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Mallorca 2020

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Old Thursday 21st May 2020, 13:32   #526
Mike Montier
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On my now daily walk round the salt pans, I noticed nest building and courtship behavior by a few of the 120 Greater Flamingoes present.
The same thing happened last year but without success.
You never know though.
Also, two Glossy ibis, huge amounts of Shelduck, Avocet and Black-winged stilts with so many young in evidence. Without counting, I would say it’s been a very successful breeding season.
A Honey Buzzard flew through and this insect was on the path, is it some kind of mole-cricket?
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Old Thursday 21st May 2020, 13:35   #527
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Looks like nest-building.
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Old Thursday 21st May 2020, 19:55   #528
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Many thanks Martin
That’s exactly what I have been after for some time now.
I couldn’t find a full list anywhere.
Excellent and for the record, I have recently seen Pine marten in Mondragó but I have never seen Genetta.
Mike
Thanks Mike.

The first place I saw Genet was on Cabrera, on the 'football pitch' - in the headlights of the vehicle we were in on the way to checking the moth traps.

The next was on the jetty while we were waiting for the boat to take us back to Mallorca. It had been trapped and was going off for a health check and then to be released (not sure if was on Mallorca or the mainland).
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Old Thursday 21st May 2020, 19:59   #529
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and this insect was on the path, is it some kind of mole-cricket?
Yes, it's a mole cricket (I'm pretty sure it is Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa), the European mole cricket.

Martin
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Old Thursday 21st May 2020, 20:54   #530
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Thanks Martin.
Just a note for anyone visiting the salt pans at the weekend, a micro-light aircraft flies over regularly now, no doubt looking for anyone lying on the beach or Birdwatching, both of which are prohibited until Monday.
When I saw it I was right in the middle of the Marsh. I looked around for somewhere to hide but there was nowhere!
The micro-light buzzed past reminding me of a scene from “The Prisoner”, for anyone old enough to remember that.
We should be ok as from Monday, Mike
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 15:16   #531
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Nine Honey Buzzard through the north today and one Black Kite.
Thanks to Juanjo.
The weather has now settled so migration has slowed but there are still good birds around.
I’m looking forward to going to my local lighthouse from Monday. Watching seabirds from my balcony has been tiresome, they are just so far away.
Hopefully I will catch sight of a Storm petrel or two but they are difficult.
I have an offer of an evening trip out on a friend’s boat but when I explained what “chumming” was, he didn’t seem too keen.
Don’t understand it personally, can’t beat a bit of stinky old rotting fish to calm the stomach.
We will see.
Mike
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 17:26   #532
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Yesterday in s'Albufera a very late Short-eared Owl. Today a Slender-billed Gull.
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 18:58   #533
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What a cracker Maties, a scarce species in Mallorca.
Birding can be very annoying at times.
I have been to Salobrar every day for a week, except today, as I fancied a Slender-billed gull on the first lagoon where I have seen them before.
Today, not one, but a record 22 dropped into that very lagoon.
Found and photographed by Jason, I hope he posts the photo.
Well done to him though,
Mike
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 21:02   #534
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What a fantastic photo Maties! And an amazing record Mike. I still haven’t seen a Honey Buzzard this spring, hopefully that will change tomorrow.

The Red-rumped Swallows are still around, I’ve seen them every evening in the same place for more than a week now. It will be fun trying to work out where they’re breeding.

Other than that, it has become a lot quieter here, though I did have two Eleonora’s Falcons and a Bee-eater over the garden today so I can’t complain too much
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 22:26   #535
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Evening folks.

A quick few lines before I go to bed. Myself and Elisa gave Salobrar de Campos a once over this evening, and from the Es Trenc road we picked up a group of 24 small gulls circling the distant pans, high and into the sun. All appearing to be adults, and none with black heads, they were looking a lot like Slender-billed Gulls, but we kept an eye on them to see if they dropped in anywhere; 24 is a rather exceptional number! Which they did, onto the first pan as you walk into the site from Fontsanta Hotel. 'Only' 22 were on the water here, but the light was superb on them. Photos below.

Mike, any idea what previous high counts are for this species? They usually only occur in low singles, but I don't know what historic numbers are.

