Monday 15 May 2017

Mallorca 2017 - Day One

In late April / early May myself and Nick Watmough spent three days on the Balearic island of Mallorca. This was my third visit there following trips in 2007 and 2011 (Mallorca 2011) and for Nick his first. Nick had several target species in mind for his ever-increasing WP list - namely Moltoni's Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Balearic Warbler and Scops Owl. On previous trips I had missed Moustached and Spectacled Warbler so was keen to connect with them and also wanted to improve on my 2007 views of Moltoni's Warbler.......not to mention spending some time in the sun with good birds!

Day one (29th April 2017) consisted of a very early start to connect with our 6am flight from
Stansted to Palma. Things got off to a rocky start with arguments at the desk and with a queue-jumping German at the car rental desk in Palma airport. The things got even rockier following an argument between our rental car and a wall - which of course the wall won! Thankfully Nick had the good sense to arrange full insurance. A tow-truck pick-up and second rental car and we were on our way.

This one's broken - can we have another car please?
First stop (not including the wall) was the salt-pans at Salobrar de Campos. I should add that we had unwittingly coincided our trip to take place at the same time as the largest amateur cycling race in Europe was taking place in Mallorca (Mallorca 312). So on account of significant road closures we avoided the north of the island for most of the day. Which turned out OK actually because it meant taking the road less travelled and visiting several spots I'd not previously been to.
At Salobrar de Campos we parked at the hotel and walked down the track to salt pans. En route we enjoyed the spectacle of 100+ Yellow wagtails in a field (a mix of thunbergi, iberiae and flava). At the salt pans we had 2 Temmick's Stint, 5+ Wood Sandpipers, 2 Greenshanks, a Curlew Sandpiper, a flock of Greater Flamingo, several Kentish Plover, LRP and a distant singing Hoopoe. Also the usual Sardinian Warbler, Zitting Cisticola and Cetti's Warbler were present.
From there we drove on to Cap de Ses Salines. There was little there but we did have a Scopoli's Shearwater from the shore.
Cap de ses Salines Lighthouse
After that we drove to central plains area to look for Red-footed Falcons. We scouted around the area to the north of Maria de la Salut, driving around track but alas no Red-foots. A female Redstart was the best there.
Having had an eventful and very long day, we now headed to our hotel in Port d'Alcudia. We were hoping to have avoided the road closures but were still diverted due to Mallorca 312 race. However driving around the back of s'Albufera reserve we did have a Roller on some wires.
At our hotel / guest-house we were greeted by a very friendly and gentle German Sheperd (called Dakota).
Dakota dog - every hotel needs a welcoming dog!

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