Working as guide for Scandinavian walking and nature travel-agency Temaresor I spent two weeks on Mallorca between 2-16th of March 1996. This was a bit earlier than usual, but I got a pre-notion of spring anyway. If you want to combine walking and birding you find most walks that we did in Landscapes of Mallorca and Herbert Heinrich's "12 classic Hikes through Majorca". There are also specific guide-books for birding in Mallorca.
Most noteworthy was a probable record of Bonelli's Eagle. We were driving the bus from Lluch towards Cuber- dam and I was on the look-out for Black (Cinereous) Vultures, which are usually seen here. Two large birds were discovered so we stopped the bus and indeed at first I took them for vultures as they appeared big. But there was something wrong about them. The tail was too long. Soon I noticed that the hand was not as "fingered" and it did have a white belly and at least a small area of white on the under wingcoverts. I could not discern a black band under the wing, but on the other hand there wasn't the sharp contrast between white and black as in much smaller Booted Eagle. That's all I could see in my bins. I didn't see the upperside which would have been indicative. General shape and size suggests Bonelli's Eagle. According to litterature they do probalby not breed on Mallorca. The white under the wing does suggest adult birds and being a pair it could indicate breeding eventually. Bonelli's Eagle is usually stationary and do not migrate. Has anyone out there ever seen Boneli's Eagle on Mallorca? If you are going to Mallorca soon. Keep an eye for Bonelli's in this area. Time was about 11.00. Please notify me if any Bonelli's.
Of the classic Mallorca specialties we saw three out of four. Marmora's warbler likes open macchia/garrigue. I have always had good luck during the walk from P. d'Andratx-Sant Elm. There are other areas described in "Finding birds books". The first week was a bit could so there wasn't much activity when we did the walk then and we consequently missed it then. Audouin's Gull can usually be seen at Port d'Andratx harbour. A new site which was very good was the walk from Cala Pi-Cap Blanc. This site was also brilliant for Shearwaters. You walk on high ledge with sea-view at almost all times. Also good numbers of Blue Rock Thrush and Hoopoes here Black (Cinereous) Vulture is readily seen near Cuber-dam. I have never missed it walking from just west of the tunnel at Coll de Puig Major (where there is a small water reservoire. Walk on jeep-track SE with the calceous ridge on your left to the very end of this road. Cross over the the ridge towards Ofre mountain. From here you can walk down the beautiful Barranc de Soller - an old pilgrim trail to Lluch. This walk is highly recommended. An other option is to walk back to the main road pass the the Cuber-dam. Be aware of not leaving anything you don't want to loose in your rental car if you get one. There are thefts reported from this area. The site is also reached by bus from Pollensa or Soller.
Eleonora's Falcon arrives in April and was not seen by us. In season you can take a boat between Sa Calobra- Port de Soller. There is a breeding colony there and the boat usually pulls up for you to see them. I would have thought to see Flamingoes at Salinas de Levante this time of year but they were not to be found. An other specialty here opposite the salines is Stone Curlew (Eurasian Thickknee).
Noteworthy migrants were: Ring Ouzel (my first for Mallorca), Tufted Duck (also my first for Mallorca), Lesser Black-backed gull and Black Kite (a rare bird on Mallorca).
Early spring records were: White Wagtail, Reed Warbler and Cuckoo. I don't know when they are supposed to be due but to me it seemed pretty early. Any comments anyone?
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 4 heard and seen Albufera Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 2 seen Albufera 8.3 Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis 6 Salinas de Levante 14.3 Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea 6 at sea from Sant Elm 10.3 2 during walk Cala Pi-Cap Blanc 14.3 Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan 10 Cala Pi-Cap Blanc 14.3 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1 ad in P. d'Andratx some at Albufereta European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1 imm in harbour of P. d'Andratx 3.3 and 10.3 10 Cala Pi-Cap Blanc Gadwall Anas strepera 4 Albufera 15.3 Common Teal Anas crecca 20 Albufera 15.3 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos some 10 at Albufera Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata 20-30 at Albufera Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina some 10 at Albufera. Reintroduced here. Common Pochard Aythya ferina 10 at Albufera 8.3, 2 here 15.3 Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 10 at Albufera 8.3, none 15.3 Little Egret Egretta garzetta 1 at Albufereta 8.3, c 4 at Albufera 15.3 Gray Heron Ardea cinerea 1 Albufera 15.3 Purple Heron Ardea purpurea 1 in far distance at Albufera appeared to be this species 15.3 Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis 2 Albufera 15.3 Osprey Pandion haliaetus 1 Albufereta 8.3 1 at Albufera 15.3 Black Kite Milvus migrans 1 at Albufereta 8.3 Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus 2 over Es Barranc of Soller 6.3 2 at foot of Ofre 13.3 Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus 1-3 at Albufereta and Albufera Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus 2 ? near Gorge Blau (S'Estret) 13.3 Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus 1 light phase at the look-out point over Torrents de Pareis 6.3 1 light phase foot of Ofre 13.3 Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus seen almost daily at various places on the island Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus a pair in acrobatic display between P. Andratx-Sant Elm 3.3 2 in display foot of Ofre 13.3 Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa 1 road near Lluch 6.3 and 1 near Cuber-dam Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 1 heard in Soller 5.3 Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio 2 at Albufera 15.3 where it has been introduced Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus com at Albufera Eurasian Coot Fulica atra com at Albufera Common Redshank Tringa totanus 6 Salinas de Levante 14.3 Sanderling Calidris alba 4 Salinas de Levante 14.3 Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea 6 Salinas de Levante 14.3 Ruff Philomachus pugnax 3 AlbuferA 15.3 Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus 1 near Salinas de Levante Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 1 at Albufera 15.3 2 at near Albufera Salines 15.3 Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus 10 Salinas de Levante 14.3 Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii 1-3 at P.d'Andratx 3.3 and 10.3 2 seen from look-out at Son Maroig 3+3+3 during walk from Cala Pi-Cap Blanc Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans common Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1 P.d'Antratx 10.3 Common Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 3 P d'Andratx 10 salinas de Levante 14.3 Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica 1 at beach of Albufereta Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 1 over sea at Playa de Trench, near Salinas de Levante 14.3 Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto heard and seen in Palma Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus 1 heard at Salinas de Levante 14.3 European Scops-Owl Otus scops 1 heard during daytime during walk between Bens d'Avall and P. Soller 11.3 1 heard in Palma at night on 12.3 and 13.3 Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 1 ex Bishop Pools, Albufera 15.3 Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops f. com seen in various places. Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla heard near Bens d'Avall Common Raven Corvus corax pair seen at foot of Ofre on 6.3 and 13.3 2 over the mountains above Deia Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius 1 walk between P.d'Andratx and Sant Elm 3.3 2 walk between Cala Pi and Cap Blanc Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus 1 ad male in flight above Deia 12.3 Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula com Redwing Turdus iliacus garden of Valldemosa sanctuary Song Thrush Turdus philomelos 1 seen in Lluch 4 seen near Cuber-dam 13.3 Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus 1 near Cuber-dam 6.3 2 here on 13.3 Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris 4 Salinas de Levante 14.3 European Robin Erithacus rubecula com Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros several seen near foot of Ofre 1 female Bens d'Avall-Puerto Soller Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata f. com Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe 1 near Cuber-dam 6-3 Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes common Eurasian Crag-Martin Hirundo rupestris com near coastal cliffs Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 2 Bens d'Avall 5.3 (a very early date?) Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus heard Valldemosa 4.3 1 seen and heard Bens D'Avall 11.3 Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis some Albufereta 8.3 some Salinas de Levante 14 Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti heard near Esporles 7.3 Easy to see and hear at Albufera. In all my experience from the Mediterrenean Albufera is the best place to see this relatively common skulker. Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon common at Albufera and quite easy to see. Beware of the similarity in call to Reed Warbler. Eurasian Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus 1 with the above species as reference at Albufera 15.3. This could be a very early record Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus some at Albufera 8.3 Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 3 catching insects at small creek below Fornalutx 13.3 common ar Albufera 15.3 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla com Garden Warbler Sylvia borin 1 seen Valldemosa 4.3 Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca 1 during walk Esporles-Establiments 7.3 Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala common Marmora's Warbler Sylvia sarda 2 seen during walk from Port d'Andratx-Sant Elm 10.3. There is a very reliable spot on this walk 1 km before the pass of the walk. They responded well to pishing. In autumn they are much more vary and more difficult to see. More perseverence is needed then. Coal Tit Parus ater 1 seen near Son Micó (end of walk Deia-Bens d'Avall) 12.3 Great Tit Parus major common Blue Tit Parus caeruleus heard Deia-Bens d'Avall 4.3 and 12.3 House Sparrow Passer domesticus com White Wagtail Motacilla alba 1 in Port d'Andratx 3.3 (early) 1 Bens d'Avall-Puerto Soller 11.3 2 Salinas de Levante 14.4 Gray Wagtail Motacilla cinerea 1 Fornalutx 13.3 Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis 2 ? probably this species on fields near Albufera 15.3 Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta 1 Bishop pool 15.3 Water Pipit/Tawny Pipit Anthus spinoletta/campestris some near Cuber-dam 6.3. I didn't get close enough looks. Tawny Pipit common here later in season. Dunnock Prunella modularis 1 seen very well in telescope during walk P. Andratx-Sant Elm 3.3 Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs common European Serin Serinus serinus 1 singing Albufereta 8.3 heard and seen Bens d'Avall-Puerto Soller heard Cala Pi-Cap Blanc 14.3 European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris common European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis common Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina 2 P d'Andratx, 1 male Cala Pi-Cap Blanc Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra f com in holm oak forest Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus 1 seen well end of walk Deia-Bens d'Avall 12.3 Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra heard above Deia 4.3, 1 seen at roadside stop on the Southern plain 14.3
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