• Black-crowned Night Heron

Mallorca Spring

Balearic Birding!

  • Duration

    28 April to 5 May 2018

  • Location

    Mallorca (Spain)

  • Led by

    David Lindo

  • Group size

    up to 8 participants

  • Price

    £1,300 per person plus flights

  • Single supplement

    none

  • Deposit

    £260 per person

  • Remaining balance due

    60 days before travel start date

Free loan of Leica Ultravid binoculars is available for the duration of the tour – subject to availability.

Please ask for details.

About Mallorca

Mallorca (pronounced: Mah-yor-ka) is a beautiful Spanish Balearic Island set in the azure Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the largest of the Balearic Islands that also includes Menorca, Ibiza and many other small islands and islets. Mallorca has a resident population of over 800,000 that swells to an astonishing 23 million annually when you account for all the visiting tourists.

Renowned as a popular holiday destination for its beaches, nightlight and the infamous “Shagaluf” there is much more to Mallorca than that. It is fairly mountainous along the northeast and northwestern parts of the island with a fairly flat central region. Most of the best birding is to be had in the north and east – away from the populous capital Palma, whilst seawatching can be pretty good.

The local currency is the Euro.

Tour overview

We have deliberately planned this tour to run in early spring to take advantage of being on the island to witness the spring migration plus to avoid the crowds. We will start our day straight after breakfast, exploring some well-known hotspots and some that have not so trodden paths to eek out some of the island’s most beautiful areas.

Of course, true to form, we will also dabble in some urban birding in Palma. This will occur soon after we arrive and will serve as a very brief apprenticeship in the birds of Mallorca.

Expected birds

Migration should be in full swing so we will be expecting to connect with some interesting species. The birds that we hope to see will include the Balearic race of the Spotted Flycatcher. Paler than the nominate race that you might be used to this bird is mooted to be split into a new species – the Tyrrhenian or Balearic Spotted Flycatcher.

Also expected are:

  • Audouin’s Gull
  • Balearic Shearwater
  • Balearic Warbler
  • Black Kite
  • Black Vulture
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Blue Rock Thrush
  • Bluethroat
  • Bonelli’s Eagle
  • Booted Eagle
  • Cattle Egret
  • Cetti’s Warbler
  • Cirl Bunting
  • Collared Pratincole
  • Common Crossbill
  • Common Redstart
  • Crag Martin
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Eleonora’s Falcon
  • Firecrest
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Great Reed Warbler
  • Griffon Vulture
  • Honey Buzzard
  • Hoopoe
  • Kentish Plover
  • Marbled Duck
  • Melodious Warbler
  • Moltoni’s Warbler
  • Montagu’s Harrier
  • Moustached Warbler
  • Nightingale
  • Osprey
  • Pallid Swift
  • Peregrine
  • Pied Flycatcher
  • Purple Heron
  • Purple Swamphen
  • Quail
  • Red-crested Pochard
  • Red-footed Falcon
  • Red-knobbed Coot
  • Sardinian Warbler
  • Scopoli’s Shearwater
  • Short-toed Lark
  • Spectacled Warbler
  • Spotted Flycatcher (Balearic)
  • Squacco Heron
  • Stone Curlew
  • Tawny Pipit
  • Thekla Lark
  • Tree Pipit
  • Turtle Dove
  • Whinchat
  • Whiskered Tern
  • White Stork
  • Wood Warbler
  • Woodchat Shrike
  • Wryneck
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Zitting Cisticola
  • scarcities and rarities

Itinerary

April 24 – Palma then onto Pollença

After a morning arrival in Mallorca’s capital, Palma, we will indulge in some urban birding in Bellver Forest Park, east of the city centre. The park is a 100 hectare Aleppo Pine forest situated on a hill surrounding Castell de Bellver. It is owned and managed by the Palma local council as an urban park and reserve. We will hopefully get to grips with Common Crossbill, Firecrest, European Serin, Balearic Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler and Red-legged Partridge. The park is also home to Barn Owl and during the summer Scops Owl and European Nightjar. The forest also plays host to several orchids including Tongue, Mirror and Bumblebee.

We will then transfer to Hostel Oriola, Pollença our comfortable base for the duration of the tour in the northwest corner of the island.

Overnight stay and dinner at Hostel Oriola.

April 25 – La Gola Reserve, Albufereta Natural Reserve & Ternelles Valley

After breakfast we will spend soon time fairly locally birding La Gola Reserve in Puerto Pollença. It’s a great little spot for migration just off the seafront where we would hope to see Melodious Warbler, Bluethroat and the Balearic race of the Woodchat Shrike.

