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Mallorca 2022 (2 Viewers)

Thank you Pep, some amazing photographs there.
I really must stay on Cabrera next year, October being the best month.
I did notice very high numbers of Robins at the Cap recently.
Early mornings here in Porto Petro, I see many groups of passerines flying north, presumably just arrived. Mostly finches but I can’t identify many.

Thursday is the fiesta to present the Annual Report which I can’t attend due to family commitments. It’s a shame as I have been to nearly every one. I well remember being at my first one many years ago. I couldn’t speak a single word of Spanish and it would have been a very lonely evening were it not for the warm welcome I received. I know how difficult it is for visiting birders to speak to locals, but a friendly hello is always well received.
I have had some terrific times birding with Mallorcan birders, they all have a great sense of humour and despite my still dreadful Spanish, we get along fine.

Pep had a photograph of a ringtail Pallid harrier taken on Dragonera but I don’t have more details.

I can’t get out again this week due to family being here but a know a couple of Brits are on their way to the Island so I hope they have a great time and post their sightings.
We are due a mega in which case my grandson will be going on his first twitch.
Start young I say.
Mike
 
Regrettably I am writing this from back home. Had a great 8 days in Mallorca, mozzies aside, and totalled over 50 species, all within walking distance of the hotel. If anything, it was the flooded pools in the hotel grounds that I found most fascinating allowing v close views of obliging stilts, greenshank, common sandpiper and others. Nothing spectacular but sometimes it makes a change from them being specks in the distance. 1 monarch also. Thank you all for your help / advice. Hopefully will be back soon 😀 Cheers Tom
 
We have been 3 days in the Cabrera National Park (it is very easy to go with the boat from Colonia Sant Jordi and now there is a refuge with 12 places on the island where you can sleep) and it is a worthwhile experience.

Hundreds or thousands of robins, redtails, starlings, thrushes and much less of other species.

The great advantage of Cabrera is how confident the birds are, it is something I have never seen elsewhere, which allows you to take spectacular photos.

In addition to the common birds and those already mentioned above, we also saw:
Ring ouzel
Spanish Sparrow (unconfirmed)
Merlin
Redwing
Common whitethroat
Iberian ChiffChaff
Brambling
Hawfinch
Mistle thrush
Many Balearic warblers
And the strangest thing: 1 Rail!!
In short, some very special days in a very special place (we were Maties, Carlos López, Dani Zamora and me)

I almost forget it, none of Monarch in the island, 0 during the 3 days.
I had made an informal plan several years ago with my friend Arthur Stagg to visit and spend some time on Cabrera, but unfortunately he suddenly died and I never was able to go there. Thank you Josep, for showing so well what might have been. I'll toast Arthur's memory tonight!
MJB
 
Several people here knew Arthur Stagg but I don’t think I met him.
I’m sure I had some correspondence with him though.
I would love to know more about Mallorca Memories from the years before I first came here, 1989 I seem to remember.
If anyone has any memories of those days, please share them here.
Many readers of this thread would also like to hear about them I’m sure.
Thanks.
Mike
 
Pep had a photograph of a ringtail Pallid harrier taken on Dragonera but I don’t have more details.

Mike
Hi Mike,
It was not me who saw the Pallid harrier in Dragonera, he was a visitor and i saw the observation in EBird.
As i said before, with the new refuge (16 € per night) it is easier than ever to visit and stay 2 days in Cabrera. We were eating the lunch and a brambling just stopped the tree in front of us.
Pep
 
Back in Sweden on the island of Gotland (same size as Mallorca). A lot colder, but welcomed by an abundance of waxwings as a comfort.
Thougt i'd be sharing some of the photos i got during the visit. Mostly from S'albufera. Had to delete a lot of photos due to bad heat haze effect of midday bird watching.
 

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Several people here knew Arthur Stagg but I don’t think I met him.
I’m sure I had some correspondence with him though.
I would love to know more about Mallorca Memories from the years before I first came here, 1989 I seem to remember.
If anyone has any memories of those days, please share them here.
Many readers of this thread would also like to hear about them I’m sure.
Thanks.
Mike
Arthur and I were both members of the RAF Ornithological Society and had participated in several bird surveys, particularly Cyprus. After Arthur had left the RAF, he had worked in Saudi Arabia, where he was among the first to monitor ground-breeding Ospreys along the hinterland of the Red Sea. He also noted that the local Reed Warblers nested in the mangroves; the status of taxon avicenniae hovers between species and subspecies, but the entire complex requires large-scale re-analysis. Should Mangrove Reed Warbler finally attain agreed full species status, then nomenclatural priority rules may make the species epithet avicenniae the senior name... Arthur would be delighted that his advocacy from over 50 years ago had borne such success!

Arthur was very much an old school gentleman in conversation and correspondence. If he wrote to you, his neat penmanship was obvious from the envelope! He had a hugely enjoyable retirement in Majorca, constantly encouraging and cajoling people to do the right thing in conservation, but alas, it was cut prematurely short.
MJB
 
Thanks MJB
I found that very emotional. I’m even sadder now that I never met him. I know my friend and fellow birder, Philip Garnett, speaks about him quite a lot.
It’s nice to have a bit more background to birding here in Mallorca so thank you for sharing it.
Mike
 
