General Info

We stayed in the south of the island near Palma, this was a poor choice on my part we would have been better off in the north (and it is much nicer), I booked the hotel (Hotel Monaco in S’Arenal , it was well cheap £35 each for the week B & B, it was basic but clean) before sorting the birding, this was not a great problem as the island is small and it was not busy while we were there. The hire car was from Hiper who were useless, the car was fine (radio did not work and the tracking was badly out and we had to wait an hour for it don’t use them).

The roads are very narrow with deep gutters and the Mallorcan’s like to drive in the middle of them as do the millions of cyclists who seem to be everywhere on the island, these know nothing about road laws and I almost wiped out a whole group. There are not to many pull ins on the main roads but I easily stopped on minor roads without pull ins without problem. Cars on the island don’t seem to have indicators and parking laws are almost non existent. There are currently lots of road construction on the island so plan a little extra time for travelling. The old towns have narrow streets take care.

The trip was planned to get Marmora’s Warbler, Thekla Lark, Black Vulture, Audouin’s Gull, and all the subspecies.

Monday 21st March

Upon arrival and eventually getting the hire car we booked into the Hotel and then headed off to Salinas de Levante, parking by the saltworks. Kentish plovers, avocets, black winged stilts, coot, white wagtails, shelduck, shoveler, gadwall, little grebe were on the flats and pools. The scrub near the pools produced serin, corn bunting, meadow pipit, stonechat, whinchat, redstart, linnet, black redstart, song thrush and lots of sardinian warblers. We moved to Eddi’s track but nothing to add apart from Kestrel and Swift.

We headed down to the Cap de ses Salines, stopping en route for Red legged partridge. The wind was stiff and 2 Balearic shearwaters flew by offshore, close fly bys of audouin’s gull and black headed gulls were the only birds near the beach.


Tuesday 22nd March

An early start and we headed up north to Albufera two cattle egrets were spotted in the roadworks just north of Inca. Serin, chiff chaff and song thrush were in the car park, we headed into the reserve, with moorhen and coot, mallard on the grand canal, along with a red knobbed coot complete with its id collar part of the re introduction scheme. We too the Ses Puntes track to the viewing platform, (note the footpaths north from here are now shut) Cetti’s warblers were everywhere and reed buntings (ssp witherbyi) were quite common, the odd fan tailed warbler flitted between reeds but far less conspicuous. Several purple herons were on this part (east) of the marsh along with little egrets and grey heron. Several moustached warblers showed well and purple swamphen basked in the sun. Two yellow wagtails (ssp iberae) flew by over the red crested pochards and shovelers along with several yellow legged gulls.


Linnets and serins were in the bushes as we headed to the visitor centre where robin, blackbird and house sparrows looked for picnic leftovers. The hide near the visitor centre produced several marsh harriers more yellow wags and a wheatear in the cattle field, little grebe, great crested grebe, teal, gadwall and pochard were added to the list. The pools round the back produced red knobbed coot and mallard, while the canal also added tufted duck and kingfisher. The tower hide was closed. The Bishops hides produced lots of waders, greenshak, ruff, black winged stilt, lapwings, snipe, redshank, spotted redshank, little ringed plover, kentish plover as well as gargany, cormorants and other ducks.

The walk back produced an osprey over the grand canal and the roosting night herons (approx. 20 on the far side of the grand canal about 200 yards from the English bridge)/

Red Crested Pochard

Willow warbler and black cap along with the ever present Sardinian warbler were along the grand canal, three audouin’s gulls were seen in the river mouth from the English bridge. We drove to the orange bridge and viewing platform which has now gone, there are poor views over the marsh and we spent hardly any time here. We headed off to the south part of the reserve and the waterworks in particular. Several hoopoes were on the track down to the lagoons showing very well. The lagoons had several ducks, common sandpiper, water pipit, great crested grebe, kentish plover, the track bushes held chiff chaff, stonechat and whinchat. We showed the hoopoes to another English couple and spotted a woodchat shrike (ssp badius) around the farm. There were swallows were overhead, there was little of interest in the sand pit and only collared doves by the farm, we drove to Port de Pollencia and tried the police station and the Park Hotel for Scops owl without any luck. We stopped for some food in an excellent restaurant, cheap and with superb Mallorcan food. It was called "Bodea Ca’n Ferra" it was on Carrer De Sant Pere which is almost on the roundabout by the main waterfront car park in the town.

