Saturday, 1 October 2016

Majorca 10th-17th Sept 2016

Once again we arrive in Majorca for a Family holiday. The beauty about Majorca is the tourist stuff come with the opportunity to be birding at the same time and even better this time is we chose the Eix Lagotel Hotel in Playa De Muro and I asked for a room overlooking the S'Albufera Marsh and that's what we got, certainly a nice portion of it. The down side for people who don't like noise would be the entertainment that lasts until 1130pm, but we quite enjoyed listening to the live music from the balcony.

Sunday 11th
We Arrived late on the Saturday night so no birding was done and we never got to see the view, so it was a great surprise to see we were over looking the reserve and that put me down for Sunday all day birding just from the Hotel.  The birds were brilliant. Osprey (every day) Juv Purple Heron, 50 Black Winged Stilts 10 Greenshank, 20 Spotted Redshank, Kentish Plovers, Purple Gallinule, Booted Eagle a nice Griffon Vulture plenty of Pallid Swifts with couple of Alpine Swifts and many many more commoner species.

A walk out to get some food in the evening had us walking past a small water filled ditch within the hotel and our first of many Little Bitterns.
The Moon was fabulous as always.

Monday 12th
The Monday passed Alcudia walking round the fabulous walled village, a great tourist spot and a nice place for lunch.

Then Headed for Formentor Lighthouse, as always the Eleanora's were showing fabulously as were 50+ Corys Shearwater but highlight of the hole trip was a surprise SOOTY SHEARWATER, not something you would see in the Med very often, a very special bird.
The other birds on site were pretty normal but still nice, Blue Rock Thrush, Firecrest, Sardinians and a couple of nice Peregrines.

On the Drive back down the mountain Crossbill, Firecrest and other common stuff. The Landscape here is out of this world however.

Late afternoon I spent a bit of time on the S'Albufera Marsh from the hides. Started at CM Hide which was awesome as ever with Cattle Egrets, a Great White Egret, 22 Marble Teal, Stone Curlews and a Garganey.


Then I moved to the Bishop hides where an Osprey was feeding, amazing views and not sure ive seen one this close for many years. Black Winged Stilts, Green and Common Sandpipers, everywhere here.

On the way back to the hotel the Night Herons were in there usual trees by the river.

Tuesday 13th
A very nice trip down to Cap De Ses Salines birdwise is as quiet, no movement of Raptors except the local Booted Eagles, plenty of Ravens, a Dartford Warbler in the lighthouse gardens and a handful of our first Bee eaters of the trip.
This Speckled Gropper was new to me.

Down at Ses Salines the Flamingos were in and the variety of waders were nice, Curlew, Curlew Sandpipers, Kentish Plovers, Avocet, Turnstones Dunlin, Little Stints and Ruff. Raptors were a couple of Red Kites.

After here the tourist trap of Porto Cristo what a nice place, plenty of money floating around here.

Wednesday 14th
The morning I added House Martins, Sand Martins and Cormorant from the hotel list but the best birds were from Cubar Res.  Crossbills were all over, Black and Griffon Vultures were great although not the best of views this trip. A couple of showy Tawny pipits were nice. 3 Elenoras with 3 Peregrine and lots of Common Redstart. Booted Eagles always show nicely here.

Then to the tourist spot of Valldemossa, beautiful area with wonderful flower lined streets.

Dropped the girls off back at the hotel and I headed for Son Bosc Deck over looking the water Treatment lagoons. It was great to see plenty of Cattle Egret, Wood and Green Sandpipers, Red Rumped Swallow, Woodchat Shrike, Nightingale, Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail Hoopoe and European Starling. Pick of the bunch was a nice Black Kite.

Thursday 15th
Started at Inca, a town we had never visited before. We had gone to see the traditional market which was massive and quite frankly amazing, some great produce on offer. 
Then we had Lunch at our favourite place the Campanet Caves as the gardens are superb. The Humming Bird Hawk Moth was here in good numbers and I spotted my first ever African Preying Mantis.

After dropping the girls off at the hotel again I had the opportunity to spend the rest of the day at S'Albufera again, all the usual good birds again including a very showy Little Bittern

A few Bee Eaters, 2 Black Necked Grebes, Pintail, some more Alpine Swifts and the Osprey again. There were 2 Pied Flycathers around the centre and 3 Glossy Ibis flew over and landed on one of the pools out of sight. Garganey up to 3 now.

Cattle Egrets again where everywhere and a strange creature Long Headed Toothpick Grasshopper Acrida ungarica

A Purple Swamphen showed well as did the usual Red Knobbled Coots .

The pools were full of water and so it did seem like bird numbers were down on previous years. Still amazing though .

Friday 16th
Started at Son Real which we missed on our last trip but it was as good as every with 2-3 Wrynecks, a few Thekla larks and Tawny Pipits, Woodchat Shrikes. Lots of Redstarts and Spotted flycatchers, dozen Shags on the rocks and I never fail to find showy Audouins Gulls here.


The monuments are always good here and this is what draws Rach to the area.


Went back to Playa De Muro and enjoyed the beach area as it was very hot and time to take it easy a little.

Saturday 17th
Our last day, our flights weren't till late so we had time to relax sit in the sun enjoy the area again then a few hours at the wonderful Arta Caves, a new area for us and the best cave we have ever visited in truth, it was huge and very colourful, set by the sea in a wonderful location.


A wonderful end to a great Family Holiday. 112 Species give or take a few Ive forgot since returning.
List here.

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