Print
Category: SPAIN
Hits: 2278

BALEARIC ISLANDS

SPAIN

BALEARAS (Palma)

02o48´/39o15´ 501,422 ha (Majorca is 111,369 ha) 1,571m (Silla de Torrellas) and 1445m (Puig Mayor, Majorca), maritime, mainly hills and mountains with heath and patches of pine, farmland: citrus, olives, almonds and dates are grown
Summer for breeding birds, spring and autumn for migrants (May 2009, April 2019)

Birding Site Guide

These islands lie 300 kms off the east coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, and cover an area of the larger islands consist of well known holiday destinations of Majorca, Minorca, and Cabrera in the east and Formentera and Ibizia in the west. The islands are an offshore extension of the Andalusian mountains with Minorca and Formentera and southern Majorca having the highest, most rugged limestone hills. Minorca is however mostly quite flat with Majorca being mountainous and hillyin the N and W. Majorca has the highest population and native vegetation is now mostly secondary garigue heath with conifer woodland on rugged hills. Citrus, olives, almonds and dates are widely grow.

MAJORCA

Palma on Majorca is a large international airport, though flights can be obtained from many places. Climate is typical Mediterranean, with long, dry summers and short mild winters with no extremes.

Boquer Valley

In NW S of Cap de Formentor, just N of Las Palmeras. Allow 3 to 4 hours for steady walking to get there and back. The scenery is spectacular as you walk up past a building and through gates and a bit of a gorge, then the valley between 2 sharp high ridges opens up. The bottom of the valley is mainly vegetated with scrub and some pines becoming more barren to the steep rock walls. The walk is easy on mainly flattish ground but with often loose stone.

The main target here is Balearic Warbler, and although a few remain through winter, some head off to Africa, so time your visit accordingly. On my early spring visit I saw just one. Other species seen/heard were Booted Eagle, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Crag Martin, Hoopoe, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Nightingale, Redstart, Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike, Yellow wagtail, Stonechat, Linnet, Serin, Goldfinch.

Cap de Formentor

NW of island. An incredibly scenic rocky peninsula about 20km long with a lighthouse at the end. The road though narrow, twisting and up and down is a just wide enough for 2 way traffic. However, be warned that from the earliest days of spring through summer and autumn the route is clogged with hundreds of cyclists. On a not particularly warm afternoon in early spring when we were there there must have been 600 cyclists and continuous cars both ways all the way. This makes driving extremely nerve racking on these narrow roads with often blind bends. There was absolutely no possibility to turn around and when we finally reached the lighthouse there was a 1 km queue of cars into the car park which took an hour to edge forward, before I finally could turn around (without parking) and going back. The main target here was Eleanora's Falcon, which is often present near the lighthouse and which we saw from the car hanging in the wind just above us. We also saw Blue Rock Thrush on way up.

Parc Natural de s’Albufera

This is an internationally renowned wetland on the W coast before Boquer Valley. After leaving Can Picafort you enter the start of Port d’Alcúdia and at the canal is the path alongside to the reserve. Park as close as you can in town and walk back, following the path alongside the canal for just over a km to the visitor centre. It is a huge site of c.1,600 hectares and if you want to do it justice you will need all day. Some of the attraction species are Kentish Plover, Stone Curlew and Greater Flamingo, but a whole range of wetland birds can be found and rarities do turn up.

L’Albufereta

This is another wetland reserve a bit further N of Port d’Alcúdia similar to Albufera but not as large or well known.

Cala Romantica

This attractive small place is located on the E side of the island and while not a birding site as such, it did offer some coastal habitat and a small headland to seawatch from. Doubtless any headland would be good for seawatch from and many will be better; however I still easily counted over 100 fairly close Cory’s Shearwaters and a handful of Balearic Shearwaters in just an hour. There was little else though except Yellow-legged Gull and Cormorant. For Audouin’s Gull I always found them nearly only at harbours, any harbour had at least one or two.

Other birds seen additional to text.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Gadwall Anas strepera

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata

Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina

Common Pochard Aythya ferina

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus

Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo

Booted Eagle Aquila pennata

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra

Crested Coot Fulica cristata

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius

Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea

Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus

European Scops-Owl Otus scops

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus

Common Swift Apus apus

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Eurasian Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava

Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla

Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula

Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti

Fan-tailed Warbler Prinia juncidis

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon

Great Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata

European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos

Great Tit Parus major

Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator

House Sparrow Passer domesticus

European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina

European Serin Serinus serinus

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra

 

Author: Jon Wainwright, Bryan Wainwright

www.birdingsiteguide.com