The trip commenced on October the 11th and terminated on October 25th. The weather broke from dry and sunny on the 15th to wet and stormy with high winds. With such weather conditions, birding was interesting if not spectacular. Although bird species encountered were as expected, the island appeared to be full of birds, with some species in numbers never encountered previously.
With the amount of rain, many of the sites attractive to waders prior to the 15th became unsuitable, scattering birds to less traditional areas.
114 species were encountered during the trip, with Marsh Sandpiper being the only new tick for Mallorca.
Mallorca has always be a firm favourite of ours with many spring and autumn visits under our belt. So it’s with little pleasure that I report that Mallorca is changing almost daily; many of the birding sights familiar to birders only a few years ago have either gone or had the access removed. In my opinion the rate at which the Balearic government is continuing to develop the island means the depletion of suitable habitat and a reduction in the attraction of the island as a birding destination. The Albufereta was given Natural Park status this year only for the incumbent government to remove it: a possible motive for this is so further development can go unhindered.
GOB, Spain’s equivalent to the RSPB have fought tirelessly to safeguard the remaining habitats but it seems the government is hell-bent in covering the whole of the island with concrete and tarmac. GOB is usually at the Bird Fair at Rutland Water so please call in at the stand and give your support.
Sites that have either gone or are endangered are as follows:-
Casas Veyas (gone)
Albercutx Farm (gone)
Tucan Marsh (endangered)
Ternelles Valley (gone)
Porto Colom (endangered)
Colonia de San Jordi (endangered)
Bocquer Valley access fields (gone)
Postage Stamp Wood (endangered)
- Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Good numbers of birds at all suitable locations.
- Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 4 birds on Grand Canal S’Albufera, 2 at Orange Bridge 15th.
- Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis 2 birds on the lake at Son Serra.
- Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea Raft of birds seen from Son Serra obelisk.
- Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Birds encountered most days at suitable locations.
- Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis Up to 9 birds using the breakwater at Puerto Pollensa.
- Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus Both sexes seen at S’ Albufera 12th, 13th, 19th & 21st.
- Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax 30> birds at roost both along the entrance road and behind Bishops hide.
- Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides 1 adult bird Grand Canal S’Albufera 19th.
- Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 200> birds at S’Albufera roost.
- Little Egret Egretta garzetta 300> birds at traditional roost sites.
- Great White Egret Egretta alba 1 bird Orange Bridge 13th and 1 from Bishops & 1 at S’Albufera 23rd.
- Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Very common at all suitable locations with 11 at Albufereta 13th.
- Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 2 juvenile birds Grand Canal S’Albufera 12th & 13th plus 1 adult Albufereta 17th & 1 juvenile Depuradora 22nd.
- Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus 4 birds S’Albufera 18th.
- Shelduck Tadorna tadorna 1 adult bird Es Ras S’Albufera 13th.
- Wigeon Anas penelope 5 birds first encountered 19th S’Albufera 10> 23rd at both C.I.M, and Bishops (1).
- Gadwall Anas strepera Small numbers of birds at most suitable sites.
- Teal Anas crecca Very common at all suitable locations 100> at C.I.M.
- Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Commonest duck of the region, found at all suitable locations.
- Pintail Anas acuta 3 birds at Bishops (1) 19th with 9 at Es Cibollar 23rd.
- Shoveler Anas clypeata Very common with 150> at C.I.M. 21st.
- Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris A single bird at Bishops (1) on the 12th & 19th.
- Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina 1 female S’Albufera 12th.
- Pochard Aythya farina Small numbers at most suitable sites.
- Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 4 birds 16th Canal des Sol, singleton at the same site 21st.
- Black Vulture Aegypius monachus 2 birds Son Marc 17th, 5 at Cuber 20th.
- Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus Common at most sites with 7 birds flying together over Es Cibollar.
- Common Buzzard Buteo buteo 1 bird at S’Illot on 13th.
- Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus Birds common at suitable locations.
- Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1 bird resident at Albufereta, 1 at Es Cibollar and 1 adult flew over Depuradora 22nd.
- Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Birds seen all over the island.
- Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae Small numbers in the Bocquer 14th, 18th & 24th.
- Peregrine Falco peregrinus Singleton at the Bocquer Valley 18th & 19th.
- Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa 1 bird in “back lanes” Puerto Pollensa 24th.
- Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 1 bird at Bishops (1), and 1 on the island in the Canal des Sol.
- Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Very common at all suitable locations.
- Purple Gallinule Porphyrio alleni Common at S’Albufera with 8> at C.I.M.
- Coot Fulica atra Extremely common all over the island.
- Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Birds encountered in the north of the island with S’Albufera & Ses Salinetes holding good numbers.
- Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus One of the highlights of the holiday with flocks of 40> seen in and around the Depuradora.
- Little-ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 4 birds S’Albufera 13th.
- Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula Small numbers at suitable locations.
- Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 20> at Albufereta on 13th with small flocks at the confluence of the Torrent de Albufereta and at Es Forcadet.
- Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 12> birds at the Depuradora during all visits.
- Little Stint Calidris minuta 4 birds S’Albufera 13th & 14th. 7 birds at Es Forcadet 21st & 23rd.
- Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii 3 birds S’Albufera 13th & 14th and 4 birds Es Forcadet 21st & 23rd.
- Dunlin Calidris alpina Small numbers seen at the S’Albufera, Albufereta, Depuradora and Es Forcadet.
