Monday, 23 June 2014

Majorca birds

These pictures were taken during the second week of my holiday. The first pictures are again from Port Andratx and the pictures starting with the waders were from Albufera on the North East of Majorca. I managed to get a lift there for a couple of hours which of course is never enough time but I was grateful for the opportunity.

Last week I posted two pictures of adult Spotted Flycatchers. This a newly fledged juvenile which I watched for a while from distance being fed by its parents. Unfortuntely when I moved closer to try and get a picture of them both the adult kept its distance, so I quickly took this picture and moved on. 

I also posted some pictures of Stonechats and commented on how black the males were and darker brown the females were than UK birds. This is a good example of a very black male.

I have seen a Hoopoe nearly everyday and this was the only one I managed to get a picture of. 

Now over to Albufera and at the first of the two hides I went to were these Black Winged Stilts.

Black Winged Stilts are noisy but quite elegant looking wading birds. As their name suggests they have long legs and they like shallow fresh, brackish and salt water areas where they can probe for food. Having long legs they can also feed in deeper water.

Their distribution is wide, but numbers in some places are declining due to their wetland habitats where they live being lost and degraded by human activity.

There were quite a few youngsters about as well. Stilts are quite gregarious and tend to nest together in small groups. There nests are usually a depression in the ground

I am not sure of the reason but this Little Ringed Plover was dive bombing this and other Kentish Plovers. I can only assume there may have been Little Ringed Plover nests about but unlike the Common Terns I could not see any.

The Kentish Plover is fairly common in the northern hemisphere on coastal sandy beaches and inland saline wetlands.

This is a Common Tern chasing away a juvenile Cattle Egret which flew over its nesting site. This happened several times and eventually I was lucky enough to get this picture. Hope you like it.

There were a number of Tern nests which I could see from the hide. And every adult sitting on the nest was agitated by the larger birds flying around.

The nature reserve is an amazing place and you could quite easily spend a full week there looking for and photographing birds. It is 1646 ha and has been protected since 1988. There is a visitor centre, a permanent exhibition area and a lot of hides and observation platforms. Visiting the park is free and car parking is limited which is disappointing and the car park is situated on the main coastal road. The habitat is mostly wet grazing meadows, reed beds, channels, pools and scrapes.

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