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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Mallorca 2023 (1 Viewer)

Thanks Pep for the warning. That's right, they are birds born this year. Normally they will not return until after 3 years. Exceptions exist, I have been able to see 1 and 2 year old birds at times, but it is quite rare. Greetings!
 
Thanks Pep and Maties.
Yes, I agree that they are juvenile birds from this year.
I sometimes see the occasional juvenile at Cap de Ses Salines but I have only ever seen one second year bird in 20 years so I believe the book is correct!
Mike
 
Arrived back late last night for a very few days here, I was greeted by a barn owl flying over the road as I drove into Campos at 1.30 a.m.. A good omen, I felt. This evening I went down to the Salobrar for a couple of hours sunset birding, looking forward to the prospect of sunshine and warmth after six weeks of unrelenting weather misery in north Germany. I set off and everything boded well, plenty of passerines on the fence; in the first pond there were assorted waders, forty-plus black-winged stilt, kentish plover with young, shelduck, little stint, redshank and four curlew sandpiper. When it was time to move on, I set off down the main track, looking forward to seeing what else was on offer, pleased that I didn't have to clomp along in wellies as I had all winter and spring. And then all at once my feet went in opposite directions beneath me and I was flat on my face in smelly mud. What seemed to be a a firm dry surface was only a crust of salt crystallising on the mud, beneath which was a layer of slithery mud that was impossible to stand on. My camera and I were caked in mud, I had no alternative but to return home and clean up. No lasting damage, but owls are not always associated with good omens of course!

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Thanks derban
I really didn’t mean to laugh but I couldn’t help it.
We’ve all done it of course as at times it’s not only cunningly deceptive as you found out, but it’s as slippery as ice.
Glad you and the camera survived but it really does smell awful, so much so that I had to undress on my doormat last time it happened to me.
After two cycles in the washing machine, my trainers still stank so in the bin they went.
I’m missing Mallorca like mad but I am at least going to an old patch of mine tomorrow.
I haven’t been there for 20 years so it will be nostalgic.
Mike
 
Thanks derban
I really didn’t mean to laugh but I couldn’t help it.
We’ve all done it of course as at times it’s not only cunningly deceptive as you found out, but it’s as slippery as ice.
Glad you and the camera survived but it really does smell awful, so much so that I had to undress on my doormat last time it happened to me.
After two cycles in the washing machine, my trainers still stank so in the bin they went.
I’m missing Mallorca like mad but I am at least going to an old patch of mine tomorrow.
I haven’t been there for 20 years so it will be nostalgic.
Mike
Well if you had a laugh my trip wasn‘t entirely in vain!😂😂
 
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I made it to Son Bosc and then on to S'Albufera today, a good decision because it was 29° with a pleasant breeze off the sea – Campos was 35°, so I was in the right place. And there was plenty to see, even without a year tick. Little grebe, marble duck, green sandpiper, night heron (+ juvenile). squacco heron, loads of spotted flycatchers, osprey, purple swamp hens and glossy ibis, terns with juveniles ... I could go on. But I would be gratefuly if someone could confirm the last photo is a juvenile purple gallinule, my books were inconclusive, and help with the insects is always welcome. I am a latecomer with birds, and insects come some way behind! But there are some fearsome creatures amongst them. All together a great day, made all the pleasanter for meeting a friendly guy from Glasgow on his first trip to the island. I bet it won't be his last.
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I made it to Son Bosc and then on to S'Albufera today, a good decision because it was 29° with a pleasant breeze off the sea – Campos was 35°, so I was in the right place. And there was plenty to see, even without a year tick. Little grebe, marble duck, green sandpiper, night heron (+ juvenile). squacco heron, loads of spotted flycatchers, osprey, purple swamp hens and glossy ibis, terns with juveniles ... I could go on. But I would be gratefuly if someone could confirm the last photo is a juvenile purple gallinule, my books were inconclusive, and help with the insects is always welcome. I am a latecomer with birds, and insects come some way behind! But there are some fearsome creatures amongst them. All together a great day, made all the pleasanter for meeting a friendly guy from Glasgow on his first trip to the island. I bet it won't be his last.
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The dragonfly is a female Black-tailed Skimmer

Chris
 
I made it to Son Bosc and then on to S'Albufera today, a good decision because it was 29° with a pleasant breeze off the sea – Campos was 35°, so I was in the right place. And there was plenty to see, even without a year tick. Little grebe, marble duck, green sandpiper, night heron (+ juvenile). squacco heron, loads of spotted flycatchers, osprey, purple swamp hens and glossy ibis, terns with juveniles ... I could go on. But I would be gratefuly if someone could confirm the last photo is a juvenile purple gallinule, my books were inconclusive, and help with the insects is always welcome. I am a latecomer with birds, and insects come some way behind! But there are some fearsome creatures amongst them. All together a great day, made all the pleasanter for meeting a friendly guy from Glasgow on his first trip to the island. I bet it won't be his last.
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The juvenile looks like a coot to me. The bill looks thin and over all color of the bird more like coot. I didn’t see a single purple swamphen at my week there. Did the population decrease?
 