- Ruff Philomachus pugnax 2 birds S’Albufera on 12th & 14th and 1 at Es Forcadet on the 21st.
- Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago Odd birds seen at S’Albufera, Albufereta & Depuradora.
- Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 14 birds from Bishops on 12th & 13th with small numbers encountered at Ses Salinetes & Es Forcadet.
- Common Redshank Tringa totanus Only 2 sightings of single birds both at the Depuradora.
- Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis 3 birds S’Albufera on 12th, plus 2 at the same venue on 13th & 14th with a singleton at Ses Salinetes on 18th.
- Greenshank Tringa nebularia Small numbers at the usual venues.
- Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Up to 4 birds at the Depuradora, and odd birds on the Torrente de San Jordi.
- Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Birds confined to the Depuradora with 4 present either in the water works or at the small pool behind the hide.
- Common Sandpiper Atcitis hypoleucos Common at all suitable locations.
- Turnstone Arenaria interpres 1 bird S’Albufera 12th.
- Black-headed Gull Larus ribibundus Common at all suitable locations.
- Audouin’s Gull Larus audouini Small numbers present Pollensa bay & breakwater.
- Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans Very common everywhere.
- Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 1 bird 19th, 3 birds 20th & 6 on the 24th on Pollensa breakwater.
- Common Tern Sterna hirundo 1 juvenile bird in front of C.I.M. 12th.
- Rock Dove Columba livia 20> birds in resident flock at the Bocquer Valley.
- Woodpigeon Columba palumbus Very common throughout island.
- Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto small numbers encountered most days.
- Scops Owl Otus scops 2 birds flushed from tree Son Marc Valley.
- Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis Up to 3 birds seen on S’Albufera most visits, birds also seen at Depuradora & Albufereta.
- Hoopoe Upupa epops Birds fairly common at suitable locations.
- Thekla Lark Galerida theklae Small parties encountered in cultivated fields around Pollensa.
- Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris Small numbers Bocquer Valley.
- Swallow Hirundo rustica Small numbers seen after 14th with numbers building from 19th with hundreds going through the island on 21st & 22nd.
- House Martin Delichon urbica Small numbers with Swallows 21st.
- Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis 5 birds at S’Albufera 12th.
- Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis Small numbers encountered in the Bocquer 14th & 17th, 8 birds on scrub adjacent to Depuradora track 22nd.
- Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava Adult singleton at Depuradora 22nd.
- Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea Birds seen at both Torrente’s between Pollensa and Alcudia.
- White Wagtail Motacilla alba Small numbers at Depuradora and “back lanes”.
- Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrelli 3 birds at Depuradora 21st.
- Wren Troglodytes troglodytes 1 bird S’Albufera 19th.
- Robin Erithacus rubecula Birds flooded the island from week commencing Sunday 19th.
- Bluethroat Luscinia svecica A singleton at S’Albufera 16th.
- Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros Very common at all suitable locations from 19th.
- Stonechat Saxicola torquata Very common at all suitable locations.
- Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Single birds seen on 17th, 20th & 23rd.
- Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius Birds encountered at every trip to the Bocquer Valley.
- Blackbird Turdus merula Many bird encountered at all suitable locations especially after 17th.
- Song Thrush Turdos philomelos Numbers building up during second week. All birds seen were in the Bocquer Valley.
- Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus Small flock of 4 birds Son Marc 17th.
- Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti Abundant at all suitable locations.
- Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis Birds very common, with more birds encountered this trip than any trip previous.
- Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon Up to 3 birds seen most visits S’Albufera.
- Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus Singleton at Sa Rocca bridge S’Albufera 16th.
- Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala The most common warbler of the region by far.
- Balearic Warbler Sylvia balearica Single male seen to rear of the Bocquer Finca 18th.
- Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca Adult bird on barbed wire fence adjacent to C.I.M. (bird was not confused for either female or juvenile Sardinian).
- Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla Both sexes present Bocquer Valley 18th & 24th.
- Chiffchaff Phlyloscopus collybita By far the most common warbler of the region with birds abundant at most habitats.
- Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus Small numbers at both Son Marc on 17th & the Bocquer Valley on 19th.
- Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata A single bird in Finca gardens Bocquer Valley.
- Blue Tit Parus caeruleus Not uncommon at suitable locations.
- Great Tit Parus major The most common tit of the region.
- Raven Corvus corax Up to 6 birds at the Bocquer Valley 14th, 19th & 20th. 18 birds in the air together Son Marc Valley 17th.
- Starling Sturnus vulgaris Large influx during holiday with several 100,000s using the S’Albufera roost.
- House Sparrow Passer domesticus Extremely common throughout the island.
- Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs Odd birds seen most days.
- Serin Serinus serinus Flocks of up to 30> birds on scrub adjacent to Depuradora access track. Usually seen in mixed finch flocks.
- Greenfinch Carduelis chloris Small numbers encountered most days.
- Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis The most common finch of the region.
- Linnet Carduelis cannabina 30> birds in mixed finch flocks and small single species flocks.
- Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra A pair feeding in pines at the entrance to S’Albufera 14th.
- Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus Few sightings, a pair at the Bocquer Valley 13th & 1 adult male Son Marc 17th.
- Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus 1 male at Son Serra lake 22nd.
- Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra Only 1 bird at the Bocquer 13th. Birds seem to have declined dramatically over the past 5 years.
Pat & Judy Hayes