Boffo Balearic Birding on Spain’s Island of Majorca
Traditionally, our fine feathered friends have always played a big role on Majorca and all the Balearic Islands. First of all, there are no large carnivorous predators for them to worry about. And secondly, while most Mediterranean isles are on the dry side, with little of the kind of vegetation and the wetlands that birds like, Majorca is an exception, thanks especially to the Albufera marshland up in the northeast near Puerto Pollença. That’s how the island is able to boast more than 300 species, including one that’s endemic, the Balearic shearwater (puffinus mauretanicus), a medium-size endangered sea bird with brown and white plumage.
Other species include ospreys, turtledoves, night herons, scops owls, hoopoes, black-winged stilts, Kentish plovers, glossy ibis, spoonbills, bee-eaters, purple gallunule, great reed warblers, flamingos, and the purple swamp hen (pictured above). Not to mention species that are fairly rare elsewhere in Europe, such as the black vulture, Eleonora’s falcon, Audouin’s gull, the moustached warbler, and Marmora’s warbler.
If you’re really avid for avians, you might want to consider heading down here during the spring and autumn, when many species are livening things up by making stopovers during their annual migrations between Africa and Europe. Your top destination is going to be the Parc Natural de S’Albufera de Mallorca. This 10-square-mile marsh is riddled with canals and has beachfront as well as good viewing platforms set up. Secondarily, down south you’ll find the Salinas de Migjorn, salt marshes with an especially large concentration of raptors (osprey fans, take note).
One last note: for a Mediterranean island, Majorca seems unusually well documented as a place to birdwatch, which I have a feeling is due to the hefty number of visitors from Britain, a country where many are downright bonkers for birding. In fact, there are even several dedicated guidebooks, such as A Birding Tourist’s Guide to Majorca.
So tweet that.
Photo | Ferrán Pestaña
If you’re really avid for avians, you might want to consider heading to Mediterranean island, Majorca and stay at one of the Iberostar Hotels during the spring and autumn. Many species are livening things up by making stopovers during their annual migrations between Africa and Europe.