Thursday, 19 March 2015

Formentor heaven


Out locally before breakfast around the fringes of the Albufereta. Auduoin's Gull is a still a comparatively rare breeder in Europe but can be locally common. On Mallorca it's on the increase and there are a few reliable spots to see this smart gull. One was supposed to be at the mouth of the Torrent de Sant Jordi which was a bout a mile north of our place. I'd had a peep as we'd passed on a few occasions but hadn't had any luck. That changed this morning...

I did expect to see this bird as Puerto Pollensa is another excellent spot but it's always nice to get your first sighting. It came over as a relaxed Gull, not nervous at all. I was to have further fun with this fish eating Gull later.
Next I tried another Gosney site, the fig groves either side of the Hotel Llenaire. I was hoping to see Wryneck. It wasn't to be, despite three separate visits. I've never seen as many Black Redstarts in on place least 50!

We then spent an our at the entrance to the famous Boquer Valley. Targets here included Wryneck (again), Cirl Bunting and Blue Rock Thrush plus Raptors and Vultures of course. It was a disappointing visit with nothing of note seen. The weather was glorious though and we were being watched...

Mountain Goat
The afternoon was spent driving the Formentor Peninsular. We started around the Albercutx Tower...

The Tower and approach road is a regular site for Alpine Accentor. I was to try on the way back.

We stopped at a few viewpoints along the road to the lighthouse. At one we saw some more Mountain Goats. I was stunned by what I saw. They were walking around on sheer cliffs as though they were in a meadow!!

The last pull in (km 16.8) before the Lighthouse was a possible location for the endemic Balearic Warbler. It was a fantastic setting with wonderful scenery and plenty of suitable habitat. Nothing doing however. Just as we were about to leave Louise spotted a bird. "What's that blue bird over there?"

Blue Rock Thrush is a common bird in the right habitat BUT I don't see many! It's a cracker. So fortunate to get so close to this stunning bird.

We parked at the lighthouse just as the cafe was closing (3pm?). Even worse the toilets were locked!! I lost count of the number of people who shook the locked gates. Ridiculous. It's a good 20K back to Puerto Pollensa. Anyway, the target here was seabirds, namely large Shearwaters. I set my 'scope up and scanned. 30 minutes...nothing. Another Sardinian Warbler kept me company...

I then had a look down at the cliff with my bins...there they are! Being used to looking far out to see in Britain I never considered that the birds would be so close to land!

They were a long way down!
Again, an amazing site for a Brit. Both species (Scopoli's and Balearic) were present in large numbers. Couldn't pick out a Yelkouan!

No luck with the AA on the way back at the Tower but another stunning Vista...

As the sun was leaving us I got the feeling I was being watched...I was...

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