Trip Report: Northern Mallorca, May 11-25, 2000

Wilton Farrelly, 33 Old Dundonald Road, Belfast, BT16 2EQ, Northern Ireland;


A two week family holiday in Northern Mallorca between May 11th and 25th 2000. We were based in a villa 1km west of Pollenca booked through OSL in the UK. Although a family holiday, the proximity of excellent birding sites enabled me to undertake a considerable amount of birding. A car was hired for the full two weeks but only sites in the North and West were birded. The exception was a half day to the Arta mountains. In general it was an excellent holiday, a great country to visit, generally cheap and of course, good birding.

Bird Guides

Graham Hearl's A birdwatchers guide to Mallorca is invaluable and definitely the guide for the area. Dave Gosney's guide was also used and is recommended as it contains site specific species information and is handy in the field.


The first week was constant sun whilst the second week was a mixture of sun and cloudy mornings with the very occasional light shower. Early mornings were often cold, particularly during the first week.

Site Updates

Since the completion of the Graham Hearl guide, a number of site changes have occurred:

Sites Visited

In addition to the area immediately adjacent to the villa, the following sites were visited during the two week period.

Species Seen

Little GrebeS'Albufera
Cormorant2 juv's at S'Albufereta upto 18th
Little Bittern1, S'Albufera
Night HeronCommon, S'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Squacco Heron1 S'Albufera on 16th & 4 S'Albufera on 19th,
Cattle Egret3+ S'Albufera
Little EgretCommon, S'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Grey Heron1 S'Albufereta and at S'Albufera
Purple HeronCommon, S'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Greater Flamingo1, S'Albufera
GadwallOn canal at S'Albufera
Teal1 drake, S'Albufera on 19th
MallardS'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Garganey1, S'Albufereta on 13th
Red Crested PochardCommon, S'Albufera
Honey Buzzard29 through Formentor lighthouse on the 13th
Black Kite1 through Formentor lighthouse on the 13th
Red Kite1 at Cuber on 15th
Egyptian Vulture1 adult at Cala de St. Vicenc
Black Vulture1 Cuber, 2 Lluc, 18 K11.1
Marsh HarrierCommon, S'Albufera & occasionally S'Albufereta
Booted EagleAbout 10 different sightings in the mountains and 1 at Cases Velles
OspreyOnly 1 sighting, in front of the Bishop hide at S'Albufera
Eleonora's FalconSeen every day. Mid morning seemed to produce groups of birds together at e.g. Bocquer & S'Albufera.
PeregrineSeen infrequently, e.g. at Pollenca and K11.1
Red Legged PartridgeHeard at Bocquer and seen at Emrita de Betlem
QuailHeard at Pollenca
PheasantHeard at Cuber
Water RailHeard at S'Albufera
Purple GallinuleCommon at S'Albufera
Black-winged StiltCommon
Stone Curlew1 bird seen in a field at Cuarassa. (It was reported that a pair bred in the Bocquer)
Little Ringed PloverS'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Ringed PloverS'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Kentish PloverS'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Little StintS'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Curlew SandpiperS'Albufera & S'Albufereta (mainly first week)
Redshank3 at S'Albufereta on 23rd
Common SandpiperS'Albufereta to 23rd
Black-headed GullA few birds at S'Albufera & S'Albufereta
Audouins GullSeen along Pollenca Bay/S'Albufereta
Yellow Legged GullCommon
Whiskered Tern2 / 3 birds at S'Albufera
Rock Dove/Feral PigeonBocquer Valley
Wood PigeonCommon
Turtle DoveS'Albufereta - 4 on 19th & 2 on 24th
Cuckoo1 heard at Cuber
Scops Owl1 at Hotel Uyal, Port de Pollenca
Common SwiftVery common
Bee-eater20 at Lluc on 15th, 15 at Cuarassa on 23rd and breeding at S'Albufera
Roller2 birds. 1 at Cuarassa on the 14th and 1 on Nightingale road on the 19th
WryneckBreeding in the pines at the base of the Bocquer valley
Short-toed LarkS'Albufera
Thekla Lark1 bird on track beside TV aerial/small resevoir on way to Ermita de Betlem (as accurately described in Hearl's book)
Crag MartinSeen around mountains, breeds on Cuber Dam
House MartinCommon
Tawny PipitCuber and Arta Mountains
Yellow WagtailCommon at various 'wet' locations. Canassa held numerous birds on the 13th including 1 Feldegg.
WrenMountain areas only
NightingaleCommon (but only one seen)
Common Redstart2 birds in Postage Stamp Wood on the 14th
WhinchatBocquer and Pollenca on 12th/13th
Wheatear1, Pollenca, 12th May
Rock Thrush1 male at the Quarry at Cuber
Blue Rock Thrush Birds seen in the mountain regions, around villa, monastery at Pollenca and Ermitta de Betlem
Song Thrush1 at Cases Velles on the 13th
Cettis WarblerCommon
Fan-tailed WarblerCommon
Moustached WarblerHeard only at S'Albufera (There is no longer a hide in the middle of the reeds and the reeds have been cut back around some of the tracks)
Reed WarblerS'Albufera
Great Reed WarblerS'Albufera (easy to see)
Melodious Warbler1, Ermtta de Betlem, 21st
Marmora's Warbler2 birds seen (others heard) at Arta - Piere St Colom on 21st.
Spectacled WarblerHeard at Cuber only
Sardinian WarblerVery common
Garden Warbler1, 12th May Pollenca, 1 Ternelles Road 23rd May
Wood WarblerBocquer valley, 1 on 13th
Chiffchaff1, Ermitta de Betlem, 21st May
Willow Warbler2, Bocquer Valley on 12th
FirecrestSurprisingly hard to see. However birds in the gardens at Ermita de Betlem provided excellent views
Spotted FlycatcherVery common
Pied Flycatcher2, at Bocquer valley on 12th & 13th
Blue Tit Seen in mountains/Lluc
Great TitCommon
Woodchat ShrikeCommon
RavenCommon in the mountains
House SparrowVery common
ChaffinchCommon in the mountains
SerinVery common
GoldfinchVery common
CrossbillBirds seen around Formentor, Cases Velles & Ermita de Betlem
Cirl BuntingCommon in suitable habitat e.g. Bocquer & Arta Mountains
Reed BuntingA few birds seen in S'Albufera
Corn BuntingCommon

Total species count: 105

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This page served with permission of the author by Urs Geiser;; August 15, 2000