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Mallorca 2021 (1 Viewer)

Yestereday I had a good luck with my "totem" bird, the short toed eagle, I saw it from very far away, and i moved closer with my car, and then it just come on my vertical, all courious to watch me!!! (It was near Campanet).
Later at Porto Colom, we watched a very very far away pelican, we dont know the specie, asking about it right now.
I upload 2 pics of the eagle.
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Many thanks Pep. Superb images of a cracking bird.
If anyone has any thoughts on the Pelican species, please let us know.
Mike
 

MJB

Well-known member
Many thanks Pep. Superb images of a cracking bird.
If anyone has any thoughts on the Pelican species, please let us know.
Mike
Great White Pelican - the black trailing edge of adults is across almost the entire underwing. Dalmatian and Pink-backed have mostly pale underwings. For American White Pelican (which might be a ship-assisted rarity), the black trailing edge of adults leaves a distinct gap of white feathers close to the body.
MJB
 
Many thanks MJB, I can add some other distant pics from fellows yesterday. I hope some can help to identify it, one Pelican in Majorca is very very very rare.
Pictures are very bad, but the bird was more than 3 km away from us (Maties, Fàtima and Toni)
Josep
 

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J Moss

Well-known member
Hi Pep. From what we can see in the pictures, I think we can say it's a 1st year bird on account of the upper parts being brown and sullied. Based on this, we can rule out Great White Pelican for the lack of broad black barring through the underwing coverts. Seems short billed to me (though obviously difficult to judge) so I would say probably Pink-backed Pelican (crispus). With the free-flying collection in southern France, and the individual present in Menorca from that collection since late last year apparently having gone missing, the most likely is that it is that bird, or at least this species. Regardless, I would have loved to have seen this off of Portocolom!
 

MJB

Well-known member
Many thanks MJB, I can add some other distant pics from fellows yesterday. I hope some can help to identify it, one Pelican in Majorca is very very very rare.
Pictures are very bad, but the bird was more than 3 km away from us (Maties, Fàtima and Toni)
Josep
I would conclude that the bird is a Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus. There are 16 records of UK occurrences, but the species is placed in Category D (it is well-known as an ornamental favourite - there is one flock in St James's park London, where individuals sometimes catch and kill feral pigeons). It's also a popular bird in public and private bird collections, and there is the unfortunate custom of keeping one as a publicity stunt for eastern Mediterranean restaurants. I think that your bird should be considered a only possibly a wild bird. I attach the BirdLife Datazone map: it indicates that the non-breeding areas are vast in comparison with the breeding areas, thus suggesting wandering or vagrancy: pelicans are superb soarers. Incidentally, the map omits the Lake Skodar/Shkodra population on the border of Montenegro and Albania (Dalmatian Pelican P. crispus also occurs there).
MJB
00 GWP Map.jpg
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
I had a feeling that Seawatching would be good tonight following severe winds over the weekend. Sure enough, 583 Balearic shearwaters flew south during my two hour stint.
Mike
 

derban

Active member
A very good morning at the Salobrar with Mike today. There was plenty to see even if there was nothing out of the ordinary. But seeing that flock of avocets take flight (nearly seventy in shot here and several more out of the picture) was not to be missed. Black and white dazzlers indeed. A still can't do it justice. And it is always good to see the small waders busily foraging in the mud, much-ringed little stints and Kentish plovers for instance. The Salobrar also always guarantees raptors, with numbers of marsh harriers joined by two booted eagles and two red kites today.
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
There can be few better ways of starting the day than watching streams of Balearic Shearwaters flapping and gliding their way up the coast. The sea was perfectly calm today with shafts of sunlight sparkling on the water as hundreds of these beauties made their way north.
I like seeing rarities but somehow watching a distant Bunting hopping around a field doesn’t quite compare to this spectacle. It was a perfect picture.
I will do a count later.
Mike
 

J Moss

Well-known member
Not a terrible amount to tell about the Great Spotted Cuckoo from the 30th unfortunately, a fairly brief sighting in flight as it headed from open fields into dence olive scrub. Enjoyable nonetheless for myself and Elisa, but after Mirella looking on the day, and me returning to the site yesterday, it was one of those short but sweet thrills. Virtually no plumage details noted due to distance, but this rough sketch hopefully gives an idea (not to scale!).
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
Nice drawing Jason. I love the self-portrait.
As you say, a very exciting find.
We had a long walk around Mondragó today, it looks just great at the moment with spectacular sea views, picturesque coves and turquoise water. Almond blossom is out everywhere.
Not a good day for birds but two dolphins breaching were the highlight.
Just going to count the seabirds and I’m hoping for high numbers.
Mike
 

