Monday, May 05, 2014

Son Real - Majorca

I made an early start to my day and headed up to the Formentor Peninsula and in particular the Abercutx Watchtower, a place that offers stunning views of Pollenca Bay and back towards the Tramuntana Mountains.

Spotted Flycatcher at the Watchtower
Renown as a good place for raptor watching during migration I spent an hour or more in the company of a French birder, the only other person during my stay. Unfortunately our vigil drew a complete blank on raptors but we enjoyed trying to get a decent view of a Balearic Warbler that was flitting around in the scrub below. Pallid Swift, Common Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, Blue Rock Thrush, Red-legged Partridge and several Bee-eaters passed through before I headed down. A stop at the mirador car park at the bottom of the road gave an opportunity to look down on the sea and produced a few Cory’s Shearwater passing through but not the hoped for Eleonora’s Falcon!

Wood Warbler at Son Real
I’d heard varying reports regarding Son Real with the boast that that this is the best place to see Dartford Warbler and Balearic Warblers, so Dee and I gave it a go. Firstly, I’d have to say that this is a really beautiful walk that leads from the farm buildings some 100 Meters in off the main road, through pines and then down to the sea shore. I’d also read that the 2 km walk down to the shore was mostly unproductive, but for birders like Dee and I who just enjoy birds and don’t need rarities popping out everywhere it was superb. You surely can’t complain when you have Cirl Bunting, Serin, Nightingale, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Stonechat, Turtle Dove, Wood Warbler, Red-legged Partridge and yes, even a single Balearic Warbler!

The gorgeous Audouin's Gull
Down on the beach some excellent opportunities to watch one of my favourite gulls, the Audouins Gull. Hard to believe that in the late 60’s this was one of the worlds rarest, so kudos to those who made a sterling effort in the reintroduction of these beautiful birds.

Kentish Plover - Son Real
Kentish PloverShag, Kestrel, Yellow-legged Gull and a fly-by Booted Eagle were other species of note and as for Dartford Warbler; there wasn't a single one to be found during our visit!