• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Mallorca 2024 (4 Viewers)

Philip Garnett in Santa Ponça reported a good day for migration yesterday with many common migrants.
I have long believed that many arriving migrants from Africa come in to Mallorca in the South West.
On some of these good days of incoming birds, I have been at Cap de Ses Salines in the South-East and seen virtually no migration at all.
It’s the best place in the autumn but further west or the north of the Island are definitely the places to be at this time of the year.
Mike
 
Results are in - the Porth Hellick (Isles of Scilly) flycatcher found a couple of weeks ago was a nominate spotted flycatcher (M. striata), confirmed by Prof. Martin Collinson through DNA obtained from a faecal sample. An educational bird nonetheless for those that saw it. The bird certainly demonstrated some characteristics consistent with established field ID criteria of Mediterranean (Balearic) flycatcher.
 
Results are in - the Porth Hellick (Isles of Scilly) flycatcher found a couple of weeks ago was a nominate spotted flycatcher (M. striata), confirmed by Prof. Martin Collinson through DNA obtained from a faecal sample. An educational bird nonetheless for those that saw it. The bird certainly demonstrated some characteristics consistent with established field ID criteria of Mediterranean (Balearic) flycatcher.
Interesting! looks like there is a way to go yet before field ID of this taxa is safe........will be looking at them next week all being well anyway.
 
I had to take Jane’s car for an MOT and took the opportunity to call in at Vilafranca on the way home.
I always keep a spare camera and binoculars in my car but soon realised I was in the wrong car.
Nothing!
To add to the misery, I was surrounded by raptors. I then read that 5 Lesser kestrels and 2 Red-footed falcons were reported this very morning.
I saw two very close and they were definitely lesser kestrels. The problem was, I counted a further 11 birds in the air at the same time. It was incredibly frustrating being so close to some super birds and yet no way of observing them, except to wait until they came close enough to identify with the naked eye.
Then, to add insult to injury, a larger bird was hovering with the kestrels and a slim harrier with a white rump flew low past. It was more than likely a Montagu’s harrier but I cannot say 100%.
I will be back as soon as possible, maybe in the morning, but I would thoroughly recommend any birder to take a look at this traditionally great site.
I once saw over 30 Red-footed falcons there all in the air at the same time. It was a marvelous sight and one which I treasure.
Almost anything can turn up there, I have seen large numbers of Honey buzzard on the move before and Bonelli’s eagles too.
I then called at Castel de Santueri, Felanitx on the way back and there I saw 5 Alpine swift screaming round the castle, a fine thing to see.
It all put me in a good mood as I ate my cheese roll on the wall, looking out across to the east coast and out to sea.
It doesn’t get much better.
The car passed as well.
Mike
 
I’m now just over a week into this 3 weeks visit. Around 110 species seen and 18 additions to the Mallorca year list. For the early part of this week the island could have been twinned with Newcastle, such was the weather. Over the last 2 days there is the feeling that temperatures are returning to normal. Wednesday brought Squacco heron, nightingale and great reed warbler and my first Mediterranean flycatcher of the year, all at Albufera. I spent yesterday morning at Can Cuarassa without adding anything, a visit to
Albufereta had whiskered tern but no sign of the caspian that had been reported early. I went on to the Depuradora and the horse paddocks parallel to Don Bosc hoping for bee eaters; again another blank. I saw Pep at Can Cuarassa this morning and he reported seeing a Roller which had disappeared from view. I stayed on for half an hour and found it in the wires where it stayed for more than an hour. Views were distant, photos terrible but the profile and the occasional flight views confirmed its identity. There were 2 spotless starlings on end usual roof but still no sign of golden oriole in the nearby gardens. I had planned on going in to the Boquer Valley but seeing the number of cars in the car park decided against it and instead had an hour in the park area on the avenue approach. This turned out to be a good decision. There were several pied flycatchers, a pair of common redstarts, wood warbler, female whitethroat and some close up views of a moustached warbler. I finished the afternoon along the lane beside the Duva Hotel in Gotmar. Other than an Osprey heading north and through the gap to Cala San Vicenc, presumably on migration, there was nothing further to add. Tomorrow morning Albercutx Tower awaits.
 
Mike Montier, Hi.
Ref: Vilafranca.
'.....but I would thoroughly recommend any birder to take a look at this traditionally great site'

You've whetted my appetite! So I think I'll visit this place on my next visit.

Where is a good place to park? Which area is a good place to start looking?
Thanks , Ian
 
Mike Montier, Hi.
Ref: Vilafranca.
'.....but I would thoroughly recommend any birder to take a look at this traditionally great site'

You've whetted my appetite! So I think I'll visit this place on my next visit.

Where is a good place to park? Which area is a good place to start looking?
Thanks , Ian
Hi Ian, you would never find me asking for so much information and help.
 
Unable to sleep for thinking about those falcons at Vilafranca, I got up at a ridiculous time and headed off for the Plains.
Corn buntings were abundant there, a guess would be about 30 in a small area.
As it was so early, many birds were in the road, taking in grit I assume.
Short-toed larks were plentiful along with Thekla lark many Stonechat.
Zitting cisticolas called and a few delightful Spanish wagtails were in evidence.
The skies were completely empty and I felt a bit low. So many great photo opportunities yesterday and here I was staring at an aerial wilderness.
Then the Barn swallows came to lift the spirits a bit. Common swift followed and I became a little more optimistic.
After a further wait, 6 kestrel species appeared out of nowhere and began hunting.
They were so far away but I got the feeling they were of the Lesser variety.
After an hour or so, they moved a bit closer and confirmed my thoughts.
Three other very distant falcons were probably Red-footed.
Photos were difficult but I got some record shots. One kestrel was definitely Common so the maximum lesser kestrel I can count is 5.
That was about it really, so for anyone going, getting there before 10am doesn’t produce much in the way of raptors. They come later.
I had used up all my time and had to go but I really wish I could have stayed all day.
It’s a marvelous place, not for everyone, but those vast open spaces certainly do it for me.
Freedom.
Mike
 

