Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Majorca Update 2

The weather over the last few days has been superb and I must start by mentioning the fantastic sight of two Golden Oriole, which overflew the villa early on Monday morning during my pre breakfast walk! However, later in the morning the wind had really increased and a trip along the Boquer Valley was a very blustery affair and certainly curtailed any decent birding.

Blue Rock Thrush at Cap De Formentor
Despite being an area known for Balearic Warbler and Blue Rock Thrush we drew a complete blank and with most birds hunkered down we could only manage a few decent species, with Raven, Booted Eagle, Bee-eater and Crag Martin the highlights. In fact the best part was before we even entered the gates along what is known as ‘Pine Tree Avenue’, a good area for spring migrants and situated on the opposite side of the Boquer roundabout. Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Pied Flycatcher were all recorded.

Audouin Gulls regular around Port De Pollenca
After a late lunch in Port De Pollenca, where Audouin Gulls can easily be found, we headed off to Cap De Formentor, which forms the eastern end of Majorca’s Formentor peninsula. An incredibly narrow road which winds and weaves up to the lighthouse, made even more problematic by the cycling craze, which seems to have swept the Island. This was a real joy as within minutes we were onto Blue Rock Thrush, Redstart and Woodchat Shrike, all found in the vegetation as you look down towards the sea. The sea itself was alive with Cory Shearwater and Balearic Shearwater but due to the height I hope to get much betters views over the next fortnight.

Squacco Heron - Can Cuarassa
I began today (Tuesday) with an early morning visit to Albufereta and the Can Cuarassa, only a 5-minute drive from the villa. There’s a lovely walk that leads to a couple of pools that have been screened with viewing areas and another branch of the Can Cuarassa is a track that leads directly inland. Nightingales and Cettis Warbler are abundant here and this morning the pools produced a couple of Squacco Heron, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Snipe and Little-ringed Plover. While sitting at the viewing area a Great Reed Warbler began singing a few yards away. A short walk inland along the track had Hare, Wheatear, Stonechat, Woodchat Shrike and Whinchat, along with the ever present Zitting Cisticola.

Zitting Cisticola ( Fantail Warbler) collecting nest material.
After breakfast Dee, Dave and I checked out another section of the Albufereta near the river and enjoyed a fantastic walk through pine wood, meadow and around a large pool. Stonechat were prevalent and Flava Wagtail, Serin, Woodchat Shrike and Corn Bunting noted before reaching the pool. Here Red-crested Pochard, Greenshank, Black-winged Stilt, Cattle Egret, Little EgretKentish Plover and a single Common Tern were the highlights of a superb couple of hours.