Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mostly Menorca

Today was rather quiet with little to report from the local patch except for an unlikely twosome - a retreating-to-the-barn Barn Owl and a fly-over Ring-necked Parakeet at Conder Green. There are still 26 Black-tailed Godwits and the usual wildfowl, waders and brown-jobs singing from the roadside and the hedgerows. 

Barn Owl

You can’t win them all, so today I’m posting more pictures from our recent Menorca holiday. "Click the pics" to see Menorca in a colourful slide show.

In addition to birds this post features a number of photos from the historic and picturesque town of Alaior, just a mile or two inland from some of the holiday resorts frequented by large numbers of visitors to Menorca. It is such a pity that towns like Alaior, Es Mercadal, Ferreries and Sant Lluis remain unexplored by many tourists. These charming and lovely municipalities remain true to the unspoilt nature of the island; within their quiet streets there is much to discover and appreciate. 

A number of long abandoned salt workings/sea inlets of the northern coast of Menorca hold a good variety of waders in the right seasons. Our wader list from the two sites Ses Salines and Addaia included Black-winged Stilt, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Avocet and Greater Flamingo. Add in a few specials like Blue-headed Wagtail and Ospreys, plus the everyday Nightingale, Cetti’s Warbler, Tawny Pipit, Sardinian Warbler, Woodchat Shrike and Turtle Dove and there are enough birds to satisfy the most demanding of bird watchers. 

Ringed Plover and Little Stint

 Little Ringed Plover

Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt

Addaia

Wood Sandpiper

Unlike most places where the species occurs in Northern Europe, the five pairs of Menorcan Ospreys are residents and do not migrate to and from Africa. At Addaia salt pans we saw two Ospreys hunting close together.

Osprey

The route to and from these localities provides a picturesque and untroubled route on quiet roads, plus a reason to stop for lunch on the way back to our south coast hotel. When necessary we would stop to note roadside shrikes, Turtle Doves and Red Kites.

Woodchat Shrike

Turtle Dove

Alaior, the home of the famous Mahon Cheese, is Menorca’s third largest town after Mahon and Ciutadella. With its narrow streets and white washed houses Alaior is a simply beautiful historic town, founded in 1304 by King Jaume 11 of Mallorca. Its church Santa Eulàlia was rebuilt in the 17th century and remains a wonderful example of Menorca’s historic past.

Alaior - Menorca

Alaior - Menorca

Alaior - Menorca

 Alaior - Menorca

 Alaior - Menorca

Potential visitors to the island should note that the need for siesta is respected in all of the inland towns and the two major cities, Mahon and Ciutadella. The sacrosanct hours are usually between approximately 1330 and 1730 hours. There’s much to be said for taking an early afternoon nap in the heat of the day and then enjoying the warmth of a Menorcan late afternoon and evening with a glass of Cava to hand. 

Alaior - Menorca

Alaior - Menorca

We're on our way south through the island now where Egyptian Vultures cruise overhead all day long and can be seen almost anywhere, often at a good height, occasionally dropping into the fields to search for food on foot. In most cases the cream and black adults seem to be in the majority with just occasional sightings of younger birds like the one below.

 Egyptian Vulture

A whistle stop less than a mile from the main road north to south and it’s those Bee-eaters again, this time with a Menorcan snail thrown in. 

Bee-eater

I will try and do some local birding tomorrow but the forecast is rather poor with heavy rain predicted.

Be sure to log in soon anyway as there will always be new birds to see on Another Bird Blog. In the meantime you can see more blue skys at Sky Watch Friday or birds on fences at Theresa's Run A Round Ranch

23 comments:

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Fine!!!.. Great captures in Menorca.. Beautiful island..

Carole M. said...

...another wonderful post Phil, I have enjoyed. Am off shortly for a week away - it's not to Majorca though but I still hope to pick up some new birding pics

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant images, the Bee-eater and Shrike are my favourites.

David Gascoigne said...

It's not hard to see why you keep returning to Minorca!

Russell Jenkins said...

What a fewest for the eyes. So many splendid pictures of wonderful birds. Very happy to see the young vulture and your bee eater header is incredible. Super town scales too. Thanks for the walk.

Russell Jenkins said...

What a fewest for the eyes. So many splendid pictures of wonderful birds. Very happy to see the young vulture and your bee eater header is incredible. Super town scales too. Thanks for the walk.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil What great holiday this must have been, so many wonderful birds and great shots and info.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

This is an interesting and informative post. I enjoyed it very much.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful place! beautiful birds! great fence model! :D thanks for linking in!!!

EG CameraGirl said...

The bee-eater is a very handsome bird! I love how you've captured it on the fence.

Roan said...

Looks like you had a wonderful holiday. Enjoy all of the birds you post, but really like this bee-eater.

Cranberry Morning said...

That looks fabulous! What a gorgeous bird that bee-eater is! When I first saw it at the top, I thought it said, 'Beefeater.' I was expecting something else. lol

KK said...

I like the Barn Owl and the Ospreys. I think I might have a thing for birds of prey :-)

Georgette Sullins said...

Gorgeous photo of the bee-eater. I think I can see every one of its feathers. I've never heard of this bird before.

Carola Bartz said...

Your bird photos are awesome, the one of the bee-eater is spectacular!! What a beautiful bird. I also like all the pictures of Menorca - you are a great photographer!

mrsbearfoot said...

Beautiful place and beautiful birds, but the Bee-eater has to be my favorite! :)

Visiting from Good Fences #9

~Lindy

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Can I say the colors of the Bee-eater is 'lucious'? Okay I will!!!

Loved the tour you took us on today.

Raggedy Creations said...

pretty bird captures. but i LOVE the bee eater and the way his little claws curl around the fence.

Mama Zen said...

Splendid shots!

Mary Cromer said...

Stunning beauty must have awaited you all on every corner...
Absolutely magnificent.
The Egyptian Vulture is actually quite attractive, compared to our Turkey Vultures. Especially enjoyed seeing Wood Sandpipers and Black-winged Stilts too. Happy weekend~

Ida said...

Awesome birds. I like those Stilt birds, they have such cool long legs. Also the Bee-eater on the fence was so pretty.

s.c said...

Great bird shots. I like them.

carol l mckenna said...

Gorgeous photography ~ love the owl ~ what a place ~ great shots for SWF ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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