Thursday, 1 June 2017

Alcudia, Majorca (S'Albufera + S'Albufereta) Part One

Location: Alcudia, Majorca
Weather: Blue Skies, Very Warm and Sunny

Observation: A slightly delayed blog due to a few trips in the past 3 weeks so more blogs to come! First up we headed to Majorca for a week on 18th May. We arrived early afternoon, so headed out after we settled in down to the beach.

We spotted a few Audouin's Gull along the shoreline, with light fading we only got a few shots knowing we would be returning.


There were plenty of Spotted Flycatcher's buzzing around feet from us also.


The next morning we got up and headed out for sunrise visiting the little ponds being Lidl's. It proved a successful trip with singing Great Reed Warbler's high in the reeds and was worth the early start even if we ended up with about 50 mosquito bites between us!


With the light improving and our plan was to head to S'Albufera we walked back to the hotel along the beach and improved our shots from last night.



We picked up our bikes and headed straight onto S'Albufera after breakfast. It did start off slow but by 1pm we had taken hundreds of shots and seen a decent number of species.

A very healthy number of Cattle Egrets and Little Egrets constantly in view.


Our first target species was spotted sat in the nearby tree's not far from the footpath.


As we moved on we spotted this Night Heron, where we originally thought had caught a fish but then...



It was stood in this position for about 2-3 minutes before finishing the chick off.



We have agreed it is most likely to be a Cattle Egret chick, makes sense as this was under the Egret Colony. Such an amazing thing to see!

From the Es Ras hide, there was a single Stone Curlew, Black-Winged Stilts and plenty of fly-pasts. This little Balearic Woodchat Shrike popped up in front the hide and posed for a few pictures.



We spoke to another birder who advised the Squacco Heron was giving some great views down a long track on the reserve. We headed in the direction and had no view and spotted off in the hide before returning. Walking up the path to the hide this Purple Swamphen came out in the open for a few shots.



As we were about to leave the Hide, this little guy landed and gave us some great views, after a quick lunch he flew off into the next pool.



As the birds were picking up, we done another route around before heading back. This time around was even better!

This Spotted Flycatcher was feet from us close to the Visitor Centre.


The reserve was full of Nightingales but this was the only one that gave us a song in view (took us a while to spot it!)


There were plenty of butterflies about, which we will do a round-up later in the blog.

As we crossed the last bridge this family of Crested Coot were feeding in the pond grass, Wayne photographed this same bird with the ring 1-NA back in October, so great to see the same bird with it's own little family.

This was the highlight of the trip and at this stage we didn't even know! We originally thought this was a Purple Heron as was flying into the light, but a tweet was spotted when we were at dinner and a Western Reef Heron! This was the only picture we had which confirmed it!


Extremely pleased to get such a rare bird and were determined to get some more shots before we come home.

The next morning we rode in the opposite direction to S'Albufereta and Can Curassa.
Shortly after arriving at S'Albufereta a  Peregrine Falcon and Booted Eagle both with kills flew through.

A fly-over Purple Heron was heading straight towards us so we both snapped away!



Around on the new platform a singing Yellow Wagtail (Iberian) and Corn Bunting were sharing the top branch before moving into different tree's.



Another Purple Heron flew past, so many Swift's in the skies!


Can Curassa, was pretty quiet with a few more Yellow Wagtail (Iberian) a fly-through Kentish Plover but... 5 Swallowtail, the first one was seen was MASSIVE! They didn't stop for long so not many shots.



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