We had talked about this trip with Pete and Liz (who had joined us in 2010 in Namibia) for some time and now it was finally happening.

Our journey out was uneventful until we tried to find our hire car desk at Palma airport, after our late night arrival. We wandered around an increasingly deserted airport. I tried asking someone but they didn't seem to sure and there were now very few people to ask. I then saw a mini-bus from another car-hire company and the penny dropped. before too long ours turned up and we were taken to the office. the system would have been fine if we'd be told about it. We then drove the length of the island to the Aucanada apartments before a few glasses of wine and a very late night.

25 May


A pre-breakfast walk, in front of the hotel, produced a woodchat shrike, 2 Sardinian warblers and a hoopoe.

After breakfast the obvious place to go was the famous S'Albufera reserve.


Often described as Mallorca's answer to Minsmere. It certainly had the crowds and mid-day was not really the ideal time to visit but still an enjoyable few hours.

A large cattle egret colony greeted us soon after arrival. Unfortunately it was rather obscured but they were flying around a lot

as were a few night herons.

We saw 2 crested coots
and purple swamp-hen. The latter, in particular, proved to be surprisingly difficult to photograph for such a large bird.

Fan-tailed warblers were common, but hard to see well.

The main bird, and a 'life' for me was Eleonora's falcon. We saw at least 3 but they were frustratingly distant. Other birds seen included yellow wagtail, of the race iberiae, 2 little ringed plovers, 2 Kentish plovers, 2 red-crested pochards, serins, nightingales and Cetti's warbler. The latter two species being very common.

Both Cleopatra and keeled skimmer were also seen.

A trip back to the hotel produced another hoopoe and a spotted flycatcher.


While our respective families took it easy, Pete and I were back out in the field.

Our target was moustached warbler. We were successful. One was picked up by its song. Views through a scope were not too bad but it was far too distant to make it even worth pointing a camera at it. Much closer were some Moorish geckos. Sadly these avoided having their photographs taken by disappearing as soon as my camera was lifted. 

Others sightings included:
Cett's warbler
3 gull-billed terns
squacco heron

We were back at ten thinking no worries it's Spain this doesn't even count as late to eat. We had forgotten it was Sunday and only just managed to get a food order in.

26 May

We'd stayed up for many hours after the meal socialising so it was a lazy start around the hotel. 

2 adult and 3 fledgling woodchats were showing well.

A shag was presumably on the race desmerestii but, as it was an adult, it was impossible to tell.
Two Audouin's gulls were also seen.

Cape Formentor

An attempt to combine the two families' desire to go to the beach with a bit of gentle birding. Neither were very successful due to heavy rain. We did see spotted flycatchers, firecrest, crossbill and Audoin's gull, during our brief time on the beach.  After the rain stopped, we moved on to the Formentor lighthouse where we saw 3 distant Eleonora's falcons. It was back down the peninsular where we had a look for one of the 'special' birds - the near endemic Balearic warbler. This proved to be successful and we got really good views.

It did cost Pete blood as he tripped over and cut his leg on the rocks. We did also see several crag martins, brief views of blue rock thrush and wall butterfly.

Further on we saw another blue rock thrush.

27 May


Pete and I decided, despite the holiday habit of staying up late drinking wine,  an early morning was called for. We left the hotel at 530 and so arrived in the dark!

When it did get light we first saw what was presumably the same moustached warbler as we'd seen before. It was still frustratingly didstant but then we managed much better views of one in nearby reeds.

We also saw red-crested pochards, reasonable views of Eleonora's falcon, night herons, osprey, purple heron and great reed warblers.

Much of the day was spent on the beach at Calla de Sant Vicenc but, for doing the 'good family thing' the Babbs family went back via L'Albfreta. We saw osprey, yellow wagtails

some showy black-winged stilts

 and a few serins.  

28 May

Cuber Reservoir

It took a short while, but see Moltoni's warbler proved to be not too difficult; I saw 2 males and 1 female.

We also saw 4 black vultures, griffon vulture and raven.

LLuc Monastery proved to be unsuccessful, from a bird point of view; although I did hear 2 wrynecks calling, I failed to see them.

Most of the rest of the day was spent wandering around Pollenca and searching for our car - we'd taken no notice of where we'd parked it!  Not really a birding hot spot but we did see a firecrest. 

In the evening we went into Port Alcuda and chose the Bar Y Tapas Xaloc mainly because we were the only non-Spaniards in there. In strong contrast to the other places. 

29 May

Cap Formeta

An early morning visit with Pete. A red-legged partridge

and a blue rock thrush were seen on the way.
Cap de Formenta

A pair of blue rock thrushes gave excellent views.

Some Sardinian warblers were equally co-operative.

3+ Eleonora's falcons were seen. They gave reasonably views but we were still a little frustrated. A mixed flock of a few hundred Cory's and Balearic shearwaters were seen at the bottom of the cliff, but they moved on fairly quickly. Also seen were a peregrine and a willow warbler.

On the way back we briefly saw, presumably the same, Moltonii's warbler.


A fairly lazy late afternoon seeing little apart from marestii shags.

30 May

Corn buntings were common around the Roman ruins in Alcudia and two hoopoes were also seen.


A very long walk. For a lot if it we saw little apart from lots of black-winged stilts and a couple of squacco herons. 

Things picked up when we found a mole cricket wandering across the path.

The bird highlight was  about 15 Eleonora's falcon, including good views of two light phase and one dark one. They were still tricky to photograph.

A few corn buntings were seen as well as an osprey and two moustached warblers were heard singing. 

31 May

Mount Tomir

The day we'd decided to do some hill walking proved to be the hottest of the trip. Some great views and quite tricky climbs.  We did manage to see a few birds: firecrests, crossbill, griffon and black vultures.

Then, sadly, it was a last visit to the beach and a quite last evening before an early departure.