Llanelli Naturalists Newsletter - December 1984
This spring I visited Mallorca with a friend of mine, Philip. We made our base at the Pollensa Park Hotel in Puerto Pollensa on the North Coast of the island. Pollensa was chosen deliberately, as it is close to both the Boquer Valley, famous for its migrants and raptors, and to the Marshes of Albufera and Albufereta.
A walk before breakfast on our first morning proved very rewarding. We had not gone far before Philip spotted a male Subalpine Warbler on a bush, and in a roadside field a little further along the track a Whinchat and a small flock of Serins were feeding. On our way back to the hotel Corn Buntings, a Siskin and a Kestrel were seen; but, best of all, a pair of Eleonora’s Falcons put in an appearance - our luck was really in, as these beautiful hawks do not usually arrive till May.
After breakfast we made Albufera Marsh our first stop. Again our luck was inc. An Icterine Warbler and a Woodchat Shrike were sitting in a tree as we arrived; and then a Little Ringed and a Kentish Plover 'posed' for photographs nearby - all this before we had got out of the car!
The marsh itself held lots of goodies; Little Egret, Purple Heron, Ospreys and Marsh Harriers; Cetti's, Savi's, Moustached and Great Reed Warblers and many interest¬ing, waders, including nesting Black Winged Stilts, were seen. During the next few days further visits to the area turned up Whiskered Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Fan Tailed Warbler, Avocet, Hobby, six Marsh Sandpipers (in summer plumage) and a Marbled Teal!
No Mallorcan birding holiday would be complete without finding Audouin's Gull. Accordingly we spent one day in the East and South East corners of the island. The Salinas were disappointing; although Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers coming into summer plumage, were nice. However, the quaint little town of Porto Colom was more productive. Several Audcouin's Gulls were following a fishing boat into the harbour, when we arrived, and from the Lighthouse, both Balearic and Cory's Shearwaters were giving good views. The elusive Marmoras Warbler, however, could not be found. This, of course is another 'must' for the Balearics.
On our final day we decided to 'blitz' the Formentor Peninsula, The Mountains, Boyee Valley and the marsh at Albufereta to try to find some of the birds on which we had 'dipped'. Again Lady Fortune smiled on us.
The Boquec produced Crossbills, Cirl Buntings, Wryneck and both Thekla and Short Toed Larks; Albufereta held Montagu's Harrier, Black Eared Wheatear and Garganey; and fine views of Black Vultures, Booted Eagle and Spectacled Warbler awaited us near the reservoirs in the High Sierras.
A final sortie to Casas Veyas, on the Formentor Peninsula, eventually produced close up views of the beautiful Little Marmoras Warbler. And, as a final bonus, amongst many migrating Redstarts and Chats a pair of Rock Thrushes were sighted in an orchard. We had had a field day.
That night, on the plane, we had time to reflect. We had enjoyed good company and good food at the hotel. The weather had been gloriously sunny the whole week (those that followed us were not so lucky) and we had notched up 135 species, Not bad for six days.