Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Real Birder

Mallorca  5th to 17th October 2008

     

    Cala Sant Vicenc - cliffs have Boquer on other sideThis was our first trip to Mallorca and was partly a 'birding' holiday and partly an opportunity for my partner to enjoy warm-weather convalescence after a serious operation late last year. I had planned for six full days birding - but obviously took the bins wherever we went - you never know! Although we are not exactly novices we have only recently taken our hobby more seriously, keeping records and submitting to Birdtrack & Birdatlas and this was our first overseas trip where we intended to keep a record of where we went & what we saw.

    The advice was to situate ourselves in the north-east so we stayed in Cala Sant Vicenç, which is a pleasant village with four good beaches and the clearest sea you could wish for. As usual, we arranged our flights online & found the accommodation on the "Owners Direct" website. The apartment was owned by a couple in Kenilworth & although the flat itself was OK, they 'forgot' to mention the building site next door and that the bar, described as "100yds away", was in fact also next door & noisy as well!

    Not- a- Bird in Boquer!I could find no 'trip reports' for the area so we had a good scout around and found an excellent woodland adjacent to the village; Mallorcan Pine with various varieties of scrub - impenetrable in most places but ideal for warblers to skulk! Good, well defined paths through the extensive woods allowed excellent birding with access along Font de L'Estro to the west of the village. The woodland leads on to a superb coastal path with a rocky hillside rising a couple of hundred feet to the west and a rock & scrub strewn slope to the east, dropping down towards Cala Sant Vicenç. A 2 mile path winds round the headland to a promontory overlooking the sea, great for picnics & goat-spotting! Across the bay to the east was the 500 foot, 3k long crag that divides Cala Sant Vicenç from the Boquer Valley.

    We made this 'our patch' for the fortnight & were well rewarded with good birding - Crossbills were common & also seen were Redstart, Cetti’s Warbler, Treecreeper, Booted Eagle, Peregrine, Eleonora's Falcon, Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush & Raven; Sardinian Warbler were plentiful as were tit flocks, assorted finches, robins & flycatchers. Scops Owl was heard & there was a roost of 200+ sparrows in the village each night. Bats were a common sight each evening. "Our Patch" totalled 25 species, with highlights marked 'CsV' in the list below; this particular area would reward time spent, especially during the spring migration, when I think it would be great for warblers - apart from Cetti’s and Sardinian we saw little warbler activity whilst we were there.
      
    The end of Boquer ValleyWe paid 2 visits to Albufera, one to the Boquer Valley and one to Cuber Reservoir, in addition to six walks around 'our patch' and two over the headland west of Cala Sant Vicenç. Our week’s total was 85 (12 over my expected 'target') with 12 'lifers' which included the totally unexpected Red-knobbed Coot.

    I wouldn’t recommend staying in the village, pleasant though it is; it's a bit remote with only a basic bus service which starts late & finishes early. There are a couple of decent eateries but Port de Pollença is so much better. Cala Sant Vicenç is however worth a days birding for the woodland & the headland path.

