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Mallorca 2020

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Old Monday 1st June 2020, 21:58   #576
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What a shame that the Pacific Golden Plover hasn’t reappeared, though I’ve been lucky to thousands of them in Australia, I’m yet to see one in their magnificent breeding plumage.

In Australia and New Zealand I’ve seen them almost exclusively at the beach, rather in contrast to the European species which seems to prefer grasslands, so if it is still here I suspect coastal wader flocks would be the best place to look.

A quiet day here, but 3 Black Kites (rather unexpectedly heading south) were a pleasant surprise. I have had multiple sightings since the enormous flock came through, so I do wonder if some of the birds may be stragglers from that group that have decided to stay in the area a little longer.
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Old Tuesday 2nd June 2020, 05:51   #577
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Following a sighting of a Pacific Golden Plover in flight at Salobrar de Campos, I went in search of said bird.
Starting at the salt pans at Colonia Sant Jordi, I followed the coastal path, taking in all the rocky outcrops along the way.
No joy there so off to Sa Barrala where I scanned all the fields including the polo pitch.
Then I finished the search at a Salobrar de Campos going down the Centre path towards Sa Barrala and the road to Es trenc beach as well. Not there sadly, what a terrific bird it looked. Iíve never seen one anywhere so it would be good to catch up with it.
Mike
This is the photo of the Pacific GP from the Rare Birds in Spain Twitter feed (sorry, canít credit the photographer as no name given).

Stew
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Old Tuesday 2nd June 2020, 15:22   #578
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A fairly quiet day around s’Albufera and Albufereta today, I wish I’d gone to Albercuix instead! The highlight at Albufereta was a Honey Buzzard low over the marsh (rather in contrast to the 325 at Albercuix ), along with some Eleonora’s Falcons and a great view of a Black-crowned Night Heron. Next was s’Albufera, where the hides and many of the paths are still closed, but it was amazing to see how birds have totally taken over the reserve in the absence of human visitors, there were nesting birds everywhere! Nothing particularly exciting seen, but plenty of Glossy Ibises were around, they seem to have bred alongside the Cattle Egrets. I also saw my first Great Reed Warbler outside of Africa! Finally Depuradora, where I was hoping for a rare tern, but 10 Common Terns and a Shoveler were the highlights. What a treat Albercuix must have been for those who were there today!
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Old Tuesday 2nd June 2020, 15:24   #579
timsg80
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Originally Posted by StewB View Post
This is the photo of the Pacific GP from the Rare Birds in Spain Twitter feed (sorry, canít credit the photographer as no name given).

Stew
I believe this photo was taken by Miguel Vallespir Castello, you can see it in his ebird checklist here:

https://ebird.org/spain/checklist/S69676997
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Old Tuesday 2nd June 2020, 16:30   #580
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What a great day at the tower of Albercuix!!!

Continous pass of groups of Honey buzzards, until a total of 325 birds, but also 5 red kites, 5 black kites, 1 marsh harrier, 2 booted eagle (all these migrants).

The local highlight was the Egyptian vulture, but it was also very interesting a lot of black vultures, several griffons and the local pair of peregrine falcon with the baby doing his firsts flights.

