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WATCHING BIRDS IN MALLORCA

Late April on a short break with my wife in Mallorca's north east corner. It's a good time to go when the weather can be great (as it was for us with 4 days of warm sunshine) and avian migrants in abundance to see. Hoopoes, Wrynecks, Nightingales, Bee-eaters, Booted Eagles, Black-winged Stilts, Kentish Plover, Red-crested Pochard ... all in all, a great variety of colourful birds. Best of all was finding Mallorca's speciality - the Balearic Warbler. This small bird is often elusive as it feeds on the ground in scrub vegetation, but we found a pair and managed to see them on 2 occasions. It looks similar to our own heathland rarity, the Dartford Warbler, and shares its habit of cocking its long thin tail to stand upright.

Watching birds for me can sometimes be as much about the place. That was true for me in NE Mallorca where I did the bulk of my birdwatching in a steep sided rocky valley that opens out into a bay where hundreds of Cory's Shearwaters feed on the sea - the Boquer Valley. Although it's less than 2 miles in length, it acts as a funnel for migrating birds in spring and it is truly stunning. Go there if you can!


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