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Friday 12th – Monday 15th April 2019

MALLORCA – BALEARIC SPRING BIRDING

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and its position in the Mediterranean makes it a prime location for spring migrants. The island is blessed with many varied habitats from rugged mountains, forest, freshwater marshes, sandy beaches, saline lagoons and scrubby hillsides which attract large numbers of birds during migration.

This short break will take in the best of these habitats which are home to some great birds such as Cinereous and Griffon Vultures, Moltoni’s Warbler, Marbled Duck, Moustached Warbler, Red-knobbed Coot, Balearic Warbler, Mediterranean Flycatcher, Western Swamphen, Balearic and Scopoli’s Shearwaters plus Audouin’s Gull amongst others.


Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 8


Day 1
We take an early morning flight from London Gatwick to Palma, Mallorca’s capital and drive northeast to our hotel. The afternoon will be spent taking a leisurely stroll around the area where we hope to find some typical Mediterranean species such as Eurasian Hoopoe, Woodchat Shrike, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Crag Martin and Eurasian Wryneck. Montagu’s Harriers pass through on migration north, along with European Bee-eaters which make quite a sight!

Our main target will be the endemic Balearic Warbler. Small numbers of this diminutive Sylvia warbler breed in rocky gullies surrounded by low scrub and with luck and patience we hope to enjoy good views.

Early evening we return to our hotel which is ideally situated for all the birding sites and is a great place to watch Audouin’s Gulls from the balcony!
Overnight: Puerto Pollensa

Day 2
Our first full day will be enjoyed exploring Albufera Marsh. This expansive wetland covers over 1600 hectares and is one of the most famous wetlands in Europe and the biggest on Mallorca.

Tamarisk bushes bordering the reserve are home to nesting Little Egrets and Western Cattle Egrets plus Black-crowned Night Herons. Reed-filled ditches are the best habitat to search for the elusive Moustached Warbler which can be seen flitting from side to side, low to the water. These ditches are also home to Red-knobbed Coot, some of which have been reintroduced to the island in recent years and appear to be doing well.

Western Swamphens croak and grunt from the many lagoons which are also home to nesting Red-crested Pochard and the occasional Marbled Duck. Waders include the numerous Black-winged Stilts whilst other species we may come across include Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper and Collared Pratincole amongst others.

Raptors are a constant feature with Western Marsh Harriers quartering the extensive reed-beds and the chance of an early arriving Eleonora’s Falcon hawking insects overhead. Booted Eagle and Western Osprey are also common on the reserve.

There are many watch-points and hides around the reserve that will certainly keep us occupied!
Overnight: Puerto Pollensa

Day 3
This morning we will visit the mighty Tramuntara Mountains, home of the ‘rare’ Cinererous Vulture. Raptors are very much the order of the day with European Griffon Vulture, Peregrine, Booted Eagle and Bonelli’s Eagle all possible. Eurasian Crag Martins nest in good numbers and Blue Rock Thrush and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush frequent the crags and scree slopes. The scrub at the foot of the hills are one of the best places to find Moltoni’s Warbler which breed in small numbers and can give great views as they perform their song flight.

After an enjoyable start to the day, we head to the Formentor peninsula. This rocky finger of land juts out into the Mediterranean and is covered in places with Pine Forest and scrubby areas known as ‘maquis’. These areas are a great attraction to migrants such as Tawny Pipit, Western Black-eared Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow and Eurasian Golden Oriole plus many more. European Shags of the Mediterranean race desmarestii nest and Balearic Shearwater can be numerous offshore.

The shrubby areas and forests are home to the recently split Mediterranean Flycatcher which will certainly be one of our targets!
Overnight: Puerto Pollensa

Day 4
Situated in the south of the Island, the Salinas de Levante are home to Greater Flamingo’s plus Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilts and other migrant waders.

The nearby Cabo de Sas Salinas is a great place to catch up with Thekla Larks, Stone Curlew plus both Spectacled and Balearic Warblers. Offshore we will look for passing Scopoli’s and Balearic Shearwaters before heading back to the airport for our return flight back to London.

Tour includes
Flights from London Gatwick to Palma
Full Board accommodation for 3 nights
All ground transport in Mallorca
Full guiding throughout


Not included
Travel Insurance
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1


Pace
Relaxed, two to three miles walking per day

Birds
Expect around 150 species

Ground Price: £750

*Air Price: £230

Total Tour Price: £980

Single Supplement: £90

Deposit: £250


*Please see our tours page regarding flight costs