One of the bests days ever in the last 12 years at the tower, and tomorrow maybe the spectacle goes on, we have the hope to arrive the 1000 honey's, which are numbers of a great migration station.
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Old Tuesday 2nd June 2020, 20:19   #581
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One of the best days ever Pep. It must have been a glorious sight watching big groups of Honey Buzzard moving through.
My evening seawatch was a great improvement too with 508 mixed shearwaters going south. About 35 were Scopoli’s, all the others were Balearic.
They were still coming through when I left at 21.22, Sadly no Storm Petrel. They seem very scarce this year.
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Old Wednesday 3rd June 2020, 11:02   #582
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SEVENTEEN SPRINGS- EPISODE 33-3RD-9TH APRIL 2016
SCOPS FEAST BEFORE FAMINE
Sunday started with Church followed by a lunch in the hotel garden. My wife was unwell, so I took my sons out in the car to the Arta peninsula, and they climbed the disused radio mast on the top of the hill on the road to Betlem. Sadly on the way back an ambulance crew was desperately trying to revive a driver who appeared to have had a heart attack whilst driving, just before the Son Real road entrance. In the evening the Scops were showing really well again. My wife was still not well on the Monday, so a brief visit to Albufereta was all the birding achieved, but a group of Flamingoes were a nice distraction from the tower. The owls showed well in the evening.
Tuesday saw me dash to Albufera but a brief look round only added Common Tern to the trip list. The wind was rapidly increasing but the owls were undeterred from appearing. Wednesday was very windy, and my older son was desperate for more radio masts, so we went to Randa again, but a single Thekla Lark near Montuiri was the only bird interest. Arriving back in Port de Pollensa I went on my own to PSWood, and found a very nice Wood Warbler as well as some very obliging Firecrests. On the Thursday my wife felt better so we went over the mountains to Soller- a brief stop at Gorg Blau allowed me to see a Blue Rock Thrush and a tiny snake-probably Viperine, I think. The botanical gardens at Soller were nice, but there were no birds of note. However the Scops again showed well to a good crowd in the evening. Friday was the last full day, and I got to Albufera in the morning where Snipe was the only "new" bird. In the afternoon I dropped in to Can Cuarassa on the way to take the car back, and at last connected with Spotless Starlings at the back of the Club del Sol again. In the evening I showed the owls to a group of seven birders- little did I know that it would be the last time I would see them (the owls) on the island until now (June 2020) due to the vandalism described in the next instalment. The Saturday and flight home went well and hen all i could do was to wait another year...
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Old Wednesday 3rd June 2020, 13:02   #583
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The Central Plain is a glorious place to visit, one of my favourites.
Pla de Lanzell, near Vilafranca, is usually awash with life, big open skies, grassy fields and an overall feeling of peace.
Today there were about 15 Eleonora’s falcons scything through the air, plucking insects from the sky. I could have watched them all day, such agile and graceful birds, but by midday, they had all disappeared.
Also a fine adult male Lesser Kestrel and a female Marsh harrier.
Corn buntings, Yellow wagtails, Short-toed larks and Fan-tailed warblers were everywhere and fields of poppies completed the picture.
Absolute bliss.
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Old Friday 5th June 2020, 19:54   #584
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Still a few Whiskered Tern around and a Gull-billed.
Also, a handful of Honey Buzzard around the Island. I saw one low over Alqueria Blanca yesterday but forgot to report it.
I’ve been a bit busy but definitely going to Albufera next week as I need several birds for the BigYear. I fell behind during lockdown but I’m still in with a shout.
I will be happy with 200 species at the end of the year, easy in the UK but a bit more difficult here.
I hope everyone is getting out and about now, I still haven’t got over the thrill of birding in the open again, it feels marvelous.
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Old Saturday 6th June 2020, 22:23   #585
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SEVENTEEN SPRINGS- EPISODE 34- 1ST-8TH APRIL 2017
BOOM AND BUST
Back to Heathrow again this year for our BA flight- this time it was self check-in and luggage drop (for a better and quicker experience????) which resulted in having to move bits from one case to another- you can guess which of the four of us had an overweight case- and it was none of the males! The flight was OK but a strong side wind made the landing rather interesting. For our last (until the future?) visit we again had a good room on the 6th floor, with great views over the bay. With unpacking it became too late for a walk to see if the owls were present, so I left that until morning on the Sunday- when I casually looked at the back of the Pollentia Hotel- and saw a disaster. The ventilators, one of which was the traditional nest site, had all been covered over with a piece of wood each- thus stopping any possibility of the owls breeding there. The "reliable site" was no more- and for the fortnight I was there I heard no calls or any other clues to the whereabouts of the owls. It left me feeling bereft- no longer was there the possibility of introducing any other birders to the wonderful owls- all they would see was a piece of wood instead. I found a new place to get rolls for lunch- the Pro Cycle Cafe- and kept local with just a brief visit to La Gola that day, seeing a nice Water Pipit at close range, and then 4 Common Starlings back at the hotel grounds. I went to bed with a bad headache and stomach pains- not a good start.
Monday morning I felt well enough to get on the bus to Port d'Alcudia to collect the car from Vanrell, and was given a Peugeot 208 with just 11 Km on the clock. It had no fuel so quickly to Cepsa opposite Maristany, and a quick look at the lake showed a distant duck that made me think... but I only had my bins. Back to the hotel to collect lunch and the family, and then testing the car by driving to the tower at Albercutx. Beautiful views but no evidence of migration. Then my older boy complained of stomach pains so I had to dash to the farmacia for the first of many visits that holiday...
My son had been sick all night, so not a lot of hope of trips out on Tuesday, other than a brief walk to La Gola to renew acquaintance with Santa Cristina, and a brief walk to the beach. On Wednesday after lots of domestic duties, I eventually got out on my own to Albufera, and it was great, especially for waders - 15 species at EC1, with Temminck's Stints, a Jack Snipe that eventually revealed itself, and my first evidence of Avocets breeding there, as a pair had 4 young. On the way back I popped into Maristany again, this time with my scope, and was able to confirm the odd duck as a female Common Scoter- a second Mallorca tick in one day to add to the Jack Snipe.
Thursday was also a day for a tick- we went to Albufereta for lunch on the tower, and a brilliant male Pallid Harrier flew in and was around for some time- confirmed by better photographers than me- and the local specialities were also showing well, including Stone Curlews out in the open on one of the islands.
Friday I had the lurgy and was out of action all day, but by Saturday I was well enough to get out in the afternoon to Postage Stamp Wood to connect with Wryneck and Firecrest.......
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Old Sunday 7th June 2020, 09:27   #586
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It was great to visit Cķber for the first time this morning. I had great views of Moltoni’s Warblers and Tawny Pipits (my first in Mallorca) before a fairly intense thunderstorm with lots of lighting started and I thought it was best to leave I’ll definitely be back again later in the summer as it’s such a beautiful place.