I made it to Son Bosc and then on to S'Albufera today, a good decision because it was 29° with a pleasant breeze off the sea – Campos was 35°, so I was in the right place. And there was plenty to see, even without a year tick. Little grebe, marble duck, green sandpiper, night heron (+ juvenile). squacco heron, loads of spotted flycatchers, osprey, purple swamp hens and glossy ibis, terns with juveniles ... I could go on. But I would be gratefuly if someone could confirm the last photo is a juvenile purple gallinule, my books were inconclusive, and help with the insects is always welcome. I am a latecomer with birds, and insects come some way behind! But there are some fearsome creatures amongst them. All together a great day, made all the pleasanter for meeting a friendly guy from Glasgow on his first trip to the island. I bet it won't be his last.
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Looks like you had a great day out Derban, I'm pretty sure you have a young Purple Swamphen and a young Squacco Heron.
 
The juvenile looks like a coot to me. The bill looks thin and over all color of the bird more like coot. I didn’t see a single purple swamphen at my week there. Did the population decrease?
Hi VincentB, thank you for your reply – I agree that it is not a purple swamphen – the facial shield is missing and the bill shape is wrong. But I think in fact it is a juvenile moorhen. This is what Merlin says when I ran it through the photo ID on there and in the excellent "Europe's Birds" (Hume, Still et al.) there is a photo that is near identical. Like humans really, it's the juveniles that cause the most trouble... But on my visit to S'Albufera on Friday I did see three or four purple swamphens/gallinules. Although I haven't been there very many times, I have only ever seen single specimens before, so I hope this is a positive trend! Perhaps others can throw a bit more light?
 
Looks like you had a great day out Derban, I'm pretty sure you have a young Purple Swamphen and a young Squacco Heron.
It was indeed Phil. And thank you for your input about the birds I have shown. I have done a bit more research now and come up with what I wrote to VincentB about the coot/moorhen/swamphen, and again using Merlin as well as Hume, Still et al. I realise that I really did have both the juvenile night heron and the squacco, which I initially confused when I was there.
I'll be back again in September, so I hope to see you then! All the best.
 

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Derban. Ref: 'But on my visit to S'Albufera on Friday I did see three or four purple swamphens/gallinules. Although I haven't been there very many times, I have only ever seen single specimens before, so I hope this is a positive trend! Perhaps others can throw a bit more light?

My experience is this, over many visits this year to S'Albufera, regarding Purple Swamphens. They are elusive, creep in and out of the reeds at the very edge often for only 10 seconds; fellow birders/visitors often miss them. But if you get to the hide very early or late (I have a pass), they are very often in the open, very close to the hide and pulling up roots. And often more than one. But I must stress, this is only when I've been on my own (no visitors) and very silent and still and at about 7.30 pm or 8 p.m. My last visit, just over 2 weeks ago, at the hide closest to Reception (Sa Roca?) there were 2 Purple Swamphen 4m from the hide and 4 others across the scrape having a bit of a scrap, which made fascinating viewing. I have no doubt that 'visitors' spook them.
 
Derban. Ref: 'But on my visit to S'Albufera on Friday I did see three or four purple swamphens/gallinules. Although I haven't been there very many times, I have only ever seen single specimens before, so I hope this is a positive trend! Perhaps others can throw a bit more light?

My experience is this, over many visits this year to S'Albufera, regarding Purple Swamphens. They are elusive, creep in and out of the reeds at the very edge often for only 10 seconds; fellow birders/visitors often miss them. But if you get to the hide very early or late (I have a pass), they are very often in the open, very close to the hide and pulling up roots. And often more than one. But I must stress, this is only when I've been on my own (no visitors) and very silent and still and at about 7.30 pm or 8 p.m. My last visit, just over 2 weeks ago, at the hide closest to Reception (Sa Roca?) there were 2 Purple Swamphen 4m from the hide and 4 others across the scrape having a bit of a scrap, which made fascinating viewing. I have no doubt that 'visitors' spook them.
Ian, that would agree with my observation on Friday - I was there very early, just after opening, no one else in the hide (Sa Roca I)👍
 
You have got me thinking now.
I’m not at home so I can’t access my records to see how the Purple swamp hen is doing but I will look it up when I’m back home.
I have seen many out in the open so I will see what time of the year and day I have watched them really close for prolonged periods.
I will post details.
I can’t wait to be back, some migration seen recently with terns and waders at Salobrar de Campos and Black kite at the Cap.
Mike
 

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This forum is always full of some great advice, so please excuse me for asking for even more.

Having visited Mallorca in May 22 for the first time in ten years we enjoyed it so much that we booked to return this year (time doesn't allow for multiple visits like some of you lucky people) in mid-September. Hence, I am once more poring over my many guides to birding on the island (Ornitholidays and Eddie Watkinson onwards) to ensure that we make the best of our time, despite the limitations of advancing age.

As always we will be based in Puerto Pollenca and will largely be limiting ourselves the north of the island visiting most of the "regular" spots, but we are always interested in new possibilities (taking into account that we no longer walk up mountains).

