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Bird Watching in Mallorca


November 2, 2016 | Things to Do

If the feathered denizens of the world get you into a tizzy—and given their beauty, grace, and variety, who’s to blame you? —then Mallorca most assuredly should be on your go-to list of birdwatching destinations.

Lying astride major Mediterranean migration flyways and host to a slew of Balearic specialties tough to track down in mainland Europe, Mallorca is justifiably famous for its birding. And staying at a Hoposa hotel in Puerto Pollensa, you’ve got one of the absolute best hubs for the pursuit on the island!

La Gola Reserve

You couldn’t ask for a more convenient birdwatching spot than La Gola, smack dab within Puerto Pollensa. Its wetlands and thickets commonly turn up egrets, herons, hoopoes, flycatchers, warblers, redstarts, crossbills, and kingfishers, while ospreys regularly cruise overhead.

Boquer Valley

Right on the edge of Puerto Pollensa, meanwhile, you’ve got the Boquer Valley, a genuine birding hotspot. Look for songbirds such as cirl buntings, redstarts, and flycatchers among the valley’s orchards and pinewoods. And in the rugged seaside highlands, you may well spot the gorgeous blue rock thrush as well as soaring booted eagles, ravens, and peregrine falcons.

S’Albufera Marshes

Also easily reached from Puerto Pollensa are the incredible S’Albufera coastal marshes, the most extensive wetland complex in all the Balearic Islands and easily one of the archipelago’s best birdwatching sites. There are waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors of one kind or another here basically any time of year, including delightful moustached and Cetti’s warblers. In spring and summer, meantime, keep an eye out for the handsome (and rather murderous) woodchat shrike—which, like others of its kind, impales insects, lizards, and other small prey on thorns—and the ospreys that nest here. There’s even a chance you’ll see the tropical-looking European bee-eater.

Serra de Tramuntana

Mallorca’s grandest mountains are home to its grandest birds. Take the trip out to the Cuber Reservoir and walk the area footpaths, or take a gander from Lluc Monastery, and you might be rewarded with a glimpse of the mighty black (or cinereous) vulture, the biggest bird of prey in Europe and an absolutely regal creature. Other raptors that nest in the Tramuntana cliffs include griffon vultures, booted eagles, and Eleonora’s falcon, a Mediterranean endemic and another of Mallorca’s most sought-after birds.

Formentor Peninsula

Speaking of Eleonora’s falcons, they nest on the headlands of the Formentor Peninsula; this is one of the best places in Mallorca to find them. The Cap Formentor lighthouse also affords topnotch sea watching, especially during migration: Scan for Balearic shearwaters and the elegant, red-billed Audouin’s gull among the seabird flocks.

Other Highlights

The salt pans of southern Mallorca play host to greater flamingos, which also sometimes show at L’Albufera. And the Arta Peninsula’s a promising place to scout for Balearic warblers, endemic to the islands.

If you can believe it, we’ve only sketched out some of the most notable Mallorcan birdwatching destinations: There are many more, and loads of resident and migrant species we haven’t mentioned. Needless to say, next time you come stay with us at Hoposa, make sure you bring (or rent) some binoculars…

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