Thursday, May 20, 2010

Menorca Again

It would be a shame to waste the photographs I took in Menorca and I haven’t got a lot to report today as I spent most of it in Kendal, so here are a few more pics from the Balearic island least popular with most Brits.

One of the best places for birding in Menorca is Tirant, an area of wetland and farmland just a left turn off the main road between Es Mercadal a largish inland town and Fornells the famous yachting and boating resort on the north coast where all the tourists head for in search of the legendary lobster soup. Less than a mile up the road is a farm where Bee Eaters hang out, together with Tawny Pipits, Turtle Doves and the inevitable Sardinian Warblers, Nightingales and Cetti’s Warblers. I think I explained how difficult it is to get pictures of the latter two birds that stay in cover most of the time singing incessantly, but I did get shots of the first three. I must say that the Bee Eaters are very shy and although they fly around freely, as soon as people get out of vehicles or approach the farm gateway, the birds move some distance away. It was only by hiding in the hire car, window partly down that I managed to get the shot below.

Bee Eater

Turtle Dove

Tawny Pipit

Sardinian Warbler

Further along this road parking in a gateway (shades of Over Wyre) gives fairly distant views over Es Prat, where this year we saw Greenshank, quite a good bird for the island, certainly in May. This year the pool was quiet with Little and Cattle Egrets in the wetter areas and a couple of Marsh Harriers that had a habit of keeping well away from any roads, so in two weeks on the island I didn’t get a decent picture of a Marsh Harrier.

Near the marsh where the road lined with Stonechats leads eventually up to Cala Tirant and more Audouin’s Gulls, we stopped to admire Little Ringed Plover on the only area of visible mud which also gave the opportunity to watch both a Woodchat Shrike and a single Red-backed Shrike, several Spotted Flycatchers, more Booted Eagles and yet more Egyptian Vultures, by now becoming almost the commonest raptor. Unfortunately a Roller on the proverbial overhead wires gave brief views only before undulating away into the marsh. The herons all occur here, Little, Grey, Squacco and Purple with the occasional Great Egret.

Woodchat Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Booted Eagle

Egyptian Vulture

Audouin’s Gull

Spotted Flycatcher

Stonechat

Another coffee stop, at Fornells this time, but it is a pretty good place to watch out for Ospreys patrolling the shallow waters, and although they are not common, they do breed on the island.

Osprey

Fornells

Fornells

10 comments:

Pete Woodruff said...

Excellent pics of an excellent holiday by all accounts, and what I'd call a decent birding holiday too.

Thanks for showing us these Phil.

Russell said...

A wonderful collection of bird photographs. Those Egyptian Vultures and the Woodchat Shrike look really cool.

Unravel said...

Lots of nice birds here in this post.
I really like the Bee-eater! We have many species of bee-eaters in Asia but none of them has so many different colours like this one.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

You have beautiful birds in your part of the world!

Misty Dawn said...

WOW!!! These are all absolutely outstanding images! I LOVE the Bee Eater's colors!

Hootin' Anni said...

So wonderful!!!! That Booted Eagle photo of flight is outstanding.

Baby Grackle

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful series of bird photo, looks like a great vacation.

CherylK said...

Terrific photos...my favorites are the first two, actually. The coloring on the bee eater is stunning and I've never seen a turtle dove so that was a treat. I love the graphic wings.

Snap said...

Wonderful shots. What a great trip that must have been. I want to go! :D :D

Stu said...

Some more great shots, I like the Bee-eater the best.

Many years ago I went to Majorca on a post A-level sun 'n' booze holiday and saw many of the same birds as you did.......

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