Balearic Spring Migration Special

Friday 12th April – Friday 19th April 2019

Balearic WarblerAnother unique ZOOTHERA tour will see us enjoying the best of the Mediterranean's Spring migration magic as we visit the Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca and Cabrera. We'll be visiting these beautiful islands during the Spring migration period, enjoying the fantastic weather, scenery and food that the region is famous for. We begin on the seldom-visited (in birding terms) island of Ibiza where we will visit a variety of coastal areas on our migrant quest, as well as hopping on a ferry to the smallest of the Balearic islands - Formentera. We will be searching for Balearic Warbler, Audouin's Gull and Eleonora's Falcon, as well as a long list of northbound migrants. Our base for these first 4 nights will be the delightful Villa Rosa, which is conveniently located to get the best from this beautiful island. Moving on to the classic birding destination of Mallorca via a short domestic flight we will visit the main sites of S'Albufera National Park, Formentor Peninsula and Cuber Reservoir, as well as visiting Spains answer to Fair Isle - the island of Cabrera. Our base will be a quaint, traditional hotel allowing easy access to all of the main birding sites, with excellent food and it will be pretty hard to leave! Our aim is to keep this as relaxed as possibile, with options for relaxing at the hotel, combined with gentle walks and plenty of time to actually watch birds without racing around. It's going to be a great, fun time in the sun! Amongst some superb possibilities we will be searching for Balearic Woodchat Shrike, Balearic Spotted Flycatcher, Balearic Crossbill, Moustached, Balearic and Moltoni's Warblers, crakes, shearwaters, warblers, and more! 


  • Balearic Warbler
  • Marbled Duck
  • Red-crested Pochard
  • Western Swamphen
  • Red-knobbed Coot
  • Balearic Shearwater
  • Scopoli's Shearwater
  • Little Bittern
  • Cinereous Vulture
  • Audouin's Gull
  • Gull-billed Tern
  • European Scops-Owl
  • Eleonora's Falcon
  • Balearic Woodchat Shrike   
  • Moustached Warbler
  • Savi's Warbler
  • Balearic Warbler
  • Moltoni's Warbler
  • Dartford Warbler
  • Sardinian Warbler
  • Spectacled Warbler
  • Western Bonelli's Warbler   
  • Balearic Spotted Flycatcher    
  • Spotless Starling
  • Balearic Crossbill
  • Common Waxbill
  • Ortolan Bunting
  • the excitement of migration birding!   
Day 1    UK - Ibiza   - 12th April
Arrivals into Ibiza from one of the many local airports across the UK or Europe. We will meet you upon arrival and then it's just a short 20
Villa Rosa 1
Villa Rosa 6
Villa Rosa 7
Eurasian Wryneck
European Bee-Eater
Las Salinas, Ibiza
Audouins Gull
SAbulfera Nature reserve
Spectacled Warbler
Cabrera Island b
Balearic Shearwater
Formentor Peninsula
minute drive to our wonderful accommodation for our stay on Ibiza - Villa Rosa. This contemporary house is set in wonderful gardens with a fantastic pool, the house has 6 bedrooms, is full of light and sunny space with hotel-style design and luxury in every room. The main living space is hugely impressive with 3 sets of patio doors & windows, and there's a fine dining table inside and out where we can enjoy our meals. And its just a short drive of a few minutes to nearby restaurants if we decide to eat out. Night in Ibiza.  
Days 2 - 4    Ibiza - Formentera
The focus of our time on Ibiza will be to check out the coastal areas for Spring migrants on this relatively underwatched island, with the aim to find some unusual species, all at a relaxed pace, enjoying the scenery and numerous small cafes! Close to our excellent accommodation we can see Booted Eagle, Yellow-legged Gull, Thekla and Greater Short-toed Larks, Zitting Cisticola, Cetti's Warbler and Sardinian Warbler, whilst European Bee-eaters will have mainly moved out but there should still be a few lingering individuals present. Migrants could include Collared Pratincole, Eurasian Wryneck, Red-footed Falcon, Tawny Pipit and others. And we will a special effort to locate the endemic Balearic Warbler, whilst Eleonora's Falcon can often be seen over our villa and Audouin's Gull are present along a nearby beach.
One of the best birding sites in Ibiza is the saltpans and scrub at Las Salinas, and is one of the better spots to try and find Balearic Warbler. Waders should be moving through and all the usual suspects are possible such as Collared Pratincole, Little and Temminck's Stints, Kentish Plovers etc. This area can be a migrant trap and we are hoping for some other good migrants around the scrub and pine trees. Santa Eulalia has Ibiza's only river and could be another migrant trap with Great Reed Warbler, chats, flycatchers and thrushes all moving through at this time of year. A highlight of our time here will be a visit to the small island of Formentera, which is rarely visited at all by birders but could be an excellent migrant spot in the right conditions. We will take a short ferry journey from which Balearic Shearwaters should be seen, and explore this island, taking a packed lunch with us. Back on Ibiza, the 'mountain' of Atalaia is cloaked in pine trees and is a good site for Balearic Crossbill and Firecrest. Cala D'Hort is another good spot for Balearic Warbler, and the views of the small offshore islands where Eleonora's Falcons breed is truly stunning. Nights in Ibiza.