Also of particular note on the pans were a nice party of 20-odd Ringed Plover, a single summer plumaged Knot with 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Turnstones, 2 Greenshank and 4 Ruff, plus my first fledged iberiae Yellow Wagtail and fledged Swallows.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 06:36   #536
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Hi Jason
Congratulations, that must be the highest total ever as I can find no records over ones and twos. It’s certainly an extraordinary sighting.
As I said, I have been watching that very lagoon every day recently hoping for a Slender-billed gull.
I’m not sure how I would have reacted if I’d found them, probably rubbed my eyes, thought I was imagining things and walked away!
Maybe somebody else has historical records but I would say it’s an all time record.
I will pop along there now to see if any have lingered.
Well done for the Knot, I think it was there the day before but without a scope, it was very distant so I wasn’t sure.
All the best, Mike
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 13:14   #537
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Not very significant but The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula states "They are also rarely recorded in the Balearics although one or two are seen there on passage in some years".
Martin

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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 16:40   #538
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Needless to say, all the Slender-billed gulls had gone by the time I got there this morning.
A bit disgruntled, I thought I would look in at the salt pans of Colònia de Sant Jordi on the way home.
I’m glad I did, there to greet me was a spanking White-winged tern. What a sublime bird as it performed right in front of me.
I still only managed rubbish photos but I just stood there mesmerized by its beauty, so elegant as it picked mosquitos from the surface of the water.
Sometimes the luck just changes.
Good numbers of Honey Buzzard through the Albercutx tower today.
Mike
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 16:43   #539
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I only had a small camera sadly.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 22:41   #540
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SEVENTEEN SPRINGS- EPISODE 31- 5TH-11TH APRIL 2015
I DON'T LIKE THE M1!!
On Sunday we got to the church now being held in the rented shop, and then went off west in the car in an attempt to visit Raixa- another old manor house- but it was closed and so we went back to our old favourite Alfabia which was as beautiful as ever although no birdlife out of the ordinary. I had to return the car so I went to Port d'Alcudia via Can Cuarassa and then Maristany, where a cracking male Little Bittern gave an excellent fly-past. On Monday at the Boquer it was the turn of the Balearic Warblers to be uncooperative- and this holiday I had no sightings. At least a pair of Cirl Buntings and some Crag Martins were showing well. Tuesday was family duty dat with nothing to report of note, and then a trip to Albufera on the Wednesday by bus on a windy day allowed views of the Crested Coots with young, and Ruff and a Water Pipit were nice to see.
On Thursday a hotel tick in the morning as a pair of Griffon Vultures flew slowly past, but not much else was notable, whilst on the Friday our last outing was to Son Real via the bus to Can Picafort, and the Thekla Larks showed well, but no Tawny pipit could be found.
Going home on the Saturday saw us have a meal at the locals' cafe with its great Menu del Dia, and then via a delayed flight and very slow passport checks at LGW but eventually connected with our taxi driver who a) lost his taxi "all the floors in the car park look the same to me" and b) refused to drive up the M1 to Northampton "because it's always crowded" (but not in my experience late on a Saturday evening. He even refused to drive one junction south between 15A and 15 to get from the A43 to the A45,and went through country lanes instead, adding even more time to the journey. Landed LGW 1815- Home in Northampton 2145!
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Old Yesterday, 12:00   #541
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For those interested, I spoke to Carles (Lopez-Jurado) about the Slender-billed Gull sighting, and he kindly provided some historical context. The below information is maintained by him as a reference to use for the AOB (the annual Balearic Islands Bird Report), but he kindly gave me permission to share here.

Chroicocephalus genei (abans Larus genei). Gavina de bec prim. Gaviota picofina (ES)

Estatus: hivernant rar (MA-EI-FO). Migrant escàs (MA) i rar (ME-EI-FO).

Selecció: tots els registres rebuts. Dos tipus de poblacion, la mas abundante es estival, pasa el invierno en la costa atàntica Africa y llega en marzo aprox.. La otra es sedentària en la península, es mas escasa y va en aumento. Records: 16 ex. badia Pollença IV-1993. 11 ex. s’Albufera IV-1988. 5 ex. estany Pudent IV-2014. 7 ex. Salobrar IX-2006. 4 ex. ses Salines EI IV-2005. Cria delta Ebre (25-40 colles/1987, Camargue, Sardenya (centenars).

