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Monday, 11 July 2016

Mallorca Part 1 April 2016

This is a general report of my visit to Mallorca   based near the reserve of  S'Albufera but also visits to Boquer Valley ,Formentor, Son Real, and the Arta mountains 

Day one 7th April arrived about midday with a taxi from the airport I had not booked one but as I was the only passenger to go near Alcudia on that flight  I had a Taxi to myself which cost about £5 , settled into the Hotel (geared dumped on the bed ) had a coffee and was out for a walk just the nearby woodland on the extreme edge of S'Albufera, looking for Butterflies and Orchids 
 Several Painted Ladies on the wing ,Serins, Corn Buntings, 2 Hoopoe, Kestrel, Stonechats, Willow Warblers, Sardinian and Cettis Warblers etc all in the space of a couple hours in the sun fantastic.
 Swallowtails also in good numbers but only this one settled
 A Hornets nest on the wall
 Naked man Orchid
 Mirror Orchid
Spider Orchid ?
Spider  Orchid
 Audouin's Gull are numerous on the beach
8th April
 First full day so I went to the reserve a short bus ride away cost about £1;30  a quick look on the beach before the bus to see several Audouin's Gulls again.Red Knobbed Coot,Red Crested Pochard , Marbled Duck,Stone Curlew,Little Egrets ,Cattle Egrets, Night Heron ,etc ,etc,
 About 5 Spotted Redshanks on the pools

 I counted 40 Kentish Plover
 Numerous Ospreys around this one fishing in a small pool and soon caught a fish which it flew off with
 Some much needed rain in the afternoon saw me stuck in the hide at Sa roca ,was not dressed for it , luckily I had took coffee and food , plenty of battery power and spare cards for the camera
 Purple Swamphens are very easy to see here , I always admire their ability to feed so delicately holding onto the root with one foot , this is also how they feed the young
 Poor shot of a Water Pipit one of two that dropped in light was now poor , but you can see the Summer plumage on this bird , it would have looked great in the sun.
 Little Ringed Plover  taking time out to have a bath
 Water level before the rain was perfect for the small waders but was also in danger of drying out , so rain is essential to regenerate the pools
9th April
  I took the bus to Alberfereta reserve just north of Alcudia its easy to get too , hopped off the bus first bird Zitting Cisticola , although they are very common most are seen as they ZIT, Zit  through the air , was lucky to have this one drop in beside me.

 Walked to the new platform which gave fantastic views , but on this day was a bit windy and hence cool ,Osprey, 4 Flamingoes, Great White Egret,Yellow Wagtails ,Corn Buntings
 The top of the platform gives some great views , I have seen reports of some great sightings from here , Unfortunately you could imagine this sort of  Tower/Platform in the UK , a new hide erected at a reserve at home lasted about a week before being burnt down , So Kudos to the Spanish Government for the funding of reserves   !!!
 A Tongue Orchid or one of the Serapia Orchids I don't as yet know how to separate them
 I did not walk all the way around part of the path was under lots of water  so I headed back to the road to head for La Gola in Pollensa.
This is the outflow from Albufereta

 Common Sandpiper , seen in every suitable location .Had a quick look into the north end of the reserve a path leads to a couple of screens etc. a group of ringers had a net up stretching for some way , there was nothing in and they said it was OK to walk past
  La Gola is a small reserve in Pueerto Pollensa more like our parks , but with a very impressive species list , this was my first visit although I had been to Pollensa many times I had no idea of the reserve , I knew there was a visitor centre which had been closed for some time , but as it was open again  I had a look in .The staff are very helpful and there is lots of leaflets with information of other sites to visit , I had just missed a low flying Osprey and they had recently had a Great White Egret giving very close views .
Redstart, Sardinian Warblers ,Willow Warblers ,Blackcaps, Greenshanks, Yellow -Legged Gulls

10th April
Son Bosc &  area and the sewage works Depuradora (you have to visit a sewage works don't you ) this is a bit of a walk not a problem normally but it gets pretty hot even in April so you need plenty water , which all has to be carried along with bins,cameras (DSLR & Bridge) Scope & Tripod they all take there toll by days end, which means numerous cold beers are essential to recover for the next days trek.
A rough tally of birds in the area , Bee eaters (heard only ) Ravens , 5 Hoopoes , Feruginous Duck , Marbled Duck,Stone Curlews, Purple Herons, Marsh Harriers, Osprey,Water Rail,Nightingale,Egrets , LRPlovers, Wood Sandpiper etc;
On th eway back I found some Bee Orchids , Tongue Orchids Mirror Orchids ,Spider Orchids , and some new growth just coming through.

 I think this is Red Veined Darter  not had time to check the photos out yet

11th April
Son Real can either be reached via the a long walk along the beach or via road to carpark  and its still a good walk around if you want to go to the coast.
This is a bird hide overlooking a pool unfortuanatley walkers come to it from the front scaring everything away but are surprised when they get inside and see nothing there , if your going get in early for some good views of birds drinking.
 Woodchat Shrikes fairly numerous and easy to see  , albeit on the top of a bush some way off , two in this shot where a long way off  the male was singing . As where a few Turtle Doves but I only glimpsed one flying out the back of a tree,

 These are views from down at the coast
 This platform gives good views of the surrounding scrub and the slight elevation helps to see birds flitting around .
 Arta Mountains in the distance and the well worn coastal path ,it gets busy but you can soon get away from people if you want .

 Tawny Pipit
 Audouin's Gulls I counted 18 on the nearby small island

12th April
Back to S'Albufera I should have said you need a permit to visit , but it's free just ask at visitor centre I always get one , to me it lets them know how many visitors are passing through , the more visitors it attracts the more they will spend on it's up keep and its a huge area to maintain    , it can get very busy but again its so large most visitors by the time they have walked the 1km to get in , dont go much further ,
Night Heron
 Found this very small shell on the wall only about 15mm , but a metre up the wall in full sun .
 Catfish are very  large and plentiful , I think these where feeding on the algae bloom after the heavy rain
 Red Knobbed Coot , this is the one you have to step back to get a photo as it's so close , some have rings and some do not , smart bird though .
 Red Eared Terrapin which seems to feature in Uk ponds now , I even saw one along the tidal stretch of the Ouseburn, Newcastle
 I think the photos got mixed up as this is the Boquer Valley some days later
 Black Winged Stilt , in very good numbers, a photographers dream ,very mobile and very noisy .
 Purple Heron

 Again this was down the end of the Boquer Valley where I found two Lesser Emperors , I may have some better pics , but they only landed very briefly , at some distance , they where the only ones I saw .
This is the end of part one I have only included a few shots from the places visited , and most are as from camera , if you have not been then visit it has something for everyone , there is plenty of information on the internet as to where and when to go ,it's only 2 1/2 hour flight from Uk .

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