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Mallorca 2021 (7 Viewers)

Mike Montier

Well-known member
News still pouring in.
Several sightings of up to two Caspian terns from different locations and seen leaving from Formentor by Juanjo.
Just received a message from Lalo that he has seen the first Red-footed falcon near his home. A big surprise and it completes a marvelous day for him.
Mike
 
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Hi, today we (Maties, Jason and me) have been at the Natural Park of sa Dragonera, the super big surprise has been to found 2 Orphean warblers! This bird is very, very rare to seen in the Balearics, more observation were done from ringing nets, maybe less than 10 has been reported before today.
What a great birds! i love this clear eye in middle of the black head, it made them to look kind of upset.
They were separated more than 1 km and when we were very happy with the first one, we have found the second, just on the little harbour or the Park.
Highlights also were lots of Woods warblers, and specially one was a Western Bonelli's warbler!
Dragonera sure deserves more attention than we normally do.
Josep 174 CurrucaMirlona.jpg 125 Mirlona2.jpg
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Fabulous photos Pep, and what a bird! Very striking.
Well done you three, Dragonera must surely get some great birds but not enough people looking.
I remember the Wallcreeper from late last year. There must be more rarities passing through there and such a shame many will go unnoticed.
Thanks for posting.
Mike
 

MJB

Well-known member
Hi, today we (Maties, Jason and me) have been at the Natural Park of sa Dragonera, the super big surprise has been to found 2 Orphean warblers! This bird is very, very rare to seen in the Balearics, more observation were done from ringing nets, maybe less than 10 has been reported before today.
What a great birds! i love this clear eye in middle of the black head, it made them to look kind of upset.
They were separated more than 1 km and when we were very happy with the first one, we have found the second, just on the little harbour or the Park.
Highlights also were lots of Woods warblers, and specially one was a Western Bonelli's warbler!
Dragonera sure deserves more attention than we normally do.
Josep
Nice find, Josep! The species normally flies directly across the Mediterranean, but on days of adverse winds (from the north in spring and from the south in autumn), it may pause briefly in the Balearics. I've found it on a few occasions in Menorca, once in the scrub above Binibeca and twice in the Canyon of Algendar, inland from Cala Galdana. Each time, adverse winds had occurred at least the day before. I've not yet had the good fortune to visit Mallorca, though!
MJB
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Thanks for your contributions MJB and Kendalbirder, very interesting.
I have often mentioned just how many rarities go unnoticed so it’s good to hear about other records.
It all adds to the excitement of going out in the field, especially at this time of the year.

I was on the balcony just after daybreak this morning and I noticed long, dark streaks on a perfectly calm sea. When I got the scope up, I realized that they were huge rafts of mixed shearwaters.
Then the sea bubbled up in a mad feeding frenzy as schools of fish must have been present.
I was hoping for something different in with them, but no luck so far.
It’s an amazing sight, thousands of both Balearic and Scopoli’s shearwaters are out there at the moment.
I will be watching from my local lighthouse in the evenings, hoping to see those little beauties, the European Storm petrel.
I can only see a small portion of sea from my balcony and it’s very distant but it’s enough to pick out the different species.
I was thinking about all the different aspects to birding. The odd mad dash up north to see a rarity is good for an adrenaline rush, walking the country lanes is much more relaxing, seeing migrant starts, chats, warblers and Wheatears.
The tower at Albercutx is the most exciting of all but it has to be on the right day. I have been four times this year and seen virtually nothing.
The central plain is coming into the best time with Red-footed falcons expected. There are some Lesser Kestrels there at the moment and sometimes Cuckoos and Eleonora’s falcons come to feed.
It’s a good time to be here at the moment.
I just hope that visitors will soon be allowed to come to the Island.
I miss you guys, it gets lonely sometimes.
Mike
 

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derban

Well-known member
Back again next Tuesday if all goes according to plan. Another short visit, I am afraid, but looking forward hugely nevertheless. Just as motivation for myself if any were needed here are a short toed lark from our field and a common sandpiper, of course from the Salobrar.


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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Nice photos derban. I’ve yet to see a short-toed Lark this year but I’m going to the central plain this week so I may get lucky.
I look forward to meeting up if at all possible.

The number of shearwaters returning to Cabrera this evening was staggering.
In with them, I saw a Great skua harassing a Scopoli’s shearwater until it disgorged a nice fish supper which it had no doubt spent all day accumulating.
Some poor chick will go hungry tonight.
I then saw another Great Skua followed by a probable Pomarine skua.
The time is right for this rarity but in order to be sure, I will visit the lighthouse every evening to hopefully obtain photos.
Last year I saw one also from my balcony but it was chasing a long line of Balearic shearwaters so direct comparison helped substantially.
Tonight’s bird was on it’s own and so distant that it was impossible to be absolutely sure.
The jizz and overall appearance was right so I will go get it.

