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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Mallorca 2020 (1 Viewer)

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Thank you Cristina for posting all sightings from La Gola throughout the season.
I know that many visiting birders are so fond of this little gem of a reserve.
We look forward to a better year in 2021 when hopefully all regular Mallorca aficionados can again visit this Island.
I know many birders have missed their annual fix in coming here.
See you next year,
Best wishes,
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
I’ve lost count of the times I have taken my wife with me to see rare or scarce birds, with me equipped with telescope, binoculars and camera, only for her to say “what’s that little bird over there”.
She did it again today with the Red-breasted merganser at Cala Gamba.
I messaged Pep to say the mergansers were not to be seen and he suggested visiting the small cove to the east, and there one was!
Thanks Pep.
Also 8 Turnstones, 5 Sanderlings and a possible Mediterranean gull.
Mike
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
It seems that the possible Mediterranean gull may have a been a second winter Black-headed gull.
Gulls can be a bit of a nightmare for many birders, me included.
Taking photos in a bright blue sky normally means they get over-exposed unless compensation is made on the camera settings. As I put my P900 on automatic, birds in the air suffer this problem, thus making them much whiter than they are.
The stretch of coast in the south, east of Palma, is very productive for gulls, terns and the occasional shorebird. It’s the most reliable place for Red-breasted Merganser, a Common gull was found there, Sandwich Tern is abundant and a Purple Sandpiper was seen a couple of years ago.
It’s also a very pleasant place to walk with lots of scrubby areas holding goodness knows what. It’s a long stretch of coast so my guess is that some good birds get missed. It’s an easy walk from Palma so well worth covering.
I will try to get there a few more times this winter.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
I am reading the Annual Bird Report for the Balearic Islands in English and I am savoring every word.
I cannot speak highly enough of this publication, probably the most enjoyable report I have ever read.
It has been translated by Steve who volunteers his time and devotion for our benefit.
The article about the history of raptors in the Balearics for the past three hundred years is fascinating. The persecution of birds of prey is truly shocking and I couldn’t believe the scale of the losses of these magnificent creatures. The Balearics were probably no worse than the rest of Europe but it does show just how far we have come in the last few years.
Anyone who is against re-introduction programmes may well have a change of heart after reading this.
I know many readers of this thread are heavily involved in the protection of birds of prey and they are all doing fine work. I hope Ben Nevis won’t mind me mentioning him, but his work and devotion in looking after the interests of Golden Eagles and White-tailed eagles in Scotland is inspiring.
The re-introduction of Bonelli’s eagles here in Mallorca is only trying to undo and compensate for the damage humankind have done in eliminating these raptors into extinction on the Islands.
The report continues with many other fine articles and of course, all records, numbers and dates of every species seen here.
It will be available to download from the G.O.B. Website and I will give more details when I have them.
A big thank you to Steve then for sweating over the computer for the many weeks work it takes to translate.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Jason, Biel and Toni saw an incredible 20 Alpine accentors at Galatzó yesterday, probably a new record.
Also, 2 Ring ouzel and a dunnock.
Cold today which may help to bring a few more thrushes our way.
My planned trip today to Orient was cancelled which is a shame. It is one of the best places for thrushes and a few other wintering species.
Mike
 

Mcnswiss2

Well-known member
Hi Mike
Thanks for the great updates
I think this is the link to the BBR report 2019
Fantastic information and hats off to the Authors and Translators.


BBR Report 2019 English
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Thanks Mike.
Very windy yesterday but I still managed to go to Randa to look for Ring ouzel and other thrushes. I didn’t see a thing but it was a good day out with magnificent views from the top.
Wet and miserable today so I guess not much birding will be done today.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Thanks Phil.
The Pine bunting is still at Orient, seen by a few birders this morning. It’s a public holiday today which is why it was well attended.
I can’t get there until Wednesday so I hope it will still be there.
Also, 5 Yellowhammers seen there so the influx continues. It is still an official rarity here so this year is a great opportunity to add this one to your list.
I only managed a quick drive-by down to the salt pans. The winds are still high so it was very quiet but I counted a group of 124 Golden plover huddled up against the wind.
No other news yet today.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
My near neighbour, Mirella, has seen two Swift species today and one yesterday.
It always sets the alarm bells ringing when I hear of November or December apus but photos are inconclusive.
Off to Orient tomorrow chasing the Pine bunting but it’s very cold.
Jane is not too happy about it but I’m sure she will warm to the idea...
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
We arrived at Orient at a lazy 10.30am to find a freezing Patrick who had been on site since 8am with no joy. Joan also arrived and very soon relocated the bird but it was distant.
I did feel guilty having seen the Pine bunting after such a short time but it was a great relief nevertheless.
At least five Yellowhammers were present, probably more. This was also a Mallorca tick for me. It’s been many years since I have seen two new species in a single day.
It’s also many years since I’ve felt so cold, it really was chilly.
A very happy day then. Not sure my wife agreed but we soon warmed up with hot chocolate and baguettes on the way home.
Mike
 
