Sunday, May 27, 2012

News And Views

Nothing much to report today – the first Willow Warbler nest of the year with youngsters, plus a few oddities at Pilling after the easterly winds: a fresh in Chiffchaff, an unseasonal Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Lesser Redpoll at Pilling Water. 

Willow Warbler nest

To fill the gap I compiled a post with photographs from the recent Menorca holiday, both birds and views. 

It sounded like a good deal to me; drop Sue off In Ciutadella at the Friday market for shopping and browsing around the swanky shops while I drive up to Punta Nati for birding before the midday heat. Later we would meet up for a spot of lunch at our favourite café bar The Aurora in Placa D’Alfons. 

The tiny roadside Little Egret colony just outside the second city prospers despite the passing traffic, with this year large young out of the nest while the adults repaired the damage caused by constant comings and goings. There are Turtle Doves here too. 

Cattle Egret

Cattle  Egret

 Turtle Dove

The road to Punta Nati is single track, and so as to avoid scratching the hire car it’s best to remember the correct side of the road if something suddenly appears from the opposite direction. There’s constant song and calling from three similar sounding birds, Thekla Lark, Tawny Pipit and Short-toed Lark, actually finding each made more difficult by the birds’ colouration blending into the rock strewn landscape; unless that is they perch up alongside the road. 

Punta Nati, Menorca

Punta Nati, Menorca 

Short-toed Lark

Tawny Pipit

Thekla Lark

Like most of the thrush family the Blue Rock Thrushes here are shy, keeping their distance from visitors who mostly spend 15 minutes wandering about the lighthouse then head off to the delights of Ciutadella. In the first week of May we saw Wheatears and Whinchats, both species on their way to Northern Europe, not to mention thousands of Swifts and Swallows.

Blue Rock Thrush


Birds of prey up here in the north of the island: Egyptian Vulture, Booted Eagle, Red Kite and Kestrel. Depending upon recent rainfall levels there may be tiny pool of water here which often has an unusual Menorcan bird or two, last year Golden Plover, this year Ruff. 


Many years ago Ciutadella lost the crown of capital city of Menorca in favour of Mahon about 50 kilometres to the east where the harbour is bigger and more suitable for larger vessels, and in recent years cruise ships. We prefer magnificent Ciutadella any day, an intimate, working Spanish city where a labyrinth of tiny streets crowded with shops, restaurants and cafes buzz with the daily life of half the population of Menorca. 

Placa Pio, Ciutadella Cathedral

Placa Des Borns, Ciutadella

Placa Federico

The Aurora and Es Moli

Les Voltes, Ciutadella

Port De Ciutadella

Menorcan Lunch - Ensaimada and coffee

I hope everyone enjoyed today's trip to Menorca. More Birds soon.


Kay L. Davies said...

Beautiful birds, Phil, especially the blue one, but that last photo, of a Menorcan breakfast, really got to me. I haven't had coffee since Easter. I think I'm feeling a bit better, but I'm too sleepy to know for sure!

Betty Roan said...

I truly enjoyed the trip. Thanks for taking us along. Beautiful birds!

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, great birds, the cattle egrets are beautiful. Is the Ruff a common sighting? And I enjoyed the trip to Menorca. The city scenes are pretty.Wonderful photos.

Pia said...

Hi Phil,
of course I enjoyed this wonderful trip to Menorca. I have been there some years ago and like it.
Your bird photos are great!
Liebe Grüße,

grammie g said...

Hey Phil...I was feeling rather bored with our post until saw that breakfast photo that's a beauty of a shot..especially if I was there to eat it!! ; }
I'm just kidding,your never boring(?)
Love that little nest..reminds me I need to look up what the nest of the warblers here look like!!
Amazing shots of your birds from your holiday lucky dog...!!
I'm of to slave away and have some bread and water for lunch : }

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I loved today's journey to Menorca, for that is the only way, that I shall ever arrive, is thought this beautiful series of lovely images. Thank you for taking us along. Happy week Phil, take care, oh and the breakfast, so not fair to only share in images;')~

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