Why should I plan a Birding trip to Mallorca?
"The wa'er in M'jorka don't taste like wot it ort ter" is an aphorism that still holds true today. But if the taste of the tap water is not up to scratch the same cannot be said of the birding on this island, the largest and most varied of the Balearic Islands.
Mallorca (Majorca) is an ideal destination for a "first" foreign birding trip and also for attempting to combine a family holiday with a spot of birding in the sun. The landscapes in the eastern half of the island and the opportunities they offer the visiting birder are surprisingly rich and varied.
The birder based in the east of the island can chose from a number of tempting birding excursions, all within easy reach if using a hire car. These include the abrupt Tramuntana range in the north, peaking at Puig Major, 1432m above sea level, and home to the Black Vulture and other birds of prey.
In the east there is the Artà peninsula, with mountains lower than those of the Tramuntana range, but with a character all of its own.
Then there is the deservedly famous wetland reserve of S'Albufera, and the lesser known Albufereta marshes, both Natural Parks which are home to a large number and variety of interesting birds.
The southern part of the island boasts salt pans, a beautiful mosaic of scrub and farmland, and probably the best opportunities for seawatching, while the spectacular sea cliffs of the Formentor peninsula, the northeastern corner of Mallorca, should not be missed.
In Mallorca it is the early birder who sees the birds, gets the parking space, and avoids the traffic and the crowds. So take note: the best approach is to bird in the morning and spend the afternoon lazing by the pool, with the wife and kids, reading, strolling along the sea front or whatever else you do when on holiday and not birding.
Birds of Mallorca
The top bird specialities of Mallorca include Black Vulture, Eleonora's Falcon, Audouin's Gull, Moustached Warbler, Balearic Shearwater and Balearic (Marmora's) Warbler, all of which are rare or difficult to see in most other parts of Europe.
Following behind them are more big name birds like Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Great White Egret, Red-crested Pochard, Purple Gallinule, Crested Coot (introduced), Egyptian Vulture (rare), Booted Eagle, Scops Owl, Pallid Swift, Thekla Lark, Blue Rock Thrush, Great Reed Warbler, Spectacled Warbler.
Then there is a supporting cast of birds which are rare or scarce in Britain and many other parts of northern Europe: Cory's Shearwater, Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Osprey, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Quail, Stone Curlew, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Wryneck, Cetti's Warbler, Firecrest, Serin, Crossbill, Cirl Bunting, Corn Bunting.
And of course the Mediterranean specialities such as Hoopoe, Crag Martin, Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit, Fan-tailed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, etc.
"Regular" migrant species include: Garganey, Black Kite, Honey Buzzard, Montagu's Harrier, Red-footed Falcon, Collared Pratincole, Temminck's Stint, Marsh Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, Black Tern, White-winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Alpine Swift, Bee-eater, Wryneck, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-eared Wheatear, Subalpine Warbler, Wood Warbler, Golden Oriole, Ortolan Bunting.
Mallorca – the family won't need much convincing, and the birding is great. So what are you waiting for?
Birding In Spain is grateful to all the photographers who have allowed us free use of their photographs, especially Beat Rüegger.
Beat Rüegger. Follow the direct link which offers over 7,000 photos of almost 1,000 European bird & plant species. Try the bird identification training exercises or even the identification quizzes, organized for 3 different levels of expertise"