Night Heron

Red Knobbed Coot

Wednesday 23rd March

Not quite such an early start today we went to the Monastery at Lluc in the mountains. It is well worth a look round, the small botanical gardens at the rear produced blackcaps and Sardinian warblers and many of the common species, one of the pool contained green toad and marsh frog. The car park has a picnic area in which siskin’s were very common and we found several blue tits (ssp balearicus) which was the main target. From here we headed to Cuber reservoir along the mountain road, there was nothing of interest. We parked in the far car park (100m front the gate, there is a path between this car park and the gate car park). We walked down the track towards the dam, looking in the scrub for spectacled warblers, none were about in the stiffening breeze, cirl bunting were present along with Sardinian warbler and stonechats. There were hundreds of yellow legged gulls on the reservoir, but not much else. The sun was hot but the breeze was keeping the small birds down in the scrub. Marsh frogs were in the pools below the dam as we approached the refuge at the far end of the reservoir two black vultures came over the south ridge. They drifted across the reservoir over the north ridge. Over came a booted eagle (light phase), then kestrel a peregrine and finally a red kite and the vultures re appeared. We walked back the same way but dipped out on the spectacled warblers. We headed for Mortix valley but when we found the entrance there was building work there and there was no parking, the road was busy and we could not find anywhere to stop, we carried on and shortly came upon a booted eagle (light phase) and a black vulture. We drove to Albufereta and parked by the Torrent de Albufereta and walked the trails from here (well described in the Graham Hearl book) greenshank, kentish plover, little egrets and a selection of ducks were on the wader pool, some house martins flew over. Several hoopoe, a whitethroat, lots of chiff chaff’s were on the limestone raised section further on we flushed a stone curlew and saw meadow pipit and a short toed lark. A buzzard (ssp vulpinus) flew over and was mobbed by crows, commoner birds were seen including reed bunting and marsh harrier. Common sandpiper, redshank and kentish plover were around the outlet from the bridge. We headed to the scops owl sites in Porto Pollencia again with no luck and went to the walled town of Alcudia for some tapas.

Thursday 24th March

A touristy day we drove to Palma and went for the station (small station next door to the main station) for the vintage tourist train to Soller, it cost 11 euro’s return, and travels through some superb countryside, ensure you get the early train as it was very busy. There is a vintage tram that takes you to Port de Soller 2 euro’s each way, Soller is much more interesting than the port but the trip is nice, only cormorants and yellow legged gulls were in the bay. We headed back to Palma, lots of Collared doves on route and a red kite over. We walked round Palma taking in all the sites, the park around Placa Sa Faxina held several collared doves and a barbary dove (probably a hybrid with the collared doves), two monk parakeets flitted in the trees. We headed to S’Arenal for the evening.

The Historic Train




Friday 25th March

The morning was bright but greyed over as we headed north, the first stop was Casas Veyas we parked in a lay by next to the fig fields, and walked around mostly serins, a booted eagle (dark phase went over), along the road firecrest and several crossbills (ssp balearicus) were easily picked up. We headed to Formentor, stopping at the viewpoint just before marker post 17, here we checked the scrub for Marmora’s warblers. It was quite blowy but a few flitted about but none offered any views, then one flew and sat up it was not a marmora’s but a sub alpine warbler (ssp moltonii). The lighthouse produced nothing of interest and the crowds were building up being a bank holiday, we headed back to Alcudia for fuel passing a tern in the bay but could not i.d. it. We purchased some lunch items and headed to the Boquer valley, the entrance has a gravel car park now and there is a new dual carriageway right by it but there are signs up and it can still be found using the directions in both books. Note that this is a very popular place, we met lots of birdwatchers and noisy tourists. Black redstarts and blue rock thrushes were around the large rocks, and Sardinian warblers were everywhere even more numerous than the tourists. Stonechats and serins were prominent as we followed the path, none other birders had seen much. We teamed up with a group of German birders for a while, they eventually headed off in front of us but as they passed us they on the return they told us where they had seen a marmoras warbler. We found the warblers easily (by the last wall that crosses the path) and they showed well, several crag martins flew overhead. Booted eagle and whitethroat were seen on the walk back along with the blue rock thrushes again. Barbary dove was located in the Finca grounds feeding on the chicken feed. We had a quick drive around some of the back roads of Albufereta, nothing of great interest, no scops owl here or in Porto Pollencia, where we went to the "Codfather" for fish and chips.

