Sunday, 22 May 2011

Balearic Birding

Just back from our two week holiday in Porto Pollenca, Mallorca.
A very warm April had pushed Bird Migration  straight through this year, so not too many birds had lingered on the island.
None the less I had a very enjoyable fortnight and although my total of species seen was well down on previous years, some quality birds were encountered and I found seven new birds for my Mallorca list including four lifers.
 Star birds for me were Marbled Duck, Little Bittern, Roller, Griffon and Black Vultures, Spotless Starling, Melodious  and Wood Warbler, Golden Oriole, Bee-eaters and Thekla Lark.
 Of course there were the reliable goodies like Audoins Gull, Black-winged Stilts, Purple Gallinules, Red Knobbed Coots, Kentish Plovers Hoopoes, Blue Rock Thrush, Balearic Warbler, Woodchat Shrikes, Serins, Sardinian, Fan-tailed and Great Reed Warblers, Cirl Buntings, Booted Eagle and Eleanora's Falcons.
 Lots of birds that are difficult to see back home are a good deal more obliging over here, including Corn Buntings, Nightingales, Cettis Warblers, Yellow-legged Gulls, Cattle Egrets, Night  and Purple Herons.

female Sardinian Warbler

Audouins Gull
Little Egret
male Serin
                                                                                                                              
male Black-winged Stilt

Night Heron(click to enlarge)

Great White Egret (click to enlarge)


Insects were very plentiful. Several species of butterfly were encountered including, Swallowtail, Clouded Yellows, a species that looks very similar to the Wall Brown, Brimstones, Red Admirals, Large Heaths, Small Coppers, some Blues and good numbers of Painted Ladies (perhaps we are in for another invasion year). Humming Bird Hawkmoths were everywhere, so maybe we'll get a good showing of these too.

Clouded Yellow

This construction in the corner of our balcony had me intrigued all of our stay. I never saw anything go near it.

Mammals encountered were, Rabbits, a Hare, a Pine Marten that we narrowly avoided running over on our way back to the airport and this roadkill that too me looks remarkably like a Wildcat.

Ther are masses of Frogs on the island, easy to hear, but less so to see. Not sure of the I.D. of this one, but certainly smaller than and more pointy nosed than ours back home.

Lots of Lizards about too, including one that must have been at least 8 inches long.

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