So an island record, but there have previously been two other double-figure records.
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Old Yesterday, 13:52   #542
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Thanks Jason, I couldn’t find that information but it’s very interesting.
As you say, there have been double-figure records before but you have topped them all! What a sight they must have been.
I believe the White-winged tern was still present this morning.
I ventured to the tower at Albercutx.
Eleven Honey Buzzard went through, many of them at eye-level.
A very close encounter with an immature Black vulture was memorable.
All six of us had a great morning where the views across Pollença and Alcudia bays were as fabulous as ever, it really is a spectacular place to watch birds.
Mike
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Old Yesterday, 18:59   #543
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One of the eleven Honey buzzards from today.
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Old Yesterday, 19:02   #544
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And the Black vulture
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Old Yesterday, 22:39   #545
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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...........
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Old Today, 11:11   #546
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What a fantastic pair of finds Jason and Mike!

If the White-winged Tern is still there I'd be quite keen to go and see it but I didn't see any reports yesterday or this morning sadly.

I had a fantastic morning at Albercuix on Saturday, it was great to meet everyone and to (finally!) see some Mallorcan Honey Buzzards! I've spent so long searching for them in an empty sky here in Es Capdella

There are still some nice birds around here, with the Red-rumped Swallows showing every day (except this morning) and Alpine Swifts around on most days. It would be fascinating to know where these are breeding. A Black Kite showed nicely yesterday over the same field as the swallows frequent and, even better, there were 12 Eleonora's Falcons there this morning! I wonder what I missed there earlier in the spring...
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Old Today, 18:45   #547
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A fantastic morning at the tower. I don’t know the full figures but I know one group of 43 Honey Buzzard went through slowly, all together. Now why couldn’t that have happened yesterday?
I have seen a video and it’s very impressive.
Thanks again to the Mallorca Raptor Count and Juanjo in particular.
I’m off to the salt pans in the morning and I won’t have to hide in the undergrowth when the police helicopter comes by. That will be a relief, I have been on edge most days, not really understanding what we could and couldn’t do. I don’t like breaking the rules.
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Old Today, 20:42   #548
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I totally agree Mike! I finally felt able to explore El Torro/Santa Ponca to try and find a spot from which to view the lakes of Santa Ponca Golf Club, which have an amazing collection of sightings on eBird. Sadly I found it very difficult to get much a view, but still (rather tantalisingly!) had some nice waterbird sightings, including two spectacular Squacco Herons, one of which had seemingly befriend a Stone Curlews. Lots of other birds too, with an abundance of Stone Curlews, two Common Pheasants and a Corn Bunting. The highlight for me, however, was getting an overdue Mallorca tick in the form of a Northern Wheatear, distantly feeding on the green. Also two Mediterranean Tortoises, one of which I found less than two metres from my feet while watching a Pheasant!

Does anyone know if Santa Ponca golf club is in any way accessible without being a member? I'd love to explore it more, there's clearly a fantastic diversity of species there but it's really difficult to view from outside!

Cheers
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Old Today, 21:00   #549
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Hi Gregor
My friend Phil from Santa Ponça goes regularly to the Golf II. And he says there is no way to view from inside the boundary. I have always set my scope up in front of the low wall near the entrance with views of the lake. I have seen lots of great species there but mostly distant.
I know Pep has been there before so if he knows any other way to view the birds, I’m sure he will post.
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Old Today, 23:23   #550
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Hi Gregor
My friend Phil from Santa Ponça goes regularly to the Golf II. And he says there is no way to view from inside the boundary. I have always set my scope up in front of the low wall near the entrance with views of the lake. I have seen lots of great species there but mostly distant.
I know Pep has been there before so if he knows any other way to view the birds, I’m sure he will post.
Mike
Thanks Mike, I’ll try by the entrance next time! I started at Merendero but visibility was really poor from there. It’s a shame that there’s no way to view from inside because some fantastic things must turn up there. But it’s really exciting to know I can find some good wetland birds so close to home!
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