Thursday, 25 September 2014

Majorca 15-20th September

We decided just last month that after all the hard work getting our house rented in Cumbria and buying and moving into our new home in Suffolk we needed a holiday. So booked fairly late for Majorca, Rachels mother was joining us this time so Majorca was the easy, cheap and safe option.
As Rachels mother lived in Chestefield we booked the flights going from Manchester trouble was it was a 6am flight so stopped over night. On way to Derbyshire a Red Grouse was spotted, the birding's started ;-).

Monday 15th
We Arrived at Palma Monday morning but it took an age to get our car, OK car hire were very slow and the cues were massive, 2 hours it took what a waste not a great start. We had planned to visit Sollar but we were a bit fed up and now just wanted to check in at our Lago Park Hotel in Playa de Muro a hotel we had stayed in 3 times before and was nice and central with plenty to do for the girls at night and just down the road for Sa Albufera Marsh.
Anyway for the first few days all birding was just done from the car. The journey from Palma to our hotel produced  Booted Eagle a Marsh Harrier, Cattle Egret and Little Egret. The rest of the evening was spent around the hotel relaxing.

Tuesday 16th
Today we headed for the Formenta mountains, this was good as there was a bit of birding for me and some sight seeing for the girls. Highlights were great views of Marmora's Warbler, Common Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Wheatear and Blue Rock Thrush.

The best as always here were the great views of the Elenouras Falcons, what made it even better were the fact a Peregrine was interacting with them as one of the Elenouras had caught what looked liked a Wheatear and the Peregrine was trying to steal it. Gulls here were the usual Yellow Legged and Audoins gulls.
Pictures of the Formentor area.



We made the trip back down the mountain and through the mountains on the MA10 to Sollar but we didn't go as as far as soller and took the short cut back . Birds from the car were loads of Crossbills, Crag Martin, Firecrest, and 3 Hawfinch. Then we stopped to look at a 11 Griffon Vultures in the area and amazingly a Golden Eagle, (possibly a long time escape).


Griffon Vulture
Anyway it was a great trip up n down the mountains.
We than had a couple hours in the lovely city of Alcudia and there market was fantastic as were the historical walls.


I dropped the girls of back at the hotel and had an hour at Sa Albufera and the Sa Bosc Deck. Awesome place as its easy to get to and over looks the Sewage plant and reserve. 
Good selection of birds with 7 Wood Sandpipers, 8 Green Sandpipers, 7 Common Sand, Shovelers, Yellow Wagtails, Hoopoe, Cettis Warbler, 8 Marsh Harrier, Black Winged stilts, Dunlin and a Reed Warbler.

Wednesday 17th

Today we decided a walk was in order, I knew just the place, Cubar Res perfect for a short walk and some birding. Great selection of birds and scenery ;-). Firecrest, Blue Rock Thrush, 4 Black Vulture, 9 Griffon Vultures and probably the same Golden Eagle. Booted Eagles showed nicely but the highlight was a flock of Bee Eaters calling as they flew over head.

We continued our journey for the afternoon in Port de Sollar a really nice port with a cracking little tram ride from Sollar to Port de Soller, 10 euros each but well worth it. On the way a Hawfinch at Mortrix.

Thursday 18th
Today the girls were kind enough to let me spend the morning on the main bit of Sa Albufera Reserve. Fantastic area and always the highlight of my trip. 
Night Heron and Cattle Egret were perched in there usual trees along the river, from the bridge by the centre is always great for Moustache Warbler, and this time was no exception.

Moved onto the Cibollar l hides, Nightingale on the way then Green Sandpipers, Black Winged Stilts and a Weasel. 2 Ospreys showed really nicely and one had a German ring on, Blue with white letters.





Also from here were 2 Avocets, Greenshank, Cattle and Little Egrets .

I moved onto Es Cibollar ll hide which was a bit quieter but I got better views of the Ospreys. Also Sardinian Warblers which were the most common bird I saw by the way, gave me a photo opportunity. A Kingfisher sat still for a short time.

A quick look back in the first hide for a quick shot of a couple of Spotted Redshanks, although there were about 20. 30+ Swift were high in the sky distantly, looked brown possibly Pallid Swifts but too far to be sure.

I moved onto the Wader and Duck rich Sa Roca hide which had 6 Marble Teal originally but then amazingly a load dropped in making it 23 and incredible number. 2 Kentish Plover 2 Little Stints and plenty of LRPs were around. 101 Black Headed Gulls were great and the brute of a Yellow Legged Gull dropped in.
8 Stone Curlew hidden right of the hide.

The Afternoon we spent at the Coves de Campanet which are really cool then we spent time in the cafĂ© just chilling watching Humming bird Hawkmoths and Firecrest.

Friday 19th
Today we visited Valldemossa somewhere we had not been too but probably the nicest town on the island, a little mountain town with amazing small streets full of pot plants. Birdwise a Red Kite was a bonus, Elenoras, Vultures and Booted Eagle.

On the drive back we took in the amazing Sa Calobra road an amazingly tight winding up road and very tricky when buses are heading for you .
We returned back at the hotel fairly early and it was cooling down a bit so nipped to Son Bosc briefly watching Hoopoes, then the girls wanted a walk on the main reserve. RESULT!


It was great to show them the vast amount of birds on site. Including Purple Swamphen, Red crested Pochard a Red Knobbled Coot and some Terrapins. 20 Stone Curlews 2 Little Grebe and 2 Yellow Legged Gull.

20th September.
Arrrrr Final day so we packed up n headed for the airport, luckily it wasn't till 4pm so we had a trip out to Caps Des Salines where I stood with some Spanish guys who couldn't speak a word of English but we managed to show each other any birds that came over even if we couldn't communicate what they were lol. My take on the 1 hour watch were 11 Marsh Harrier, 6 Booted Eagles, 1 Elenoras, 1 Hobby a Black Kite, 40 Bee Eaters and 3 Grey Heron.
Moved onto the saltpans at Ses Salines where 500 Greater Flamingos and 500 Avocets were showing through the haze, Girls were fascinated at real live wild Flamingos ;-). 50 Curlew Sandpiper, Temmnicks Stint Little Stints and Shelducks were the pick of the other birds here.

Time for Home boooo been another great trip to Spain...
Lastly this strange creature was at Sa Albufera
 Managed 95 species for the trip.

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