Yet another Pallid Harrier has been seen by Adolfo, this time a spanking adult male. Lucky chap. Birds don't get any more beautiful than this stunner.
The Little Crake was confirmed still present by Biel at Magaluf.
Common swift are again screaming around our apartment block. They nest in our overflow chutes so I am guaranteed close observation all summer. I might even manage an acceptable photo of one, all attempts have so far failed miserably.
I reckon next weekend will be rammed with sightings, things here are really hotting up.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
A Red-throated Pipit at Albufera as reported by Maties.
Pep took a nice photo of a Short-eared owl at the same site, quite a few sightings of this species have been posted this spring, more than average I would say.
A male Golden oriole was seen by Juanjo, the first Roller was sighted on Menorca by Roman and Joan logged a Moltoni’s warbler.
There was certainly an influx of migrants today.
Still some sightings of Montagu’s harriers.
Mirella photographed three Caspian terns going north up the coast so they must have gone past me. Just too early, I was delayed tonight and started my seawatch just after they had gone through.
It was horrible out there, a cold wind with rain and grey mist with hardly any passage. I didn’t last long.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Joan has taken a superb photo of an Ortolan bunting in Bunyola.
These buntings are pretty scarce here and never seem to hang around.
Still horrible weather, cold, grey and drizzly. It’s going to change for tomorrow when we are out walking along the south coast.
Saturday I hope to go to Albercutx, I reckon it will be a good weekend.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
I arrived at Vilafranca just as Juanjo was leaving. He showed me a photograph of two male Montagu’s harriers together having a disagreement. It was stunning but I don’t have permission to post here sadly.
I did see the birds but they were too distant to take a good shot. Watching them quartering over the fields of lush grass was just magic. There is something about this slim Harrier that sets my pulse racing. They are indecently beautiful.
Three female Montagu’s are up the road at Maria so if they could just get together....
Lots of Short-toed larks have arrived, several Lesser Kestrels were present and one female Red-footed falcon flew over.
Elsewhere, 10 Marsh and one Montagu’s Harrier flew north past Albercutx.
4 Collared pratincole were seen near Salobrar.
I hope Pep can post his unbelievable close-up of an Ortolan.
That’s about it for the day. Locals seem excited about going to the tower tomorrow so I wish them well.
I am staying closer to home by going to Cap de Ses Salines. My wife had her vaccine today and I may be called in at short notice.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Jason and Co are on the Island of Cabrera off the south coast and have reported a group of 9 Spanish sparrows, a rarity here, a male Rock Thrush, Ortolan bunting, a feldegg Yellow Wagtail and an interesting acro Warbler.
As I’m going to the nearest bit of land to Cabrera in the morning, I’m hoping a few birds may have overflown Cabrera and will land at my feet.
I’ll let you know.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
I did go to Cap de Ses Salines yesterday morning.
There was little happening on the sea save for some shearwater movement.
There had been a fall the evening before on Cabrera so I was hoping for some migrants.
Pep joined me a while later and he took a walk along the coast. There were good numbers of Wheatears confirming that there had indeed been a fall. Also some Spotted flycatchers and a couple of Tawny pipits. Nothing special but Jason did see another Collared Flycatcher on Cabrera. There have been good numbers of this little gem this spring with many being see on the mainland.
Elsewhere, there are now 3 Red-footed falcons at Vilafranca and the tower was reasonable with 7 Black kites, 7 Marsh harriers, 1 Red-footed falcon, 5 Booted Eagle and 2 Hobby.
Pep has seen 2 Golden orioles at Can Cullerassa this morning.
I had planned a visit to the central plain today before going for my vaccine but the wind has got up and it is one place where windy conditions are frustrating, trying to keep scope and cameras steady becomes tiresome.
I am going to the tower in the week as Honey Buzzards are due now and they are one of the top prizes for raptor migration.
I will post today’s sightings later.
Mike
Cabrera in the early morning sun. I’d quite like to be there at the moment.
 

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Hi, Friday I had the opportunity to visit a drinking pool in a house's garden where a friend found 2 hortolans bountings.
I was 2 hours hidden there and did almost 1.500 pictures. It was kind of leaving a dream.
I will attack some of the pics.
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Thanks for posting those unbelievable photos Pep.
What a fantastic sighting of these super-scarce birds.
I have never heard of an Ortolan bunting being so bold and daring, they very rarely stay long and are normally distant.
What a golden opportunity.
Well done.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Ps. Pep. Maybe some readers would like to know about your new camera.
I can’t remember the model but it’s certainly very impressive.
Was it a Sony?
Thanks.
Mike
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Spending the day on the balcony as I’m a bit groggy from the vaccine.
I’ve been watching this bat flying round all morning.
I’m sure there are some bat lovers out there!
Mike
 

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Ps. Pep. Maybe some readers would like to know about your new camera.
I can’t remember the model but it’s certainly very impressive.
Was it a Sony?
Thanks.
Mike
Yes, it is a mirrorless Sony A7 R4, it is expensive, but people say that the cheaper models are also very goods and surprising by the hight quality of the pictures.
I have it after 40 years of Nikon cameras, and i am very, very glad with the change.
I did the bee pic 5 minutes later to get the camera, not knowing any paramenter, and the red kite the 2nd day.
 

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StewB

Well-known member
Yes, it is a mirrorless Sony A7 R4, it is expensive, but people say that the cheaper models are also very goods and surprising by the hight quality of the pictures.
I have it after 40 years of Nikon cameras, and i am very, very glad with the change.
I did the bee pic 5 minutes later to get the camera, not knowing any paramenter, and the red kite the 2nd day.
Is it silent? Here in the UK there are so many DSLRs at a good bird that the shutter noise is very distracting - a camera which gives great results like yours and is silent would be a huge step forward!

Stew
 

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