Saturday 22 September 2018

MALLORCA: 12-19 September 2018

A week away with Megan, booked back in December. We flew from Gatwick to Palma with EasyJet and on arrival hired a car for 5 days. We spent two nights at the very pleasant Ca'n Pep in Alaro and from there visited Valdemossa and walked along the hiking trail towards Oriente. We moved on to Alcudia where we had three nights at Hostatgeria La Victoria and visited Son Real, Alcudia, the Boquer Valley, Cap Formentor and Albufera. We returned the car to Palma and caught the bus into town spending two nights at Hostal Ritzi near the cathedral before flying home. 

My first foreign birding trip had been to Mallorca with Cardiff friends in October 1974, not that I remembered any of it. Amongst the 75+ species I saw were Marbled Duck (15), Shag (4), Booted Eagle (6), reintroduced Western Swamphen (6) and Red-knobbed Coot (2, wasn't paying much attention to coot!), Stone Curlew (1), Kentish Plover (4), Audouin's Gull (1), Hoopoe (8), Wryneck (2), Eleanora's Falcon (8), Woodchat Shrike (2), Crag Martin (19), Thekla Lark (6), Balearic Warbler (3), Sardinian Warbler (28), Firecrest (22), Mediterranean Flycatcher (31), Pied Flycatcher (7), Nightingale (1), Rock Thrush (1), Crossbill (39) and Serin (2). I wasn't expecting to see Cinereous Vulture which has become much rarer since my previous visit but no Blue Rock Thrush and few migrants was a disappointment.
Alfabia Gardens near Bunyola

the trail to Oriente
above La Victoria on the Cap del Pinar peninsular looking across to Cap Formentor
Woodchat Shrike at Son Real
Son Real burial chambers
Son Real
Cap des Pinar from Son Real
Tortoise at Son Real
Cormorant, Little Egret, 'Mediterranean' Shag and Yellow-legged Gull at Son Real
Alcudia old city wall
'old' Alcudia
Talaia d'Alcudia
'Balearic' Crossbill

Yellow-legged Gull at La Victoria
Mediterranean Flycatcher at La Victoria

Balearic Warbler in the Boquer Valley

Boquer Valley looking south
Boquer Valley looking south
view west from Cap Formentor
spectacular scenery but cars queueing almost a km down the road to get in the small car park was very off-putting
Cap Formentor from Talaia d'Alcudia

Alcudia from Talaia d'Alcudia
Talaia d'Alcudia

view from our window at La Victoria
Osprey at Albufera
Western Swamphen at Albufera
Marbled Duck at Albufera
Stone Curlew at Albufera
Red-knobbed Coot at Albufera
Colour-ringed Red-knobbed Coot. This one could have been read if placed on its leg.
Megan at Foundation Pilar i Joan Miro
one of the exhibits
Palmer from Castell de Bellver
Mediterranean Flycatcher at Castell de Bellver
Palma Cathedral
Megan in Palma

Sunday 9 September 2018

Sussex in early September

Monday 10 September. A Peregrine flew over me as I was crossing Southwick lock gates on my way to work. Much more impressive than the usual view of one sat on the Power Station.

Sunday 09 September. A mid morning walk around Mill Hill with Megan and Cookie was very quiet with just 2 Swallows and a Jay seen and a Blackcap heard. At tea time on the Adur there were 51 Ringed Plover, 13 Dunlin and a Turnstone at low tide. With the west bank still closed looking into the sun at the roosting gulls made it difficult to see if anything interesting was amongst them but nothing caught my eye.

Saturday 08 September. A day out with DB who I met in Steyning. We birded the North Wall seeing the 12 Cattle Egrets, Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher, a showy Cetti's Warbler and a few sylvias. We called in at the Ferry seeing Marsh Harrier, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, the Little Stint and 2 Green Sandpipers. After a quick visit to Selsey Library (to borrow a holiday book for me) we went to Church Norton but it was quiet with the tide right in, a Spotted Flycatcher our most notable sighting. We finished at Snowhill Marsh where the water level was high and all the waders on the distant pool althouigh we did see 3 Greenshank. As the tide dropped 200 Redshank flew out into the harbour and we picked out single Knot and Ruff amongst them. We walked northeast to a vantage point and scanned Chichester harbour hoping to see an Osprey but perhaps there were too many yachts and the tide was too high.
Curlew Sandpiper and Redshank in Whyte's Creek on a rising tide
part of the Cattle Egret flock near Marsh Farm
Friday 07 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill were I saw 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Sand Martins, 3 Swallows, 240 House Martins, Redstart, a Lesser and 6 Whitethroats, 24 Blackcaps, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. My best visit this autumn. Later on the Adur were 14 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpipers. In between I sent off my mum's IHT400 and PA1 forms.
Thursday 06 September. A Peregrine was on Southwick Power Station on my way to work and coming home a Jay at Falmer and 140 House Sparrows near Hove Lagoon.

Wednesday 05 September. I took Cookie up to Mill Hill were I saw 2 Stock Doves, 2 Swallows, 2 Reed Warblers, a Whitethroats and 2 Blackcaps. Then spent the rest of the day on mum's IHT400 and PA1 forms.
Reed Warbler at Mill Hill
Tuesday 04 September. A Wheatear was on the beach at Southwick.

Monday 03 September. A Peregrine was on Southwick Power Station on my way to work.

Sunday 02 September. My first birding visit to Beachy Head this autumn. I birded the lane at Birling before driving to the hotel and covering the garden and bushes opposite, Icky Ridge, Cliff Path and Frances Bottom where I met Matt in the groper field. We then walked around the hollow and up through the rides back to the hotel and the Old Trapping Area. I then left to cut mum's lawns and start some paperwork. Birds seen included 4 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Sand Martins, 300 Swallows, 8 House Martins, 3 Redstarts, Whinchat, 12 Stonechats, Wheatear, 3 Grasshopper and 2 Sedge Warblers, a Lesser and 18 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Ravens and 100 Goldfinches. 
Whinchat west of Birling

Saturday 01 September. Megan and I took Cookie to Cissbury seeing 6 Swallows, 2 Redstarts, Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Spotted Flycatchers and in the wood on the way up a Nuthatch.The latter was the first I can remember seeing south of the Downs since the mid 1980s.
Blackcap at Cissbury