There hasn’t been much around here sadly, though Red-rumped Swallows and Alpine Swifts are both still around. I’ve made a few trips to Santa PonÁa Golf II now, and though the visibility of the lakes is really poor I’ve got a growing list of birds there. There are clearly several Squacco Herons around and I had great views of a pair of Ospreys fishing.

Hopefully there’s still time for a late spring surprise!
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Old Sunday 7th June 2020, 13:52   #587
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Hi Gregor, thanks for that. We are coming over to Specsavers in Santa PonÁa soon so I will look in at Golf II, it does get some great birds. I haven’t seen Squacco yet this year.
Seven Gull-billed terns today at Salobrar reported by Jason and just one Honey Buzzard through the tower this morning. I think the party’s over.
I will go to the lighthouse tonight in the hopes of seeing Storm Petrel, Pep saw one at Porto Colom last night at ten-to-nine. That’s about the best time for them at the moment.
Mike
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Old Sunday 7th June 2020, 20:26   #588
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Following a big storm this afternoon, I thought a seawatch would be worth ago.
The sea was quite big but I didn’t even break 100 in the two hours, just 97 mixed shearwaters went south, about 25 were Balearic, the remainder were Scopoli’s.
Another mystery bird though which I hate. I saw a bird flying powerfully to the north and into the wind, at first I thought it was a raptor with deep wingbeats, about the size of a female Peregrine, or maybe a bit bigger. It was brown with a mottled appearance and I couldn’t think of any raptor that would fit the description.
The whole time, the bird was only just above the surface, almost touching the waves.
If anyone has any suggestions, please help me out! Mystery birds keep me awake at night.
Thanks, Mike
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Old Monday 8th June 2020, 07:12   #589
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If anyone has any suggestions, please help me out! Mystery birds keep me awake at night.
Thanks, Mike
I guess you discarted one skua, it would fit the description?
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Old Monday 8th June 2020, 08:04   #590
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I think you are probably right Pep, it was a species of skua.
I go to the lighthouse most evenings at the moment so I hope it puts in another performance. I could only see the upper wing which would maybe explain why the white wing flashes were not obvious. It was the right colour with a very powerful flight so, as you say, it would fit.
I hope I get to see it again.
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Old Monday 8th June 2020, 19:41   #591
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The old birding adage that dawn and dusk are great times to be out is probably a truism.
The only problem is, the light is usually poor.
At 21.10 at the lighthouse, a bird came into view from way out at sea. I realised quickly that it was not last night’s mystery bird, but a raptor species.
As it came closer it looked very much like a Common Buzzard. It rose up from the water and came in-off just north of Cala d’Or. I couldn’t confidently rule out Honey Buzzard though.
Just shows that migrants can arrive at any time.
Maybe it will pass the tower tomorrow if anyone is there.
Just 3 Balearic and 15 Scopoli’s shearwaters seen, my lowest ever count.
Mike

