Reports, with Bird Lists, of our Meetings, Walks and Outings

Magical Mallorca
by Chris Ward

Date: Thursday 19 October 2017 at 19:30


Forty-three people attended the meeting at which Chris Ward made a welcome return to the group and gave an illustrated talk on birds of Mallorca. 

Despite its reputation as a sea and beach holiday island, Chris showed that Mallorca is in many ways an ideal destination for birdwatching.  Its small size, (twice the size of London) means that its wide variety of habitats are all easily accessible using just one base and travelling around the island by car.  Mallorca is situated close to a major spring and autumn migration route and so offers a mix of residents, migrants and birds on passage who stop off for refuelling.

Its mountains offer three species of vulture –black, griffon and the now very rare Egyptian.  The black vulture is now at 35 breeding pairs following a reintroduction programme, griffon are recovering from low numbers by self-regeneration but the Egyptian is in the perilous position of just one breeding pair!!

The mountains are also a good place to see booted eagles, Bonelli’s eagles and occasionally golden eagles and ospreys.

The island is a particularly good place to see Eleonora’s falcon which nests on rocky cliff faces.  It is a very late nesting bird producing its young at a time when there is a plentiful supply of young swallows and martins for the parents to catch and feed their brood.

There are substantial wetlands on the island which contain large numbers of wetland species including swamphens (aka purple gallinule) with their enormous feet, the red-knobbed coot, a variety of waders, terns, egrets, herons and the unusual sight in Europe of herds of water buffalo which are used to manage the vegetation on the wetlands.  Other notables shown include the golden oriole, blue rock thrush, short-toed lark, marbled duck, hoopoe and Thekla's lark.

Comments from the audience indicated that Chris had shown a facet of Mallorca that was a pleasant surprise to them.  He did assure us he is not employed by the Mallorcan tourist board!  Thanks to Chris for an informative and entertaining evening with audience participation.

In Peter Gaines absence Brian Clews reported on What’s About in our area:

  • Dorney Wetlands – Wheatear and first report of redwings
  • Little Marlow – Ringed plover
  • Cock Marsh – Great white egret
  • Wokingham – Hawfinch
  • Lower Farm – Grey phalarope
  • Staines Reservoir – Two little stints
  • Central London – Fieldfares
  • Garden in Slough – Two yellow-browed warblers
  • Occasional sightings of ring ouzels in the area
--- Original Programme Information ---


Mallorca or Majorca, is renowned for its special breeding and resident birds and as a migration hotspot. In search of these birds, we visit the important S’Albufera wetlands and stunning landscapes in the Serra de Tramuntana and the northern coastline, as well as many other locations. Chris has been to this island gem three times, including once in the winter.

Cuber Reservoir view north to Puig Major - Mallorca Nov 2007 Eleonora's Falcon - Albufera Mallorca Apr_May 2007
Cuber Reservoir Eleonora's Falcon


 Chris is an experienced lecturer; having presented talks to over 250 clubs and societies. He is a keen traveller and has been a wildlife photographer for over 30 years. A former Group Leader of the North Bucks RSPB Local Group for 10 years and a committee member for 30 years.

Black Vulture Red-knobbed Coot - Albufera Mallorca Nov 2007
Black Vulture Red-knobbed Coot


Albertcutx Mirador looking East - Mallorca Nov 2007
Albertcutx Mirador looking East - Mallorca Nov 2007

All pictures are © Copyright. Do not reproduce without permission from Chris Ward.

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