Jun 012016
 

Just recently back from a chill-out week on the Balearic Isle of Menorca. We had a great relaxing time at the beautiful resort of Cala Galdana on the south coast. The weather was superb, the food superb and the hotel superb. What more can I say. One of the reasons we chose this resort was due to the easy access of the Algendar Gorge, which is a great place for birding. That kept me quiet for most of the mornings with an easy walk of around 3-4 miles there and back.

The Algendar Gorge lies to the north of the resort and is excellent for raptors, with  Egyptian Vulture and  Booted Eagle being the most sort after. I also had Kestrel, (several pairs in the valley), a single Peregrine and a single Red Kite over the valley on one occasion. At the end of the gorge, the huge cliffs hold a large colony of House Sparrow. Through the valley there were many singing Nightingale, my best count was 40 individuals and plenty of Cetti’s Warbler. The local singing Blackcaps caught me out initially, as their song is completely different to the one that we are familiar with. Several migrant Spotted Flycatcher during my first visit, but none thereafter. I think they were onbly just arriving as they are supposed to be very common. A singing Firecrest, a pair of Blue Rock Thrush, several Hoopoe, Swift, House Martin, Fan-tailed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Wood Pigeon and several singing Scops Owl were other birds I had during my visits. Numbers of Green-eyed Hawker dragonfly and Copper Demoiselle Damselfly ( both new species) were on the wing, along with Cleopatra, Small White, Swallowtail, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood (the race aegeria), Wall and Small Copper representing the butterflies. The only other insect of note was a huge Locust on the path on one occasion.

Around the resort of Cala Galdana I had three Audouin’s Gull, (on several occasions one would be swimming and bathing alongside me whilst in the hotel’s swimming pool!) many Yellow-legged Gull, a single Little Egret and Shag, several Alpine Swift, Nightingale, Sardinian Warbler, Scops Owl, House Martin, Swift, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Wood Pigeon and Collard Dove. We never left the resort, other than to travel to/from the airport and so I could have had many more species if I had chosen to hire a car. Menorca has many good sites and I am sure it is a great place for migrants in early spring. Maybe we were a little early for some of the species that can be seen in the area? Another visit, another time but for now it is count down time to Alaska!!

Audouin's Gull_S1Q4536   Audouin's Gull _S1Q4597 Audouin's Gull _S1Q4546 Audouin's Gull _S1Q4543  Audouin's Gull _S1Q4608Audouin's Gull _S1Q4612

Audouin’s Gull – adult – above six images – Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison© – a great place to see this beautiful gull at close quarters.

Audouin's Gull_S1Q5276 Audouin's Gull_S1Q5278

Audouin’s Gull – near adult, probably 3rd or 4th summer? not familiar with Audouin’s Gull moult – above two images – Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison©

Yellow-legged Gull_S1Q5351

Yellow-legged Gull – adult – Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison©

Booted Eagle_S1Q5219 Booted Eagle_S1Q5161 BOOTED EAGLE_S1Q5086BOOTED EAGLE_S1Q5098

Booted Eagle – adult – above four images – Algendar Gorge, Cala Galdana, Menorca – A common raptor on Menorca offering good viewing opportunities – Tony Davison©

Egyp Vulture_S1Q5062Egyp Vulture_S1Q4851Egyp Vulture 2_S1Q5062 Egyp Vulture_S1Q4701 Egyp Vulture_S1Q4702 Egyp Vulture_S1Q4705 Egyp Vulture_S1Q4714

Egyptian Vulture – above seven images – Algendar Gorge, Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison© – stunning views of this magnificent raptor

Sardinian Warbler_S1Q5317 Sardinian Warbler_S1Q5320

Sardinian Warbler – juvenile – above two images – Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison© 

Fan-tailed Warbler_S1Q4901 Fan-tailed Warbler_S1Q4905

Fan-tailed Warbler – entrance to the Algendar Gorge trail, Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison© – their “Zitting” song was a regular occurance, with several pairs

Green-eyed Hawker_S1Q4651

Green-eyed Hawker – Aeshna isoceles – Algendar Gorge, Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison©  In UK it is rare and is known as the Norfolk Hawker.

Taken with a Canon EOS-1D MKIV and Canon f5.6 L USM 400mm and EF1.4 mk111 extender

 

Copper Demoiselle_S1Q4995

Copper DemoiselleCalopteryx haemorrhoidalis – Algendar Gorge, Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison© – common along the gorge trail

Taken with a Canon EOS-1D MKIV and Canon f5.6 L USM 400mm and EF1.4 mk111 extender

Cleopatra_S1Q4667

Cleopatra – Algendar Gorge, Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison© – Taken with a Canon EOS-1D MKIV and Canon f5.6 L USM 400mm and EF1.4 mk111 extender

Speckled Wood_S1Q4681

Speckled Wood (aegeria form) Many on the wing along the gorge trail – Cala Galdana, Menorca – Tony Davison© – very different to the Speckled Wood in the UK

Taken with a Canon EOS-1D MKIV and Canon f5.6 L USM 400mm and EF1.4 mk111 extender

Wall _S1Q5271

Wall – female – Cala Galdana, menorca – Tony Davison© – I only saw this one specimen during the week.

Taken with a Canon EOS-1D MKIV and Canon f5.6 L USM 400mm and EF1.4 mk111 extender

 Posted by at 12:27 pm

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