Sunday, May 5, 2013

Not Here, Over There

As old hands to Another Bird Blog know the month of May involves Menorca, a few days when the blog takes a break from damp and dreary UK and samples instead the warm delights of the Best of the Balearics. 

A year goes quickly. It seems just weeks ago we stocked up with water and wine from the supermercado in Es Migjorn and said “hola” to our Menorcan friends. Then before we know it here we are again, a splash of sunbathing, rest and relaxation plus birding in the sunshine of picturesque Menorca. 

Like at home but here on Menorca there is also a local birding patch, a circuit which consists of stop-offs to many parts of the whole island, places where we know precisely to look and what to expect at any given time of day. 

First route this week was north and the road through Mercadal towards the coast at Fornells, eyes peeled for Red-footed Falcons, Kestrels, Peregrines, Booted Eagles and Red Kites soaring above the gentle hills and crags below El Toro, at 1175 ft. the highest point of Menorca. After a leisurely breakfast it’s surprising how early a coffee break is necessary before hitting the road again. 

 Booted Eagle

Es Mercadal 

Coffee Time Menorca

Payoff for the coffee and pastry came with a short detour from Mercadal to the local but actually quite unsmelly sewage works. Here we found both Wood and Common Sandpipers, a couple of Black-winged Stilts and lots of Swallows, Swifts and martins plus Yellow Wagtails, the latter a bird no longer common in the UK. 

Common Sandpiper

Before picturesque Fornells are the lagoons and the shore of Ses Salinas, a reliable spot for Black-winged Stilt, maybe an Avocet, Little Ringed Plover or a Curlew Sandpiper. A short walk from Fornells takes us a few hundred yards north to Cap Fornells where Blue Rock Thrush and Tawny Pipits are found amongst the rocks and paths up to the Torre itself.

Fornells - Menorca

Blue Rock Thrush

Tawny Pipit

Soon we hit the road back south and home to Sant Tomas, another tiny diversion and a quick turn to the marsh at Tirant where there are herons, egrets, shrikes, Bee Eaters, Marsh Harriers, Egyptian Vultures and lots more. Here is a great spot to spend an hour or two or three with yet more colourful Menorcan friends. 

Bee Eaters 

It's a hard life on Another Bird Blog but someone has to do it. Tune in soon and see if the misery continues.

I hope to catch up with Blogger friends soon and apologise in advance if comments remain unanswered.


Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh Phil, and Sue, I feel so badly for you goodness, it does look like such a place to drown all of the coldness, wetness and any sorrows that one may have, in a place of beauty, sunshine and much beauty in birding and shopping and yes, dining must be devine. A very lovely post and I do hope that you continue to enjoy your journey and stay safe~

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images.

EG CameraGirl said...

Super place to be! I love those bee eaters!

Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas Phil.Un abrazo

eileeninmd said...

Ha, enjoy that hard life. I would take that over my job any day. Love the bee-eaters, they are so pretty. The town or city is very picturesque. Have a great vacation, enjoy!

Russell Jenkins said...

I'm in need now for a cup of coffee, Phil. Beautiful pictures. Congrats.

Gail Dixon said...

The bee eaters are so colorful. Great photos, all. Enjoy the warm climate and the birds. :)

Stuart Price said...

Looking forward to more shots Phil..............

Chris said...

Hope you enjoy it Phil!

Jenn Jilks said...

How amazing! I love them.

Wally Jones said...

Your faithful public appreciates the grand sacrifice you are making on our behalf. Enduring the rigors of the hot sun, foreign food and drink, unfamiliar birds with garish colors and infinite opportunities for a nap.

Hang in there! It won't last much longer!

--Salut. Wally

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