A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Mallorca Birding Trip Report - Day 3 (Tuesday 21st February 2017)

With our final day on Mallorca beckoning and having succeeded in already locating all of our target birds for the trip, we decided to dedicate the morning to a return to the Boquer Valley in an attempt to secure better photos of the charismatic Balearic Warblers
Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Our flight home wasn’t until late in the evening, so this gave us plenty of time to explore the final section of the low coastal scrubland where the Balearic Warblers favoured, on this occasion taking the right hand path as opposed to the left which enabled us to get right down next to the turquoise blue bay. 
Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Boquer Valley, Mallorca
The patch of scrub the Balearic Warblers were favouring
The stark contrast in weather between this visit and our first attempt was apparent, and we enjoyed fantastic sunshine along with little to no breeze in what was perfect warbler hunting conditions. Almost immediately we caught a snatch of the distinctive song, echoing through the valley in regular bursts and leading us down the winding paths of the slope into an area of open ground. Providing a good viewpoint over the surrounding patches of scrub, it wasn’t long before we had our target, flitting around the vegetation and leading us on a merry dance across the Maquis.
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Balearic Warbler playing hide and seek in the palms
Sitting low down and quietly waiting for the bird to come to us proved to be the best tactic, and we were soon enjoying mouth-watering views as this distinctive warbler perched up on the surrounding palms in front of us, proudly singing his heart out and offering several photo opportunities as he flitted from exposed perch to post. 
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
On one occasion it took us a while to register that a second male had crept up behind us, loudly belting out bursts of song from the shrub literally a few feet away, and we turned around to be met with point blank views of the charcoal grey songster.
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
After several hours enjoying both the beautiful scenery of the Boquer Valley bay and the company of our Balearic endemics, pleased with our vastly improved photographs we decided to head back to the car, conscious that we needed to get to Palma in good time for our flight back to the UK. 
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Balearic Warbler - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
A quick scan of the sea before we left revealed two Shags fishing amongst the jagged black rocks in the company of the ever-present Yellow-legged Gulls, while a pair of Crag Martins playfully swooped along the base of the cliffs.
Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Friar's Cowl - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Friar's Cowl was another interesting plant we found whilst in the Boquer Valley
An unfamiliar sound emanating from the imposing valley sides as we walked back to the car eventually revealed the culprits to be 3 Booted Eagles, soaring effortlessly along the tops of the mountains and providing great views as they twisted and turned in the air.
Booted Eagle - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Booted Eagle - pale morph
With both light and dark morphs present, it was great to see the contrast and differences between the two colour forms. 
Booted Eagle - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
Booted Eagle - Boquer Valley, Mallorca
The taller bushes at the base of the mountain once more held a good handful of Sardinian Warblers, this time more active in the pleasant Mediterranean spring sunshine, while Blue Rock Thrushes, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes all darted out in front of us on the track in regular intervals, as Serins once more serenaded us as we walked with their jovial display flights.
Serin - Mallorca
Serin
With our time exploring the Mallorcan landscape coming to a close, a scan through the conifers at the base of the valley revealed no Firecrests despite a careful search through the pine needles, instead only the usual mix of Robins, tits and finches chattering noisily in the trees. 
Boquer Valley
Goat - Boquer Valley
The Boquer Valley was full of goats!
A quick check of the parched orchard grassland revealed a single Meadow Pipit and 4 Linnets foraging in the dry sandy soil, while a stunning jet black male Black Redstart provided fantastic views back at the car park.
Black Redstart - Boquer Valley - Mallorca
Black Redstart
Black Redstart - Boquer Valley - Mallorca
Black Redstart - Boquer Valley - Mallorca
Boquer Valley - Mallorca
Boquer Valley - Mallorca
With our journey back down to Palma revealing nothing new, only raptors seemed active in the glorious afternoon sunshine, and we clocked up our second Griffon Vulture of the trip along with several Booted Eagles and a solitary Red Kite. Arriving at Palma in good time meant we were able to stop to admire the impressive cathedral and enjoy an early dinner of delicious Spanish Tapas before our flight, catching sight of a final Sardinian Warbler flitting through the waterside trees opposite the cafes along the cobbled street as we ate. 
Palma Cathedral - Mallorca
Palma Cathedral - Mallorca
Palma Cathedral - Mallorca
Palma Cathedral - Mallorca
Palma Cathedral - Mallorca
Palma Cathedral - Mallorca
Palma Cathedral
Having secured all our target species and obtaining excellent views of all individuals concerned, we really couldn’t have asked for more during our trip to the fantastic Balearic islands. With a combination of the breath-taking mountain scenery and impressive wetland habitats, Mallorca had certainly delivered on all fronts; our 3 days of Mediterranean sunshine resulting in 4 new birds, including a fantastic Balearic island endemic to boot!
Balearic Warbler - Mallorca
Balearic Warbler
Red-knobbed Coot - Mallorca
Red-knobbed Coot
Moustached Warbler - Mallorca
Moustached Warbler
Black Vulture - Mallorca
Black Vulture
Mallorca
Mallorca
Mallorca
Mallorca

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