Day 1 UK - Palma - 1st May 2021
Arrivals into Palma from one of the many local airports across the UK or Europe. We will meet you upon arrival and then it's around an hour's drive to our wonderful accommodation for our stay near Puerto Pollensa in the north of the island. Depending on arrival times we will hopefully be able to take a walk in the surrounding fields where we can get outstandingly great views of Firecrests, as well as the recently split Mediterranean Flycatcher, Eurasian Stone-Curlew and others, or spend some time photographing and watching stunning Audouin's Gulls. If time permits, there's also a chance of a seawatch at a nearby headland where Scopoli's and Balearic Shearwaters sometimes congregate before heading out into the Mediterranean Sea to feed.
Days 2 - 7 Mallorca - Cabrera Island
The focus of our time on this beautiful island will be to check out the coastal areas for Spring migrants, 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 be present in good numbers. 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 should have arrived and Audouin's Gull are present along a nearby beach.
We have 6 full days to explore the wonderful island of Mallorca, visiting the best sites this island has to offer. The impressive wetlands of S'Albufera and S'Albufereta cab be explored on a daily basis, 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 Mediterranean Flycatchers (this latter species has been recently split from Spotted Flycatcher), 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, Eurasian Wryneck 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 - 8th May 2021
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.
All photos copyright Zoothera Birding.
Top row: S'Albufera Nature Reserve, Western Swamphen, Red-crested Pochard
Middle row: Tramutana Mountains, Red-knobbed Coot, Sardinian Warbler
Bottom row: Balearic Warbler, Glossy Ibis, Audouin's Gull