Days 5 - 7   Mallorca - S'Albufera National Park - Cabrera
We have almost 3 full days to explore the wonderful island of Mallorca, visiting the best sites this island has to offer. After a short internal flight we will head to the impressive wetlands of S'Albufera and S'Albufereta.The network of lagoons and pools surrounded by tamarisk scrub and the odd pine tree could well hold some interesting migrants as well as recently arrived breeding species, including the sought-after Moustached Warbler. Other possibilities include Greater Flamingo, Red-crested Pochard, Marbled Duck, Western Swamphen, Red-knobbed Coot, Water Rail, Spotted, Little & Baillon's Crakes, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Purple and Squacco Herons, Little Bittern, Eurasian Bittern, Western Osprey, Western Marsh Harrier, Black-winged Stilt, Eurasian Stone-Curlew, Little and Temminck's Stints, Little Ringed and Kentish Plovers, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh, Green, Wood, Common Sandpipers, Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns, Woodchat Shrike (nominate form), Savi's and Great Reed Warblers, and hopefully Common Waxbill. 

Within short drives of our accommodation there are a number of classic Mallorcan birding sites to visit. One of the first spots we will check out is Cala Boquer, just a few kilometres away, where a relaxed and gentle walk to this small cove is good for Red-legged Partridge, Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Eleonora's Falcon, Eurasian Scops Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush, Black-eared Wheatear, 
Common Redstart, Pied and Balearic Spotted Flycatchers, Whinchat, Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush, Western Bonelli's, Sardinian, Subalpine and Balearic Warblers, 
Balearic Crossbill, and Cirl Bunting. Moving on from here we can visit Formentor Peninsular. This truly spectacular cliffs and headland could well hold migrants and resident species such as Balearic and Scopoli's Shearwaters, Montagu's Harrier, Eleonora's Falcon, Balearic Woodchat Shrike (Badius), Golden Oriole, Pallid Swift, Common Nightingale, hopefully migrating Red-throated Pipit, Spotless Starling, migrating Ortolan and resident Corn Buntings. With the recent increase in records of Pallid Harrier across much of Europe we can always hope for one of these majestic raptors. We should see flocks of Eleonora's Falcons wheeling across the clear blue sky and in the right conditions migrating raptors such as Booted Eagle European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite and Eurasian Marsh Harrier.

We can also visit Cuber Reservoir for Red Kite, possibly a migrant Black Kite, Eurasian Crag Martin, Pallid and Common Swift, and there's also a good chance of Cinereous Vulture.

Cabrera Island is the main island of a small archipelago off Mallorca’s south coast and is home to breeding Moltoni's and Balearic Warblers.  We hope to find both species here amidst the Mediterranean maquis scrub, dotted with Buckthorn, Junipers and Olive trees. Potentially this island could be an amazing migrant trap as it is Spain's equivalent of Fair Isle having previously hosted the countries' first Cretzschmar's Bunting and Semi-collared Flycatcher. If the winds are coming form the east one can hope for a true rarity and no doubt our first site to search will be the scrub around the lighthouse near the port. The boat trip of an hour could give us some close ups of Balearic and Scopoli's Shearwaters as well. Nights in Majorca.

Day 8    Majorca - UK - End of Tour  - 19th April
Depending on flight times we may be able to check the nearby marshes before transferring to the airport for our return flights to UK and the end of the tour.
Leader:  Nick Bray 
Ground Price:  £1525.00  - Ibiza/Palma
Airfare: £80.00 - £120.00  
(Approx) - UK/UK

Single supplement: £250.00
Deposit: £400.00

Group size:  Minimum of 4 and maximum 11.

Included in cost:  Accommodation in twin/single rooms en-suite throughout, all meals, bottled water, some drinks, transport, all reserve entrance fees, domestic flight to Majorca, boat rides to Formentera & Cabrera, and services of English-speaking guides.

Not included:  International airfare, insurance, most drinks, tips and items of a personal nature. 

Accommodation:  We will be based at the wonderful Villa Rosa in Ibiza. This 6-bedroom property has a large open pool terrace, spacious design, private swimming pool and plenty of room to relax in if you decide not to venture out on one of our excursions. In Mallorca we will use one of a couple of conveniently located properties depending on group size, all of which have en-suite rooms and great facilities.

Tour Code:   A relaxed birding tour for all levels of ability and fitness. Leisurely walking, very occasionally over moderately rough terrain, is the only physical requirement on most days. Most birding is done close to our vehicle, though we will need to walk to see some of the local specialities or explore some of the sites. The weather at this time of the year is generally warm, dry and pleasant although some showers could occur and would be great to find migrating species.






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