Attachments

  • DSCN9839.jpeg
    DSCN9839.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 33
  • DSCN9832.jpeg
    DSCN9832.jpeg
    705 KB · Views: 33
  • DSCN9829.jpeg
    DSCN9829.jpeg
    1.5 MB · Views: 32
  • IMG_1297.jpeg
    IMG_1297.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 34
  • IMG_1361.jpeg
    IMG_1361.jpeg
    19.9 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_1367.jpeg
    IMG_1367.jpeg
    28.3 KB · Views: 38
  • DSCN9821.jpeg
    DSCN9821.jpeg
    609.6 KB · Views: 38
  • IMG_1304.jpeg
    IMG_1304.jpeg
    2 MB · Views: 36
Mike Montier, Hi.
Ref: Vilafranca.
'.....but I would thoroughly recommend any birder to take a look at this traditionally great site'

You've whetted my appetite! So I think I'll visit this place on my next visit.

Where is a good place to park? Which area is a good place to start looking?
Thanks , Ian
I would also be really grateful for direction or info for Villafranca area.
 
Unable to sleep for thinking about those falcons at Vilafranca, I got up at a ridiculous time and headed off for the Plains.
Corn buntings were abundant there, a guess would be about 30 in a small area.
As it was so early, many birds were in the road, taking in grit I assume.
Short-toed larks were plentiful along with Thekla lark many Stonechat.
Zitting cisticolas called and a few delightful Spanish wagtails were in evidence.
The skies were completely empty and I felt a bit low. So many great photo opportunities yesterday and here I was staring at an aerial wilderness.
Then the Barn swallows came to lift the spirits a bit. Common swift followed and I became a little more optimistic.
After a further wait, 6 kestrel species appeared out of nowhere and began hunting.
They were so far away but I got the feeling they were of the Lesser variety.
After an hour or so, they moved a bit closer and confirmed my thoughts.
Three other very distant falcons were probably Red-footed.
Photos were difficult but I got some record shots. One kestrel was definitely Common so the maximum lesser kestrel I can count is 5.
That was about it really, so for anyone going, getting there before 10am doesn’t produce much in the way of raptors. They come later.
I had used up all my time and had to go but I really wish I could have stayed all day.
It’s a marvelous place, not for everyone, but those vast open spaces certainly do it for me.
Freedom.
Mike
That "unable to sleep" is with me too Mike just can't wait to get going.
A good mornings birding for you, sounds like bliss.

All the screws on our glasses have been tightened, straps have been checked on the binos, lenses cleaned just counting down launching time now.

We (I) are planning a trip to the Plains for Tuesday and then Son Real Thursday.

Hope to be reporting our observations at Albufera tomorrow

T & C
 
I’m busy making a map of Vilafranca although my directions should come with a health warning, just ask Mike Swiss or Kevin.
In the meantime, millions of velella velella have washed up in my local bay.
They turn the sea blue and are driven solely by the wind, hence the common name “by-the-wind-sailor” or “sea raft”.
They have a fascinating life cycle for anyone interested in reading up about them.
They are not a jellyfish apparently but are closely related.
They also don’t smell very nice…
Mike
 

Attachments

  • DSCN9845.jpeg
    DSCN9845.jpeg
    9.4 MB · Views: 20
If you google “EDAR Vilafranca” you will get this map. From the Ma5111, it is marked “Depuradora” as shown on the map.
Drive all the way down the narrow road past fields either side.
At the “T” junction at the end, the depuradora is towards the right but it is best to turn left and park at the side of the road by the first turning to the right.
This is the best place to view the Meridionales shrike in winter. It’s been there 4 or 5 winters but no guarantee it will return of course.
I’ve found it to be the best place overall to watch the area for falcons.
However, driving down to the depuradora and beyond can also be good. It’s worth exploring the area to familiarise yourself with the place.
If you can find the place with my directions, it will be a first.
Mike
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1662.png
    IMG_1662.png
    4.4 MB · Views: 33
Well finally arrived after a thirty minute delay at Manchester, then to be told no hot drinks on the plane after we got on plane!

Landed at Palma at 11.10 to a wet welcome but living in the North West it didn't count as real rain.

I was having our morning permits validated at S'Albufera by 14.00 and I left the reserve with a poor 32 species with the best being a cracking female Little Bittern fishing. A pair of Common Tern were going through their mating so I left them to it, well you would, wouldn't you?

The tally leaves us nine birds down on last year but I did spend four hours there last year. I vowed I was not chasing numbers this time out.

Met a nice couple who had great views of a male Little Bittern five minutes before I turned up, climbing the reed stems.

Bye for now

T &C
 
Thoroughly enjoying reading all your reports and so much looking forward to landing at Palma airport Wednesday morning. You can get rid of that rain though!! Has it warmed up at all yet?
 
Thoroughly enjoying reading all your reports and so much looking forward to landing at Palma airport Wednesday morning. You can get rid of that rain though!! Has it warmed up at all yet?
Still wet, nice brollies and pac a macs on display but tomorrow is forecast for much better and even some warmth🌞
 
Do you ever cover Menorca in this thread? I started reading the Master and Commander books and the first one starts in Mahon where a character gets excited at seeing a Hoopoe. I'd like to visit sometime, perhaps by ferry from Barcelona.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top