MallorcaÂ – 9th to 14th May 07
Day oneÂ – got up at first light and walked from the Hotel in Alcudia out towards the farm land that lies towards Polenca the first sightings were flocks of Fan-tailed Warblers followed by lots of Stonechats every were you looked there were chats and Fan-tailed Warblers.Was not long tillÂ I found my first Hoopoe, in an orange grove, with two more just up the road. Woodchat Shrikes were plentiful in these orange groves to. This was my first trip to the island and I could not believe the amount of birdlife. Further along the small country road sat on the roof of an old farm building was a Thekla Lark, this was a first for me. Birds seen that morning from 7.00 till 10.00 were Purple Heron, Little Egret, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Swift, Barn Swallow, Nigtingale, Stonechat, Fan-tailed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Serin, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting, Yellow Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, Kestrel, Honey Buzzard, Red-legged Partridge and Collared Dove. Got back to the hotel after about six hours. If this was the quality on my first morning i was really looking forward to the rest of the week!
In the afternoon i got text from Cornwall Birding’s Paul Freestone who was also on the island and we arranged to meet for my first trip to the famous Bocquer Valley. It was very very hot with slight breeze once we got down to the seaward end. On entering the valley we met another birder coming out. Suprisingly he stated that there wasn’t much about! From experience Paul knew this couldn’t be the case and looked up to see five Black Vultures and to the south two Booted Eagles! We hadn’t even got in the valley yet! So much for “nothing much about”. We paused briefly at the Finca Bocquer to scan the vegetation. Garden warbler and Willow Warbler were seen at close quarters. Further up the valley two Blue Rock Thrush and a pair of Marmoras Warblers gave good close views as did a Cirl Bunting that initially gave us the run around. At the seaward end of the valley there were Crag Martin up high.We also heard Scops Owl, Red-legged Partridge and Stone Curlew. Eleanoraâ€™s Falcon (6), Peregrine, Bee-eater (10), Woodchat Shrike(8), Sardinian Warbler and numerous Spotted Flycatchers.
Day Two – Sâ€™ Albufera Parc Natural, weather very hot!
As we walked through the entrance and over the bridge there were two Osprey flying down the main canal, Â a great site to greet us. This was my first visit to S’Albufera and did not know were to look first!Â So much to see, Night Herons, Cattle Egret, Little Egret were everywhere.Â Nightingales and Cettiâ€™s Warblers blasting out their songs and you get to see them as well! This placeÂ was like heaven!Â
Birds seen in four hours were: Garganey(2), Marbled Duck (2), Red crested Pochard (5), Curlew Sandpiper (2), Great Reed Warbler(3), Osprey(2), Stone Curlew(2), Short-toed Lark(3), Tawny Pipit, Eleonoraâ€™s Falcon(15), Bee eaters (10+) Wood Sandpiper(4), Whiskered Tern(3) in flight at the Depuradora, Marsh Harrier (3+) Fanâ€“tailed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Moustached Warbler Red Knobbed Coot, Purple Swamp Hen, Common Coot, Common Sandpiper(2) Little Ringed Plover (2),Black-wingedÂ Stilt, Little Bittern,1 Purple Heron(5+), Common Tern(1) ‘Spanish’Wagtail, Woodchat Shrike, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, and House Sparrow.
Day ThreeÂ – Early morning, Alcudia beach
3 Audouinâ€™s gulls, 10+ Yellow-legged gulls, 2 Little Egrets, 1 Cormarant, 2 Hoopoe, 3 Serin, 6 Collared Dove, 2 Blackbird, 8 Spotted Flycatcher. Hotel sand pit, 8 Hoopoes having a sand bath.
Bocquer valleyÂ – afternoon V.Hot.
Spotted Flycatchers 4+, Willow Warbler 6,Crag Martin 2, Swift 10+, Yellow-legged gull 3,Â Black Vulture 2, Woodchat Shrike 1, Sardinian Warbler 3, Raven 1, Peregrine 1, Swallow-tailed butterfly 4.
Day FourÂ – Went to look for Scops owl at the Garda at Port De Pollenca with Â no luck.
Left Port De Pollenca and went to St Martin Cave Area this is a wooded area on the slopes of Puig St Martin
2 Osprey over the lake fishing, 1 Kestrel over the fields, 3 Eleanoraâ€™s falcon, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chaffinch, 9 Woodchat Shrikes, 10+ Serin, Goldfinch, Goldcrest, Nightingale, Cettiâ€™s warbler, Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 2 Crossbill, 5+ Hoopoe, 4 Sardinian Warbler, 20+ Spotted Flycatchers, Greenfinch and Collared Dove.
DayÂ Five Â – Â Took the wife to Sâ€™Albufera, very hot.
8 Marsh Harriers, 5 Osprey, Stone Curlew 2 in flight, 25 Cattle Egret, 2 Red-crested Pochard, 2 Gadwall, 20 Little Egret, 7 Night Heron, 2 Squacco Heron, 20+ Eleanoraâ€™s falcons, 15+ Bee Eaters, 2 Marbled Ducks, 2 Garganey, 7 Little Ringed Plover, 10 Kentish plover,Â Collared pratincole in flight, 1 Hobby over the Depuradora, 2 Great reed Warbler and aÂ Sacred Ibis of unknown origin.
Hotel Balcony in the evening
3 Little Egrets in flight, 5 Night Heron in flight, 4 Purple Heron in flight.
DayÂ siÂ – Afternoon went to St Martins Woods and climbed to the top.
Some great views from the top not many birds up there all I saw was 1 Stonechat on the summit.
Looking over to the Sâ€™Albufera Marsh, Â the aboveÂ pic was taken with a Canon 400mm with a 1.5 kenco converter.
On the way back down saw a few bits in the woods: 2 Marsh Harriers fly over, 1 Honey buzzard fly over, 1 Sardinian Warbler, 2 Serin, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Great Tits, 4 Woodchat Shrikes, 10+ Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Hoopoe, 10+ House Martin, 30+ Swifts, 20 + Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch, Blackcap, Nightingale heard.
Garganey – S’Albufera Parc Natural
Hoopoe – Alcudia
Short-toed Lark – S’Albufera Parc Natural
Marmora’s Warbler – Bocquer Valley
Cattle Egrets – S’Albufera Parc Natural
I saw a Â totalÂ ofÂ 89 species during the week, of which 49 were life ticks. I would definately recommend a trip to the island.
Report and all photos by Chris Buckland 2007