Trip Report – September 2011
Day 1: Arrived late in the day after flying from Vancouver via London so drove straight to our first hotel which was an agrohotel – basically a lovely small hotel on a farm. Couldn’t resist making a couple of stops en route and enjoyed views of a flock of about 20 Stone Curlews along with Corn Bunting, Thekla Lark and many of the common species. Stayed at Can Canals.
Day 2: After birding around the grounds of the hotel we went into Sant Jardi to pick up a boat out to Cabrera Island (the hotel had made the booking for us the night before and provided us with a packed lunch).
Unfortunately by the time we go there is was getting very hot so we didn’t get a ton of birds but there were a few highlights – Eleanora’s Falcon and Golden Eagle but none of the Sylvia warblers we were looking for. On the boat on the way back we did get 2 of our target species – Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters.
The best birding of the day was from a stop we made at Salobrar de Campos saltpans – 30 species – all the normal shorebirds as well as Whinchat, Serin, Greenfinch, Wood Warbler, Goldfinch and Linnet. Stayed at Can Canals
Day 3: Left Can Canals – a quick stop at the Salines s’Avail outside Sant Jordi added Water Rail and Curlew Sandpiper to all the same species from yesterday – and then onto Cap D’Sallinas. Birded the road to the point – rather quiet but great views of Firecrest, Red-legged Partridge, Sardinian Warbler, Hoopoe, Red-rumped Swallow and Spotted Flycatcher.
Headed north to Alberfura – this part of the island is horribly touristy but S’Alberfura de Majorca is supposedly a ‘must see’. we were disappointed – it was very quiet and although we got many of the common species the only bird of any real interest was Red-knobbed Coot. Stayed in the rather ugly town of Can Picafort.
Day 4: Left really early to see the ‘warblers dripping of the trees’ (according to the book) at San Real before the heat got too much. What the book doesn’t say is that you can’t actually get into San Real until 10am – not a great idea for a birding spot!! So we decided to go to the Arta Mountains. The town of Arta is really lovely although we didn’t have time to stop because we were concerned about getting up the mountain as early as possible. It was worth it – we stopped about 1 km from the parking area and birded the road for our first views of Cirl Bunting and then parked and birded various trails close to the visitors center. We weren’t prepared for a major hike but got some great views of birds close by – main addition was Semi-Collared Flycatcher. Still not a great deal of birds and other than the Sardinian Warbler no Sylvia Warblers.
Drove back west and then on to Port de Pollensa along a depressingly built up coast line. Port de Pollensa is quite sweet and we found a hotel for the next couple of nights and then headed out to drive to Cap de Formentor. Blue Rock-thrush, Eleanora’s Falcon, Willow Warbler, Crossbill, Chiffchaff, Redstart and Northern Wheatear. Stayed at Port de Pollensa.
Day 5: Early start to hike the Cala Boques trail out to the ocean on a hunt for more sylvia warblers. A wonderful hike and finally success with Balearic Warbler but only one and it was not easy to find. Still not a ton of birds but added Stonechat and more views of all the usual species. Took a detour on the way back to the hotel around the back of Alberfura but it was hard to see into the wetland so not very successful. Stayed at Port de Pollensa.
Day 6: Went to check out a place called Mortix – parking wasn’t easy but finally headed off through the vineyards and over a style into the park. A stunning place and a lovely hike but where are all the birds!!!!. Gave up after a few hours and drove towards Deia – lucked out en route with great views of Booted Eagle. Stopped and walked around a large reservoir on the way and once again no birds!!! Quite worrying really. Pampered our selves at a fabulous hotel Costa D’Or.
Days 7: We gave up on birding today and enjoyed a wander around Deia which is quite pretty – then lunch down at the beach near the town before heading into Palma for a few days sight seeing.
General notes: It is very easy to drive around in Majorca – nowhere is more than a couple of hours away – we chose to move around so we could get an early start each day but you could reduce the number of moves if you wanted.
We were quite disappointed in the number of birds ( and despite what the book says the Balearic Warbler is hard to see!!!) considering we were there in migration – hope that was an aberration and not a sign of things to come!
Guides & Resources
Guides – We didn’t use guides because we are very familiar with European birds.
Where to bird – Birding Tourist’s Guide to Majorca – www.birdingmajorca.com
Field Guide – Collins – The most Complete Guide to the Birds of Europe – Svensson, Mallarney, Zetterstrom & Grant
Bird Song – order from the NHBS – Bird Songs and Calls of Britain and Europe – Jean C. Roche
Lonely Planet Guide for points of interest.