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Mike Montier

Well-known member
I know I go on about it, but Seawatching on an evening like today, is glorious and I’m hooked on counting on as many evenings as I can.
I told Pep last week that the Balearic shearwaters don’t really start coming through until about 5.15pm but when I went out at 4.45pm tonight, they were already streaming through. I obviously got that wrong.
I was hoping to break the 1,000 barrier tonight but I didn’t quite make it with a grand total of 944.
The sea was super-calm which added to the occasion.
No Scopoli’s shearwaters yet. They should be appearing around the middle of the month. I’m looking forward to that, a bit of variety wouldn’t go amiss.
Mike
 

StewB

Well-known member
I know I go on about it, but Seawatching on an evening like today, is glorious and I’m hooked on counting on as many evenings as I can.
I told Pep last week that the Balearic shearwaters don’t really start coming through until about 5.15pm but when I went out at 4.45pm tonight, they were already streaming through. I obviously got that wrong.
I was hoping to break the 1,000 barrier tonight but I didn’t quite make it with a grand total of 944.
The sea was super-calm which added to the occasion.
No Scopoli’s shearwaters yet. They should be appearing around the middle of the month. I’m looking forward to that, a bit of variety wouldn’t go amiss.
Mike
I hope that this link works. It’s a BirdGuides article about the importance of British waters for Balearic Shearwaters - nice to have a connection to the Island during lockdown!

Stew
 

derban

Active member
I told Pep last week that the Balearic shearwaters don’t really start coming through until about 5.15pm but when I went out at 4.45pm tonight, they were already streaming through. I obviously got that wrong.
I was hoping to break the 1,000 barrier tonight but I didn’t quite make it with a grand total of 944.
The sea was super-calm which added to the occasion.
No Scopoli’s shearwaters yet. They should be appearing around the middle of the month. I’m looking forward to that, a bit of variety wouldn’t go amiss.
Mike
Mike, would the Cape be a good place to watch them?
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Hi derban.
The Cap de Ses Salines is a good place in general but for sheer numbers returning to the south in the evenings, the east coast cannot be beaten. That’s because with the right winds, the birds are very close to the shore affording good views.
By the time they have reached the archipelago of Cabrera, which is where they are all heading, they are already way out to sea.
That’s not to say it’s no good, on the contrary, it can be very good on the right day with the chance of other species too like Great Skua, Sandwich terns, Razorbills and Mergansers.
I mainly watch from Porto Petro because I live there but I firmly believe it is one of the best sites in Mallorca to watch returning shearwaters in the evenings.
Mike
 

derban

Active member
Hi derban.
The Cap de Ses Salines is a good place in general but for sheer numbers returning to the south in the evenings, the east coast cannot be beaten. That’s because with the right winds, the birds are very close to the shore affording good views.
By the time they have reached the archipelago of Cabrera, which is where they are all heading, they are already way out to sea.
That’s not to say it’s no good, on the contrary, it can be very good on the right day with the chance of other species too like Great Skua, Sandwich terns, Razorbills and Mergansers.
I mainly watch from Porto Petro because I live there but I firmly believe it is one of the best sites in Mallorca to watch returning shearwaters in the evenings.
Mike
Thank you for the comprehensive answer!
 

hughm

Well-known member
Sorry for interrupting the seawatching discussion but for us landlocked and frustrated Mallorcaphiles the episode on BBC1 today of the Mallorca Files (geddit?) was about a missing birder and had lots of intercutting from Albufera, Albufereta and Port de Pollenca as well as some bird interest- I couldn't work out all the localities, however. Hugh Matthews Northampton
 

Mike Montier

Well-known member
Hi Hugh
Thanks to Dave who told me about it, I watched it yesterday. Very entertaining it was too.
The locations were all over the place with most of it being filmed in Albufera but some other wetlands and a pine forest were thrown in for good measure.
A Common Buzzard was calling at the beginning which would be unusual.
For the first time ever though, the bird information was accurate with lots of well-informed comments.
So they did a good job overall and the baddies got caught.

Jason reports 830 Balearic shearwaters in just half an hour this morning at Porto Colom. He also picked out 8 Yelkoan shearwaters. As I have been watching from my balcony, I have only managed to see two definite Yelkoan as they are so far away but it’s nice to know there are a good number.
Mike
 

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