Welcome to my blog. If you live in Surrey and birding is your obsession (to get out of bed at some ridiculously early time of the morning, no matter what the weather, to go and look at birds isn't normal behaviour, believe me) and you're still a bit of a novice (like me) then, hopefully, this blog is for you.

Sunday 10 July 2016


The week in Mallorca flashed by but will live long in the memory. A week full of wonderful moments, especially while staying at our amazing villa.

Barbecued King Prawns and chilled Mallorcan white wine – bliss
During the week I saw 10 lifers, plus one heard-only (Scops Owl). The regular visits of a group of Eleonora's Falcon during the second half of the week was amazing, as was seeing a stunning Blue Rock Thrush along the Boquer Valley, but there were two other more common bird species that regularly entertained and enchanted in equal measure.

Spotted Flycatcher were delightful company during our stay at the villa
I was entertained by Spotted Flycatcher, nearly as bold and inquisitive as Robins are in Britain (the Robins in Mallorca, by the way, are a rarity at this time of year as they tend to head north to the mainland to breed), and enchanted by the song of the Nightingale. It was a pleasure to be woken first thing in the morning by these wonderful songsters, as well as listening to them later at night.
Woodchat Shrike
Black Vulture and Red Kite circling high over the villa
Griffon Vulture
The was never a dull day. A pair of Woodchat Shrike hung around the villa most days, as did a pair of Raven high up in the rocks at the back of the villa. Black and Griffon Vultures often circled overhead, while after dark Scops Owls called to each other every night.
A moth - no idea what it is
But it wasn't just the bird life that was fascinating. There were plenty of butterflies around, including one the size of a small bird. Steve Gale helped me with the id of this one – it was a Two-tailed Pasha – that flew directly past me one afternoon before flying over the trees and out of sight. There were, predictably, plenty of moths during the evening (one or two here – if someone can help with id that would be good), plus a few very confiding dragonfly (see below – no idea what they are!).

A dragonfly - no idea what this is either
Another dragonfly– a red one this time
One of the more remarkable, and unexpected, sightings happened on the last evening at around 11pm, while I was staring out at the night sky, soaking up the peace and tranquility before venturing home the following morning.

I was aware of movement to my left and then a small animal, about the size of cat, casually trotted past the terrace directly in front of my feet, about a metre away, before disappearing into the night again. A Pine Martin was completely unfazed by my presence (he was probably aware I'd had a few glasses of wine and wasn't a threat). Another first!

The view from Vall d'en Marc
MALLORCA BIRD LIST (18 June 2016-25 June 2016)
Night Heron (2 Albufera)
Cattle Egret (c30 Albufera, 3 Vall d'en Marc)
Purple Heron (3 Albufera)
Red Kite (1 Vall d'en Marc, 1 on drive back to Palma)
Booted Eagle (1 Boquer Valley, 1 Vall d'en Marc)
Griffon Vulture (1, 7, 8 Vall d'en Marc)
Black Vulture (2 Vall d'en Marc)
Kestrel (pair Vall d'en Marc)
Eleonora's Falcon (16, 8, 13 Vall d'en Marc)
Purple Swamphen (3 Albufera)
Black-winged Stilt (c10 Albufera)
Avocet (4 Albufera)
Stone-curlew (4 (heard only) Vall d'en Marc)
Little-ringed Plover (c6 Albufera)
Kentish Plover (c8 Albufera)
Yellow-legged Gull (2 Vall d'en Marc, 2 Albufera)
Common Tern (3 Albufera)
Scops Owl (c4 (heard only) Vall d'en Marc)
Common Swift (c750)
Hoopoe (1 Vall d'en Marc, 1 Albufera)
Woodchat Shrike (pair Vall d'en Marc, 1 Pollença)
Raven (6 Vall d'en Marc, incl. pair)
Crag Martin (4 Boquer Valley)
House Martin (2 Boquer Valley)
Cetti's Warbler (c4 Albufera)
Balearic Warbler (3 Boquer Valley)
Sardinian Warbler (numerous - incl. Vall d'en Marc, Boquer Valley, Albufera)
Zitting Cisticola (c6 Albufera)
Spotted Flycatcher (numerous, incl. Vall d'en Marc, Albufera)
Nightingale (c6 Vall d'en Marc)
Blue Rock Thrush (1 Boquer Valley)
Serin (c2 Lluc Sanctuary, c2 Albufera)
Crossbill (c10 Lluc Sanctuary, 2 Vall d'en Marc)
Cirl Bunting (c6 Vall d'en Marc)


  1. Neil,
    I think the first dragonfly is a female Southern Hawker & the second a Ruddy Darter.

  2. The first moth is Menophra abruptaria (our Waved Umber), the second is the cossid Zeuzera pyrina (our Leopard moth). Both are fairly common in Mallorca (I go there regularly to monitor the moths, usually staying in s'Albufera).