Saturday, May 16, 2015

Birding Menorca Style

Two weeks in Menorca have flown by with just a rehash of old pictures and pre-scheduled postings for regular blog readers, a lapse for which I apologise. But blogging cannot be a priority when faced with Mediterranean sunshine, places to see and birds to find. So after returning home on Friday I found time to reinvigorate the blog with hopefully a return to near normality. Soon I’ll hit the local patch here in Lancashire again but in the meantime here are some fresh photos from Menorca 2015. 

We based ourselves on the south coast of the island at our preferred resort and favoured hotel where familiar and friendly faces gave the customary Menorcan welcome of hugs and kisses. No wonder we return year after year to this beautiful island. The early season beach was deserted, the sky as blue as can be with familiar birds around the beach and the hotel grounds. 

Menorca in May

Kestrels in Menorca seem much darker than our own, as do the Woodpigeons, Goldfinches, Linnets, Chaffinches and Greenfinches, and one or two other species. It must be something to do with all that sunshine. Taking pictures of the finches is well-nigh impossible after Mediterranean Man’s preference to see and hear the birds in cages. 



Newly arrived House Martins were busy collecting strands of sticky, wet seaweed from the beach to use in repairing last year’s nests near the hotel entrance. 

House Martin

The common lizard seen all over the island is the Italian wall lizard Podarcis siculus although they do not easily pose and run for cover if approached, even in the hotel garden. 

Italian wall lizard Podarcis siculus

From the beach bar it’s possible to make friends with one or two Audouin’s Gulls which reappear about 1st May to take advantage of the goodies on offer from the early tourists. Gulls are the same the world over in learning to adapt to man’s waste and untidiness except that this particular rare and endangered gull is especially beautiful. The gull presents something of a challenge to anyone with a camera in capturing the bill of many shades of red in the strong light of a Menorca day. 

Audouin's Gull

Audouin's Gull

Normally there are lots Spotted Flycatchers nearby, our early May visits coinciding with the species main migration time. Not this year, whereby the species seemed rather absent, perhaps early, late or just in smaller numbers from their wintering grounds in southern Africa. 

Spotted Flycatcher

Too soon our first day was all but over with just the Scop’s Owls to entertain us as they always do, regular as clockwork. It’s just a shame that Canon’s red-eye reduction system not doesn’t quite live up to the claim on the box. Not with owls anyway, but we’ll try again tomorrow night. 

Scop's Owl

There will be more from Another Bird Blog in Menorca soon when we hit the road in our little Panda.

Menorcan Panda

Also, there’s news from the local patch just as soon as I recover from Mediterranean sunstroke.

Linking today to I'd Rather-b-Birdin and Eileen's Blog.


TexWisGirl said...

all beautiful birds and critters. the stand-out for me from this set was that sweet little flycatcher. adorable!

eileeninmd said...

Welcome back, Phil! I am little envious of your island adventure. It looks like an awesome place and from your words some lovely people. Your birds are beautiful and I love the scenic shots. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Linda said...

Phil, it is so great to see a post from you! Your photos are gorgeous!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil Welcome back and by the look of these gorgeous photographs you had a great time. I love the flycatcher image. Have a wonderful weekend and I am looking forward to seeing more. You have missed a week of my posts from Malawi but I am continuing this week.

Gayle said...

Handsome Kestrel.

Annelies said...

Hi Phil, we're going to Menorca at the end of may. I was looking for birdwatching tips and found your blog. It seems we've made an excellent choice of destination: your pictures are fabulous! We hope to see especially hoopoe and bee-eater. Can you advice us places where we should go or do you have links for more information (it's not so easy to find in comparison with Mallorca)? Greetings from Belgium, Annelies

Choy Wai Mun said...

Another great trip to this beautiful birding destination. Nice collection of images, Phil.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Nice shots- I like the little house martin- what a cute fella. All great.

Marie C said...

So interesting that the birds there have a darker plumage! It may, as you say, have to do with the increased sunshine. LOVE your kestrel. The gnatcatcher is wonderful too. Loved your photos! Great post.

Gunilla Bäck said...

The kestrel and the owl are handsome birds.

Anni said...

Loved 'em Phil. From the Kestrel to the Owl to the "panda".

A treasure both in the area [I can understand why it's a favorite stop for a couple of weeks. Heck, I could live there year 'round!]

Beautiful always.

Christian Perrin said...

I can see what takes you back to Menorca, Phil! Looks like a beautiful place to explore. The owl amd kestrel are both wonderful but my favourite has to be that cheeky bright green lizard! Never noticed any reptiles in Europe when I lived there, about from an adder in Spain. This is quite a colourful fellow!

Stuart Price said...

You should just move there Phil............

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's an awesome collection of birds, Phil.

David Gascoigne said...

I can see why you keep returning, Phil. That Andouin's Gull is truly a handsome bird. It would be a lifer for me. Whether I ever get to see it is another matter entirely. And it's pretty neat that the Scops Owl is reliable.

Mary Cromer said...

You and Sue deserved a journey away and so happy that you have such a beautiful place to return to. That is how we feel when we travel to Montana, Wyoming Washington, Oregon and Colorado when we travel in this country. We never tire of it. The House Martin and Spotted Flycatcher really tugged at me when I reviewed your post this morning, but all are wonderful. Have a Happy Week Phil~

David Gascoigne said...

Is the Egyptian Vulture used as your header one of your own photographs? It's a pretty amazing shot.

mick said...

It sounds like a perfect place for a holiday and I can't imagine a hotel that actually remembers you and welcomes you from previous years! Amazing! I especially like that beautiful Gull and the multi-colored bill. Very beautiful!

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