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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Biel reports at least 15 Yellowhammers at Orient today and the Pine Bunting is still there.
That’s a record number of Yellowhammers surely, I don’t remember more than one being reported in any year. Obviously, there has been a large influx as they have been seen at quite a few other sites too.
The Pine Bunting is normally distant, just under the boundary wall of the field, although Maties managed a great photo so it must have flown in a bit nearer at some point.
I plan to go back there tomorrow.
I was just wondering if the Pine Bunting arrived with the Yellowhammers as I believe they are very closely related.
Just a thought.
Mike
 

Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Europe
Almost certain that it came with the Yellowhammers Mike. The one I had here last November turned up at the same time as an increase in Yellowhammers occurred, you’ve obviously stolen it from me this year!
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Sorry about that Richard!
We are all very pleased that one has turned up for us all to enjoy.
Just wondering what other species may have come too. There was a report of a possible Rock bunting yesterday.
Any suggestions?
Still there today and closer by the looks of it, a nice video was taken by Joan.
Mike
 

Geordie Dave

Well-known member
What better way to spend the dark, cold, Tier 3 lockdown evenings in the North East than by reading the excellent Mallorca Bird Report 2019. See Mike Swiss post 966 above for further details. This is in fantastic detail and accompanied by further background reading articles about the island. Please log on and make a donation to GOB. Many thanks to the whole of the team and to Steve Nicoll for undertaking the monumental task of providing an English translation. I was given a hard copy in Spanish by the GORA Raptor Group at the Cap in September, at least I can now read it!!
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Sorry about the lack of information, very little has been reported recently.
I went to Punta de n’Amer on the east coast yesterday but it was very quiet. Lots of Chiff-Chaffs and a few Firecrest. A possible Goldcrest but the wretched thing wouldn’t keep still long enough, typical for this species. As we were on a walk, I couldn’t hang around long enough.
I also went to my local lighthouse for a while around lunch time, the quietest period normally.
Just one Balearic shearwaters and a brilliant male Blue Rock Thrush, what a stunner this bird is in the winter sun.
More news soon I hope.
Mike
 

StewB

Well-known member
Sorry about the lack of information, very little has been reported recently.
Mike
It doesn’t matter how small the scraps, keep feeding them to us Mike! Given the awful pandemic restrictions at the moment I’m clinging on to the idea that one day we’ll be able to get back to Mallorca! I dream of walking the beach at Son Real, sitting and looking over the Mortitx Valley, searching for Balearic warblers in the Bocquer Valley and enjoying a beach-front meal watching Audouin’s gulls.

You do a great job for us Mike, so thank you - I hope your local and international restrictions don’t get in the way too much, and that you and J have a good Christmas. Roll on 2021!

Stew
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Thanks Stew, nice to know you are out there. I just wish some of our regular visitors could get here, it’s all very frustrating. I know some of them have tried to book, only to have their flights cancelled. Perhaps MikeSwiss, Kevin or David could give us an update on the situation, it may be of help to anyone thinking of booking.
Jason reports that the Pine Bunting is still present at Orient, just to tempt any of you trying to get here.
Also, at least 20 Yellowhammers so that was quite an invasion of this beautiful bunting. Jason also said that other birds were present but hidden from view so goodness knows what may be around in their company.
I have been driving around the Island a lot recently, stopping to look at possible birding sites. I’m thinking about how much of the Island is not covered and what we may be missing. It must be the same in other countries too but this is a relatively small Island and is a magnet for passage migrants and winter visitors so I reckon there are other goodies just waiting to be discovered.
Mike
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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