Yellow Legged Gull


Saturday 26th March

The final full day and targets were Thekla lark and shag so we headed for Porto Colom, not far from Llucamajor we stopped for a raptor, it came close and was identified as a honey buzzard particularly early but definitely a honey buzzard .We reached the harbour and quickly picked out two shags (ssp desmates) on the floating rafts, along with several audouin’s gulls, the real find was a gull billed tern perched on a buoy. We went to coast car park as described in the guide books, and the path runs along the plateau or along the coast, we picked the plateau route and found a marmora’s warbler amongst the hoards of Sardinian warblers. This track ends at a roundabout by some villas, black redstart and blue rock thrush were here. Two thekla larks were spotted here and we got a few feet from them along the open rock scrub by the cliff edge, we followed this path and found at least 5 others. Mission accomplished we headed to the mountains and Cuber reservoir again, with a stop at the Escorca viewpoint, here a large brown falcon was spotted not close enough to i.d. but probably a peregrine. We did a whole circuit of the reservoir this time, the highlights were 2 booted eagles, Osprey, and 11 black vultures in the sky at once.

We headed to Soller for something to eat and a look round, at the railway station we found a Barbary dove, it allowed us to approach very close and get good views.

Cuber Reservoir

Sunday 27th March

Most of the day was spent on at a tourist Finca (Sa Granja near Esporles) in the mountains looking round, a few birds were seen, blue tit, firecrest and red kite were of note although many of the common species were seen.



Directions and more info on the birding sites can be found in the following books.

A Birdwatching guide to Mallorca – Graham Hearl Arlequin Press ISBN 09522019 76 – This book is quite up to date and most things are correct.

Finding Birds in Mallorca Dave Gosney – Gostours ISBN 1 898110 09 3 – Useful but some things have changed quite a bit.

The AA Island Map 1:75,000 ISBN 9 780749 537883 for navigating around the island.

For the tourist things we used the Eyewitness Travel Guide for Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza ISBN 9 781405 302814.




Marmora’s Warbler, thekla lark, black vulture all the subspecies.


Scops owl and spectacled warbler, too early for Eleanora’s Falcon


Mammals / Reptiles / Amphibians - 2

Marsh Frog

Green Toad




Birds 102

Little Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Balearic Shearwater


Shag (ssp desmates)

Night Heron

Cattle egret

Little egret

Grey Heron

Purple Heron








Red Crested Pochard

Tufted duck

Black Vulture


Booted Eagle

Red Kite

Marsh Harrier

Buzzard (ssp vulpinus)

Honey Buzzard


Peregrine Falcon

Red Legged Partridge



Red Knobbed Coot

Purple Swamphen


Black Winged Stilt

Stone Curlew

Little Ringed Plover

Kentish Plover


Common Sandpiper


Spotted Redshank




Black Headed Gull

Yellow Legged Gull

Audouin’s Gull

Gull Billed tern

Rock Dove


Collared Dove

African Collared Dove (Barbary)




Monk Parakeet

Thekla Lark

Short Toed Lark

Crag Martin


House Martin

Water Pipit

Meadow Pipit

White Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail (ssp iberiae)




Black Redstart




Blue Rock Thrush

Song Thrush



Sardinian Warbler


Subalpine Warbler (ssp moltonii)

Marmora’s Warbler

Moustached Warbler

Zitting Cisticola

Cetti’s Warbler

Willow Warbler

Chiff Chaff


Great tit

Blue Tit (ssp balearicus)

Woodchat Shrike (ssp badius)


House Sparrow







Crossbill (ssp balearicus)

Reed Bunting (ssp witherbyi)

Cirl Bunting

Corn Bunting