In the past we have visited Porto Colom (the hotspot for Audouin's Gull when they were scarce) but did not find it really productive last year, no doubt due to the time of day. Are there any compelling reasons to visit this site nowadays? I read that a site not too far away from there is Mondrago NP but, other than the delights of its sandy coves, I can't find any information about it. There is supposedly a website but it appears to be inaccessible - are there maps or leaflets available to download? Is it a worthwhile journey from the north just for birding? It appears to be a really large site so where are the points of interest for birding?

In the good old days we used to explore a little along the Formentor peninsula but that now appears to be more difficult given the necessary restrctions on driving out past PP. I understand that buses are available to the lighthouse and back - are they regular and is it possible to alight and board along the way? Is visiting Casas Velles or Albercutx still feasible, for example?

Any other advice and recommendations would be gratefully received, either on the forum or via PM.

Thanks in advance
 
This forum is always full of some great advice, so please excuse me for asking for even more.

Having visited Mallorca in May 22 for the first time in ten years we enjoyed it so much that we booked to return this year (time doesn't allow for multiple visits like some of you lucky people) in mid-September. Hence, I am once more poring over my many guides to birding on the island (Ornitholidays and Eddie Watkinson onwards) to ensure that we make the best of our time, despite the limitations of advancing age.

As always we will be based in Puerto Pollenca and will largely be limiting ourselves the north of the island visiting most of the "regular" spots, but we are always interested in new possibilities (taking into account that we no longer walk up mountains).

In the past we have visited Porto Colom (the hotspot for Audouin's Gull when they were scarce) but did not find it really productive last year, no doubt due to the time of day. Are there any compelling reasons to visit this site nowadays? I read that a site not too far away from there is Mondrago NP but, other than the delights of its sandy coves, I can't find any information about it. There is supposedly a website but it appears to be inaccessible - are there maps or leaflets available to download? Is it a worthwhile journey from the north just for birding? It appears to be a really large site so where are the points of interest for birding?

In the good old days we used to explore a little along the Formentor peninsula but that now appears to be more difficult given the necessary restrctions on driving out past PP. I understand that buses are available to the lighthouse and back - are they regular and is it possible to alight and board along the way? Is visiting Casas Velles or Albercutx still feasible, for example?

Any other advice and recommendations would be gratefully received, either on the forum or via PM.

Thanks in advance
Hello Alf,
No doubt Mike M can give more/better details, but Porto Colom still has things to offer. In particular, it is the only place where I have seen what was a Mallorca bogey-bird for me, Dartford Warbler. I was there with Mike before lock-down and after a bit of effort we managed to hear and clap eyes on one! Nearby a sea-cave has a large colony of Pallid Swifts, and good views are available as you can look down on the birds as they enter and leave the cave.

Dartfords are present at Son Real, but despite lots of effort I’ve never seen them there. I was with Geordie Dave at the Fishermen’s Walk at Cala St Vicenc in September where we heard a Dartford but couldn’t manage any views (Dave has seen them there in the past). So it’s still a bit of a bogey-bird!

Stew
 
Hi Alf
Very pleased to hear you are visiting Mallorca in mid September, a great time to be here.
Access to many sites is becoming more difficult these days, bits of the approach road to Es Trenc beach for viewing the salt pans have been roped off.
Mondragó is near impossible as it is no longer possible to drive to the beach. There is a car park at the top of the hill but it is not only a bit of a slog back up the hill, but it costs a fiver too. It’s also heaving with tourists.
The list of birds seen there was less than 70 species last time I looked, but I have personally seen 105 species there. I live next to Mondragó and I went there nearly every day at dawn for many years. It’s the best place for Nightjars and there are a few good birds around, but nothing that you couldn’t see up north.
Every decent bird I’ve seen there has been a one-off so a visit would not be worth it in my opinion.
Porto Colom is pretty much the same although, as Stew says, it’s a prime site for Pallid swift.
It is also the number one site for seawatching. I will check last dates for Pallid swift as some summer breeders will have left by mid September.
All in all, I can’t think any of these sites are worth the long trek south. The north is always the best but autumn at the Cap de Ses Salines can be spectacular on the right day, with migrating raptors soaring overhead on their way to Africa for the winter.
It may therefore be worth a visit to the Cap, stopping at passage 5 for possible Rock sparrow and other migrating passerines.
I and others will update this thread with all the latest news so if there is a rarity around, you will hear about it!
Writing this has been painful. I’m stuck in south London for another 2 long weeks. I’m just missing Mallorca more than I can bear at times.
Whilst I hope birders find good birds, I always hope they will hang on until I get back.
All the best,
Mike
 
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Speaking of passerines, I got reminded by University Challenge appearing on the tv tonight.
Many, many years ago, a geezer was answering questions on British Birds.
One question asked what a passerine was, and we both answered immediately “perching birds!”)
Nope.
Sparrow like birds….apparently.
I guess it fits, passer domesticus etc.
Mike
 

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