Thursday, May 01, 2014


A quick look at the ploughed fields to the rear of the villa at sunrise produced a gorgeous ♂Whinchat and an unmistakable purring call alerted me to my first Turtle Dove of the visit, perched across on the phone wires. Although Stone Curlew had been calling while I was enjoying my coffee before leaving the villa, there was no sign of last nights birds. A five minute drive and my now regular morning walk at Can Cullerassa provided a few new additions to my local list with Spotted FlycatcherNight Heron and Purple Heron.

Purple Swamphen - One of the main attractions at S'Albufera
After breakfast Dee, Dave and I headed for S'Albufera, probably one of the best known and internationally recognised natural areas in Majorca, around a 15-minute drive from the villa. Although it was quite busy it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, this being a mayday bank holiday on the Island.

First birds of note were Cattle Egret and Little Egret, along with a single Night Heron in the trees overhanging the channel that leads along the 1.2 km walk to the visitor centre. A singing Great Reed Warbler was also heard along the boardwalk that leads up to the centre. In fairness to Dee and Dave I only made them complete the walk from the centre along to the Es Colombars Hide and back (information and reserve map HERE) but we ended up with quite an impressive tally and Dee and I will complete other areas next week, hopefully a little earlier in the day!

Purple Heron over S'Albufera
Pausing at the bridge which overlooks the main channel Red-knobbed Coot, Purple Swamphen and several Red-crested Pochard. Overhead the cracking sight of Eleanora's Falcon and Osprey was one of the holiday highlights for me thus far! Apparently the bridge is also a good place to see Little Bittern too but sadly not during our visit.

Kentish Plover - One of many today.
Further up the track there are several places to overlook the reserve, including a designated raised platform area. From here the brief song of Moustached Warbler rang out from the reedbed but we never managed to connect. A Marsh Harrier was quartering in the distance and a flyover of Purple Heron, Peregrine and once again Eleanora's Falcon. The pools held Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Little-ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper and Black-winged Stilt.

Greenshank on the Es Cibollar Pool
The Es Colombars Hide, which overlooks pools near to the power station was relatively quiet with a couple of Redshank, Great-crested Grebe, Little Grebe and I was surprised to still see several very pristine ♂Pochard, plus a pair of Shoveler. The main highlight was a Water Rail, one of Dee's nemesis birds, which thankfully showed very well for her during our stay.

Dee's record shot of Temminck's Stint
Finally, a stop at the hides overlooking the Es Cibollar Pools, which offer close range views of a number of species provided an excellent wader count with: Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, and a couple of Temminck's Stint to end the day.