    Bird Species List

    Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo  Seen at Albufera plus juveniles feeding at CsV bays.
    Shag  Phalacrocorax aristotelis  Half-dozen on old pylons at Albufera.
    Little Bittern*  Ixobrychus minutus  One seen at Albufera + one heard.
    Black-crowned Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax  40+ in bushes by canal at Albufera.
    Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea  Reasonable numbers at Albufera.
    Cattle Egret*  Bubulcus ibis  Common at all sites & scattered in fields around Port de Pollença.
    Little Egret  Egretta garzetta  Plenty seen in most places.
    Great White Egret*  Egretta alba  One seen flying over Port de Pollença bay.
    Cuber Reservoir, early eveningGlossy Ibis*  Plegadis falcinellus  4 at Albufera both days.
    Teal  Anas crecca  Plenty at Albufera.
    Gadwall  Anas strepera  As Teal.
    Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos  Ubiquitous at all expected locations.
    Shoveler  Anas clypeata  Plenty at Albufera.
    Greylag  Anser anser  8 flew into Albufera - CIM hide, but had gone a few hours later.
    Black Vulture*  Aegypius monachus  4 seen over Cuber Reservoir.
    Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus  Seen 'casing the joint' at Albufera both days.
    Booted Eagle  Hieraaetus pennatus  One dark phase seen over CsV headland.
    Osprey  Pandion haliaetus  One resting in reeds at Albufera.
    Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus  Common all over & frequently seen.
    Eleonora's Falcon  Falco eleonorae  4 over Boquer Valley & 2 over headland west of CsV.
    Red-footed Falcon*  Falco vespertinus  1 seen over headland by CsV.
    Peregrine  Falco peregrinus  4 seen over Boquer, 2 over cliffs near CsV.
    Water Rail  Rallus aquaticus  Single bird feeding in the open by Bishops Hide 1.
    Headland Path, Sant VicencMoorhen  Gallinula chloropus  Reasonable numbers at Albufera.
    Coot  Fulica atra  As Mallard.
    Purple Swamphen*  Porphyrio porphyrio  Plenty at Albufera.
    Red-knobbed Coot*  Fulica cristata  2 pairs by bridge at Albufera.
    Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus  Common throughout Albufera.
    Kentish Plover*  Charadrius alexandrinus  Common at Albufera - especially CIM hide.
    Little-ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius  6 or so o/s CIM hide.
    Grey Plover  Pluvialis squatarola  Seen both days at CIM hide.
    Ruff  Philomachus pugnax  One seen at Bishops 2 hide.
    Snipe  Gallinago gallinago  Good views of 3/4 birds at all hides at Albufera.
    Redshank  Tringa totanus  Half-dozen on each visit to Bishops 1 hide.
    Spotted Redshank  Tringa erythropus  4 birds at Bishops 1 hide, 2 at Bishops 2 on same day.
    Greenshank  Tringa nebularia  2 at Bishops 2 hide.
    Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus  Small numbers at all Albufera hides.
    Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos  Occasional bird at CIM & Bishops 1 hide.
    Curlew Sandpiper  Calidris ferruginea  2 at CIM hide 14th Oct.
    Black-headed Gull  Larus ridibundus  Reasonable numbers - noticeable increase throughout week.
    Audouin’s Gull  Larus audouinii  Plenty at Port de Pollença, Albufera & occasionally at CsV bays.
    Boquer ValleyYellow-legged Gull*  Larus cachinnans  Common everywhere, plenty at CsV.
    Rock Dove  Columba livia  Lots in Boquer Valley & occasional elsewhere.
    Wood Pigeon  Columba palumbus  Common all over island.
    Collared Dove  Streptopelia decaocto  Almost as common as "woodies".
    Scops Owl  Otus scops  1 calling at CsV.
    Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis  Seen regularly along Albufera canals.
    Hoopoe  Upupa epops  Single bird seen at Albufera.
    Crag Martin  Ptyonoprogne rupestris  Good numbers in Boquer and over headland at CsV.
    Swallow  Hirundo rustica  Not as many as expected, more week commencing 7th Oct.
    Swift  Apus apus  Small groups seen at Albufera, Boquer & CsV village.
    House Martin  Delichon urbica  Small gathering over CsV village 17th Oct.
    Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea  Small numbers seen in all expected locations.
    White Wagtail  Motacilla alba  2 at Albufera.
    Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes  2 seen at CsV woods.
    Robin  Erithacus rubecula  Noticeable increase in numbers throughout the fortnight.
    Common Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus  At least 4 in CsV woods, pair had nested in roof opposite apartment in CsV; also seen at Boquer.
    Black vulture domain, north MallorcaBlack Redstart  Phoenicurus ochruros  Male + female at Cuber by dam.
    Stonechat  Saxicola totquata  Seen most places.
    Whinchat*  Saxicola rubetra  1 male seen Albufera.
    Northern Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe  1 male in Boquer Valley.
    Blue Rock Thrush  Monticola solitarius  Plenty at expected locations - lots at CsV headland.
    Song Thrush  Turdus philomelos  Seen & heard singing CsV woods.
    Blackbird  Turdus merula  Fairly common most locations.
    Cetti’s Warbler  Cettia cetti  Very common all over - lots at Albufera.
    Zitting Cisticola  Cisticola juncidis  1 seen in CsV & lots heard, but skulking!
    Great Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus arundinaceus  Small number singing at Albufera & 1 seen.
    Sardinian Warbler  Sylvia melanocephala  Lots and lots at all sites inc CsV, very common - & noisy.
    Willow Warbler  Philoscopus trochilus  2 seen at Cuber by dam.
    Goldcrest  Regulus regulus  Small numbers in CsV woods.
    Firecrest  Regulus ignicapillus  1 seen feeding at Lluc Monastery gardens.
    Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata  Regularly seen in CsV & Boquer.
    Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula hypoleuca  1 male in CsV woods.
    Boquer Valley trackBlue Tit  Parus caeruleus  Lots in CsV woods.
    Great Tit  Parus major  A dozen or so in CsV woods.
    Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris  1 seen in woods at CsV.
    Raven  Corvus corax  Seen in Boquer and regularly over hillside by CsV.
    Starling  Sturnus vulgaris  Numbers building noticeably through fortnight.
    Cirl Bunting  Emberiza cirlus  Single male in Boquer.
    House Sparrow  Passer domesticus  Seen everywhere - nightly roost of 200+ in CsV village.
    Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs  Common everywhere.
    Greenfinch  Carduelis chloris  Fairly common at most places.
    Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis  Large flocks seen feeding at most locations.
    Crossbill*  Loxia curvirostra  Very common in CsV woods, male & female seen daily on tree opposite apartment in CsV with male singing loudly.

    * lifers

    Tony Jones

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