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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 07:35   #592
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Very interesting what you say, Mike! I agree with you that the late afternoon is usually very interesting to watch seabirds, although it is sometimes somewhat frustrating due to the low light. I remember one year that several afternoons I observed a seabird flying north very low over the sea, in the style of a skua or something similar, that I was never able to identify due to distance and light. Finally, one afternoon another bird passed closer to the shore and I could see it better. They were ... European Nightjars!!!
The sea never ceases to amaze us, this makes it so beautiful.
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 14:34   #593
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Haha! Thanks Maties, I agree it’s very frustrating seeing birds I can’t quite identify in the low light but it’s very exciting not knowing what is coming next.
I go every night at the moment and it seems a very good time for unusual species.
There have been many surprises already this year in Mallorca.
A Caspian Tern has been seen at Albufera by Miguel I believe, still an official rarity here.
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 20:08   #594
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One thing about seawatching is that every evening seems to be different.
Tonight about 150 Scopoli’s shearwaters went south but they were so far out, just under the horizon, so they were difficult to see.
Only a dozen or so Balearics.
I couldn’t help thinking about the Nightjars seen by Maties. That’s about the last species I would expect to see but that’s the joy, you just never know what’s coming round the corner next.
Speaking of Nightjars, it seems a good year for them with healthy numbers heard churring around Mondragů and surrounding areas.
The Caspian tern was seen again today at Albufera
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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 14:23   #595
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I had a fantastic surprise at Bassa de Can Guidet this morning. I was really pleased to find an unseasonal female Pintail in among a good number of mixed waterbirds, but I could hardly believe my luck when these two Ruddy Shelducks appeared!
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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 17:20   #596
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Your shelduck look more like Cape Shelduck Tadorna cana. ?escapes or true vagrants.
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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 17:40   #597
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Your shelduck look more like Cape Shelduck Tadorna cana. ?escapes or true vagrants.
Hi James, having seen a lot of Cape Shelducks during my time living in Cape Town, I’d say they were definitely not Cape, Cape have much darker heads and necks and show some green on the wing rather than the brown colour on these birds. I haven’t seen enough Ruddy to know if these look unusual though. What features are you looking at especially?
Thanks!
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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 18:35   #598
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Hi Gregor,
I was struck by the grey head and neck with white mask (Ruddy has buff instead of grey, but the juvs are scruffier). The Capes I have seen certainly had darker heads and necks. Perhaps old age is finally catching up with me, and I should stick to nomenclature and etymology!
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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 18:53   #599
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Hi Gregor,
I was struck by the grey head and neck with white mask (Ruddy has buff instead of grey, but the juvs are scruffier). The Capes I have seen certainly had darker heads and necks. Perhaps old age is finally catching up with me, and I should stick to nomenclature and etymology!
Thanks James, I agree about the grey neck, looking online they certainly donít look like conventional adult Ruddy Shelducks. I suspect that itís most likely that these birds would be wondering first summer individuals which might explain why they look a little scruffy.

I suspect a lot of escaped within Europe might have mixed Cape and Ruddy genes which could possibly result in individuals that look like this?

I personally think these look most like first summer Ruddys, but it would be interesting to hear other opinions. Additionally, my camera is very out-of-date so I suspect the colours may have come out slightly unusually. Iíve attached another photo!
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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 20:59   #600
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Hi Gregor
Never an easy task with ducks! However we do see one or two birds arrive virtually every summer, and occasionally individuals which spend the winter. It's quite possible that some of these are wild birds from the North African breeding population, but also the issue of escapes is always present. Presence or absence of rings is obviously a big help (and at the Bassa de Can Guidet, there's always a chance of the birds showing off their legs ) but generally it's always worth submitting these to the records committee. You can find a form here http://www.rarebirdspain.net/ficha.pdf. Ill PM you where to email it to.
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