Mallorca 2020 (1 Viewer)

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Just an update on the Bigyear.
Pep is way out ahead as he deserves to be.
I find myself in second place having had a very lucky spring despite lockdown.
Holding on to that position is another matter, there are some young birders chasing my tail so I had better keep going. I have never been competitive, it’s just not the way I’m made, but I must admit I would like to be runner-up.
I have the advantage of being retired and I go out birding most days but I can no longer run up the mountains for some of the specialities like Spectacled Warbler.
It’s quite challenging as this photo shows. Mike Swiss captured me as I collapsed with exhaustion having failed to see the Black stork. (I’ve since seen it).
I have never seen a Great bittern here and I still need a few winter birds but I hope to connect with them soon.
It’s all great fun.
Mike
 

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Geordie Dave

Well-known member
Mike, with us Brits firmly back in the UK, please keep your posts coming. It’s good to keep up to date with what is being seen. Well done on breaking 200 in the Big Year and good luck in the remaining 6 weeks or so. With flights back to Mallorca becoming increasingly difficult to find it looks like my Big Year is over, stuck on 182. Having been unable to visit for half of March, all of April, May, June and August and now November and December I am more than happy with what I have been able to see. We have had some great days out! It makes the prospect of return visits next year something to really look forward to. Stay safe, here’s to 2021.
David
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Thanks David, your total is very good considering the amount of migration times you couldn’t get here.
We had some good days out together so if you can get back early new year we can head for Son Real and see Hawfinch up close.
I will keep posting my outings as I have quite a few planned. I’m off to Galatzó today and we went to Raixa last weekend.
I am going to Orient which can be very good for thrushes, a Redwing and Fieldfare would be a useful addition to the Bigyear list.
Mike
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
A warm and sunny day, perfect walking weather.
I was however, on a mission.
Yellowhammers and a Yellow-browed Warbler have recently been seen around the Finca Galatzó so that’s where I headed.
After some great instructions and help from Pep, I found their favoured field.
After two hours I had seen little except for a Blue tit and a Siskin. The field was covered in Black Redstarts, it really is a very common bird here.
I’m sure the Yellowhammers were around but they were very distant so I will just have to go back Monday. An early visit would be best, this is a very popular walk.
I also saw what I’m sure was the Yellow-browed Warbler by the refuge next to the Finca. Mike Swiss and I had lots of experience at watching one of these little gems from below. Neck ache is guaranteed as getting good views is hard. The underside was perfect for this species but without seeing the other identification criteria, it doesn’t go on my year list.
All in all, a very frustrating day. Just going for a stroll would have been much better, there is lots to see at this top-class location.
The weather is due to turn cold on Friday.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Having had 23 degrees of sunshine most days recently with some swims in the sea, the weather has turned today. Some strong winds from the north were due but it’s still quite calm so far today.
I was hoping a few more winter visitors would arrive. Again, every year is different with some invasive species reaching high numbers. I remember one year when Hawfinch and Siskin were here in abundance and a few Bullfinch were seen too. That would be nice.
Common crane have passed through but Salobrar seems devoid of any so far. I will check regularly.
Woodcock being recorded again now.
I will post any arrivals, it’s about time Mallorca had a rare thrush.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Just seen a Woodcock flying towards Mondragó from near S’alqueria Blanca.
Nice birds, not too difficult to catch up with but knowing their regular haunts does help.
Sadly, I have found two dead Woodcock near Porto Petro over the years, maybe shot, but it’s hard to know without an autopsy.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Another bright, sunny day so a walk from Cap de Ses Salines was even more enjoyable. Nothing on the sea but a group of four Common cranes cheered us up.
We spent a short time at passage 5 on the way back where we saw another, or maybe the same, group of four more Cranes.
Some good numbers of Common birds but then three of us saw a possible Redwing. I ran up the road and had two more sightings of this scarce species in Mallorca.
I saw it flying across the road to clinch the ID.
A long lunch followed in great company.
Gracias amigos.
Mike
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Another trip to Finca Publica de Galatzó today.
I spent a long time looking for the Yellowhammers but I have to accept they have moved on.
Two Redwings flew down from the terraces followed by another one. They were very flighty, not settled at all and they soon disappeared. One came close by so I was able clinch the identification of this scarce winterer.
A Ring ouzel appeared on one of the high slopes. I remember climbing up Galatzó some years ago looking for Ring ouzel. We got near the top but then the weather closed in. It was terrifying and I vowed to never going into the mountains unprepared again. Nature is a wonderful but powerful beast.
I enjoyed watching a large group of Crossbills for a long while, they are very entertaining birds.
Mike
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Hi H Johnsson
I know lots of people who are regulars to Mallorca are missing the Island. Difficult times for everyone but life here goes on pretty unchanged. We just have to wear masks and we can only meet in small groups but everything else is quite normal.
It’s such a shame that we can’t all meet up as we usually do at this time of the year.
Winter birding here is marvelous with lots of sunshine and sharp light. Some good birds are being seen. Winter highlights for me are Common crane, Redwings, Hawfinch, Siskin and the odd Fieldfare.
I hope to see a few when I visit Orient next week.
I hope you are all keeping well, not much news today, just two Greylag geese at Albufera and a Little bittern.
I’m going to the Starling roost tonight and hope to find a Jack snipe. There was one there last year so you never know.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
The Starling roost was a bit disappointing tonight at s’amarador, Albufera mainly because recent the big fire destroyed many of the Reed beds and the birds go elsewhere to areas where the reeds are more established. The growth of new shoots however is amazing. It’s extraordinary how nature recovers.
Quite a few raptors in evidence too but hard to identify in the gloom. Marsh harriers, a Peregrine and a possible Merlín were trying for a late supper without much success.
The Mute swan was nearby, a Kingfisher flashed by and lots of Lapwings were a lovely sight in the late afternoon sunshine.
Great company and lots of stories about our recent birding exploits made up for it though. It’s marvelous hearing about other birder’s outings around the globe. Sadly, not many this year though.
It was a beautiful 18 degrees on arrival with little wind making the whole experience very special. What a wonderful hobby we have, lots of mutual interest and we get to see some incredible things.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
The Marsh and the Mute swan, probably the only one in Mallorca at the moment.
 

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Today I have add a new specie to my year, one winter visitor who is getting more and more scarce every year.
At Cala Gamba, just in front of airport there are 2 Red-breasted merganser, problably they will stay the whole winter in this area.
 

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Mike Montier

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Nice one Pep!
Lovely birds and not easy to see in Mallorca.
I have been to Cala Gamba a few times recently without success.
I hope you are right that they will spend the winter around the area, I too need them for the Bigyear.
Mike
 

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