We will then move onto the Albufereta Natural Reserve in the Bay of Pollença. Covering some 501 hectares the site is a blend of marsh, reedbeds, lakes, shoreline, riparian woodland, tamarisks, agricultural and pastureland. Here we will hope to see a variety of species including amongst others: the Mediterranean race of Shag, possible migrant Red-footed Falcon, Collared Pratincole and Moustached Warbler.

After a picnic lunch in some gardens in Pollença whilst urban birding we will spend the remainder of the day in Ternelles Valley, which is situated just outside of Pollença. It is a stunning site located in the Serra de Tramuntana consisting of a mountain pathway that winds through mixed woodland with a riverbed to one side. It’s a great place for summer breeders like Nightingale, Balearic Spotted Flycatcher, Serin and Firecrest. It is also a good spot for Pallid Swift, Crag Martin, Black Redstart, Black Vulture plus migrating Hobby, Honey Buzzard and Montagu’s Harrier.

Overnight stay and dinner at Hostel Oriola.

April 26 – Formentor Peninsula & the Boquer Valley

Today will be an exciting day spent at two of Mallorca’s foremost sites. After breakfast we will make the short journey to the spectacular Formentor Peninsula with its many lookouts affording amazing views of this wild area. We should enjoy good views of Balearic Warbler and overhead wafting graceful Eleonora’s Falcon. We also have the opportunity to glimpse the areas’ cliff nesting Peregrine and Osprey plus the possibility of plentiful migrants.

After a hearty lunch in a local restaurant we will spend some time exploring the Boquer Valley a scenic valley running to the coast, some 3km northeast of our base in Pollença. Aside from migrants we will be searching for Egyptian and Black Vultures, more Eleonora’s Falcon, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian and Balearic Warblers, Raven and Cirl Bunting.

Overnight stay and dinner at Hostel Oriola.

April 27 – Cabrera Archipelago National Park

We will spend the entire day on this migrant and rarity hotspot. This exciting island is situated just south of the mainland. To get to the National Park it will be a 45minute crossing by boat. During the journey we should pick up Balearic and Scopoli’s Shearwaters.

Once on the island we will be on the lookout for migrant Whinchat, Common Redstart, Moltoni’s, Balearic and Sardinian Warblers as well as other warbler species, thrushes, pipits and wagtails. In fact, we can expect to see any and everything!

We will enjoy a picnic on the island and at the end of our day we will return to our base.

Overnight stay and dinner at Hostel Oriola.

April 28 – Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park & Son Bosc area

After breakfast we will head to another of the island’s famous birding sites, Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park. Situated in northwest Mallorca it is the one place that birders of the world unite to search for Moustached Warbler and to watch a host of waders and waterbirds like Red-knobbed Coot, Marbled Duck, Collared Pratincole and Whiskered Tern.

We will travel to Son Bosc to have lunch in a delightful restaurant before birding in the Son Bosc area. The dunes here are good for European Bee-eater, Stone Curlew, Thekla Lark, Red-legged Partridge and Tawny Pipit. We should also witness flocks of Eleonora’s Falcon hawking beetles and other invertebrates. Son Bosc is also a place for finding orchids including the rare Anacamptis robusta and the unique Anacamptis x albuferensis, a hybrid between A. robusta and A. coriophora that is only known from this area.

Overnight stay and dinner at Hostel Oriola.

April 29 – Mortitx Valley & Cuber Reservoir

Our morning will be spent

Special trip notes

This trip is suitable for all ages and abilities.

There is a reasonable amount of walking is involved with some uphill treks. A moderate level of fitness is required.

We may walk across uneven terrain so a sturdy pair of shoes or better still, walking boots would be a good idea.

The weather can range from being warm to pretty hot. It can also be wet so bring waterproof attire.

Recommended field guide

Collins Bird Guide – Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström

Book now

  • £1,300 per person plus flights
  • Group size: up to 8 participants
  • Single supplement: none
  • Deposit: £260 per person
  • Remaining balance due 60 days before travel start date
  • Please contact us if you have any other queries

    Email: tours@theurbanbirderworld.com

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Price includes

  • B&B accommodation
  • Transport in a comfortable minibus
  • Entrance fees to reserves and national parks
  • The services of David Lindo along with Pere Tomas from Mallorca Natural Tours
  • The optional loan of a pair of sexy Leica binoculars for the duration of the tour – subject to availability

Price does not include

  • Airline tickets and airport taxes
  • Dinner
  • All alcoholic beverages
  • Incidental refreshments at cafes and bars
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Personal travel insurance