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I first visited Mallorca in May/June 1962, on a family holiday with my parents and brother, staying in Paguera on the south-west coast some 15k from Palma. I had a pair of cheap binoculars and my only reference was Peterson’s FG. The fields and hills north of the resort held many birds, and I especially remember the numerous Hoopoes and Woodchat Shrikes. Crossbills drank from roadside puddles, Sardinian Warblers rattled from every corner, Spotted Flycatchers (now Mediterranean Flycatchers) were ubiquitous and tame, and Ravens, Peregrine and Red Kite haunted the local hills. My abiding memory, however, is of a family of Marmora’s Warblers (now Balearic Warblers) searching and feeding fearlessly within a few feet as I sat amidst scrublands on a hillside north of the resort. My second visit, with a group of birdwatching friends and based in Porto Pollenca, was in May 1968. We mainly walked or ‘cycled everywhere in the north of island, including the edge of S’Albufera (the marshes and lagoons were closed to the public, but we saw Quail and over 100 White-winged Black Terns), and S’Albufereta (Red-throated Pipits). Although we had good birds near the hotel (Black Vulture, Rufous Bush Chat (or whatever it is called now)) PP was being speedily developed. On one day, close to the town centre, we had splendid views of Cetti’s Warbler and Fan-tailed Warbler/Cisticola in an area of rough wet ground; seven days later we returned to the same spot, to find the bulldozers had been at work – the land had been ploughed up, the pools filled in, the sedges and weeds uprooted – Cetti’s and the Fan-tailed had gone. Since those halcyon years I have visited the island some ten more times, with my own family and friends, but my last trip was in 2013.
 
Great memories James, thank you.
I have written recently about the development around our apartment and the impact on the birds I used to see. They too have all disappeared.
Some great records there. 100 white-winged black terns would cause a sensation these days, as would the rufous bush-chat. Now Super-rare. It’s high on my list of most wanted birds.
Thanks again. Those were happy times I’m sure.
Mike
 
Arrived back yesterday morning for our latest stay, this time for 10 days. The flight from Newcastle was only half full, Palma airport very quiet, no covid checks and through car hire pick up and on our way to Port de Pollenca in no time. This morning we did our regular walk to Llenaire and on to the back roads past the hotel and around Cami Volantina to the coast road. Very quiet for birds but pleased to see fan tailed warbler, kingfisher and a family of white wagtail. On the coast road there was a little egret, 2 common sandpiper and a resting auduoins gull. It was 28° on our walk and we were pleased to get back to Swing bar for a well earned beer. The weather is fantastic compared to this time last year and it is good to be back.
 

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Looks like a leucistic plover to me and I think I saw a photograph of probably the same bird somewhere.
I don’t know which species though.

Biel reports a Redwing at Pollença and clearly a fall of pipits, starts and larks has occurred.
Great stuff. A visit to Sa Barrala beckons.
Mike
Hi Mike! It wasn't a Redwing! Yesterday I saw a lot of Song Thrushes (Turdus philomelos) entering from NE to SW over Port Pollença, and in between them, there were many Turdus sp and at list 1 Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) and 1 Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus). It seems that during these days there is a huge arrival of Thrushes to the island....

Biel Bernat
 
A quiet morning staying locally on a beautiful 25° day. Firstly to Albufereta where the there were 50-60 flamingo and as many little egret, 2 great white egret and a grey heron. The pond at Sa Barcassa had 30-40 cattle egret, a single shelduck and several Kentish and ringed plover, a greenshank and a green sandpiper. On to the scrape behind the Port Blue Resort hotel which was very quiet but I did see my first marsh harrier of this trip. I finished off at La Gola and had a very enjoyable chat with Biel who looks after the reserve. We spent half an hour talking about the joys of birding in Mallorca generally and La Gola in particular, the scene of sightings of common rosefinch, red flanked blue tail and red backed shrike that I’ve been lucky enough to see there in the last 3 years. Today was quiet but I did see 2 kingfishers together and a group of at least 50 starlings. Out for dinner tonight so had to finish early. Mallorca is looking at its finest at the moment. All being well out again for the day birding tomorrow.
 

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Sorry Biel , I miss-translated it!
La Gola is always worth a visit, particularly at this time of migration. It’s amazing what birds have been seen there, including a few megas, so if you are passing, pop in and say hello.
There will be a warm welcome waiting and lots of valuable information is available too.
Good birding to all visitors.
Mike
 
A quiet morning staying locally on a beautiful 25° day. Firstly to Albufereta where the there were 50-60 flamingo and as many little egret, 2 great white egret and a grey heron. The pond at Sa Barcassa had 30-40 cattle egret, a single shelduck and several Kentish and ringed plover, a greenshank and a green sandpiper. On to the scrape behind the Port Blue Resort hotel which was very quiet but I did see my first marsh harrier of this trip. I finished off at La Gola and had a very enjoyable chat with Biel who looks after the reserve. We spent half an hour talking about the joys of birding in Mallorca generally and La Gola in particular, the scene of sightings of common rosefinch, red flanked blue tail and red backed shrike that I’ve been lucky enough to see there in the last 3 years. Today was quiet but I did see 2 kingfishers together and a group of at least 50 starlings. Out for dinner tonight so had to finish early. Mallorca is looking at its finest at the moment. All being well out again for the day birding tomorrow.
A wryneck was a regular sighting from the stand at the back of the car park at Port Blue.
 
Reasons for me to be cheerful:
1. We are back in Mallorca after a long break!
2. It was a fine sunny day but not over 30° C
3. I managed to get down to the Salobrar for a spot of birding –
... but actually that should probably be "birding" because what was notably absent this morning were birds. A whole new meaning to the word quiet.
A few of the usual suspects did put in an appearance – flamingoes, shelduck, black-winged stilt as well as greenshank and redshank. And just as I turned to walk back towards the car, a group of four waders flew in, waded and then turned about and disappeared out of sight, wood sandpipers I think but they were very fast and very far away. They definitely brightened up the picture though. And as I said, I have reasons to be cheerful!
 
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