Saturday, 14 June 2014

Port Andratx Majorca birds

I am currently on Holiday in Majorca. Today Saturday makes it nearly a week since Helen and I arrived. I know my blog is predominately to do with ringing, however, I thought I would share some of the birds I have seen since I have been here. Port Andratx in the South West of Majorca and could not be further away from the best birding area in the North East like the Albufera marsh and nature reserve in the area of Alcudia. It does say in the Birdwatching Guide to Majorca don't bother going to the South West for birds. There is also no wetland in Port Andratx so the species are greatly reduced, but not deterred I have managed to get a few birds, two of which were lifers for me. To beat the heat I have been out and about for a couple of hours most mornings from 06.30am (05.30am UK time).

The first evening sitting on the terrace of my friends house having a few beers this Spotted Flycatcher landed on the hand rail. Fortunately I had my camera set up and took this picture above.

I soon found out from walking around that the Spotted Flycatcher is quite a common bird, unlike in many parts of the UK where they are becoming scarce.

On the other side of the terrace I heard these birds chattering away in the pine tree. The were Sardinian Warblers, but they were very difficult to photograph because they only occasionally would come out onto the edge of the tree.

The pictures above are both females and there were no males around which surprised me.

Two days later I took this very Mediterranean picture of the Male Sardinian Warbler, standing on the leaves of this Cordyline type tree with Bougainvillea further in the background. There is so much Bougainvillea out in flower at the moment, it all looks amazing.

Then this one in an area of land that caught fire in the heat of summer last year.

Stonechat are also plentiful and the ones I have seen have all been busy feeding their young. I have been watching 4 pairs bring in all sorts of flies and grubs and listening to the young calling their parents for food. 

They just love to perch on the tallest reed stems and tallest branches of small trees. Their calling sounds travel much further when they are high up, increasing the chance of a juvenile reply.

I have noticed that the males look more black than UK birds as shown in the one above. I have not got my copy of Svennson with me at the moment to help me determine if the taxonomy of the Majorcan bird is the same as we see in the UK

The females are slightly darker as well

I took this very distant picture of a Woodchat Shrike (badius) on one of my early morning sessions. It is a juvenile. It is not as monochrome as the picture first seems, it does have hints of brown on its nape, back and wings which help with its identification. It is a lifer for me so I checked and double checked its I/D before posting. I have been back this morning to see if its parents were around, but they weren't.

The Cirl Bunting, a little like a Yellowhammer but slightly smaller is another new bird for me. In the UK a few are seen but reside mainly on the south coast. Its habitat is mainly South West Europe with a few in North Africa as well.

I have ringed Serin a couple of years ago in Portugal but never took pictures of them in their environment. I new they were about because I could here them but it wasn't until the end of this week that this little guy posed for me on a nearby tree.

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