no sign of the Alpine Accentors recently reported. In the afternoon another new piece of birding infrastructure was available- the new tower at Albufereta- which was certainly impressive and allowed more of the area to be clearly observed.
Wednesday I went with one of my sons to Albufera via Maristany (Tufted Duck) but found the water levels low, and only Marbled Teal, Curlew and Water Pipit out of the ordinary. Having a car for more than 3 days was a great improvement, as i could pop out to the Boquer, PSW or Can Cuarassa and only take 5 minutes to get there. On Thursday we stayed local in increasing heat and humidity, but I was able to show the Scops to a small group in the evening, as the winds grew stormy. Bearing in mind the havoc caused on balconies by storms in other years we took everything in off the balcony that night, and were glad that we had, as by the morning sunbeds and chairs were again in the pool, and it was pouring with rain with a strong NE wind.
A stormy day is not ideal for a trip into the mountains, and as it poured with rain we went via Caimari up to Lluc, but as it was still pouring with rain we ate our rolls in the car, and retired to the hotel. However, the rain eased somewhat, so i went down to Maristany again, where loads of Hirundines were feeding low over the water, and, as hoped, among them was a Red-rumped Swallow, showing really well and close in as I scoped from the car window.
By Saturday morning the weather was back to bright warm sunshine, so we set off for Raixa, having checked that it was definitely open this time. We went via Palmanyola- a great name for a new settlement halfway between Palma and Bunyola! The house was very interesting with nice gardens and grounds, but my wife's keenness to stay resulted in us getting locked in after closing time and having to be released by a none-too-happy security guard. At least there was the interesting sound of s Scops Owl calling in the daytime. Delivering the family back to the hotel, I drove to the pine avenue below the Boquer, stepped out of the car and immediately saw a Collared Flycatcher. I got out my camera to try to get a photo but it would not co-operate. I rushed back to La Gola to report it to Cristina, who had also had Ilya McLean, another contributor to this site, say that he too had seen the bird in the same area. Interestingly the only other Collared Flycatcher i have seen on the island was nearby in 2002 after a similar storm with NE winds. The Scops brought a great day to a great end by showing really well in the evening...........