The Albufera National Park

Friday saw our first visit to S'Albufera, which can be found on the southern outskirts of Alcudia. The reserve opens at 9 o clock but on several occasions I found that it was open earlier and was able to drive down to the main car park at 7 o clock one morning. It is always possible to get in on foot around the side of the gate at the main entrance.

Albufera Natinal Park

Albufera The first hide we visited, CIM hide, revealed a large expanse of dried up mud on which were at least ten Purple Gallinules. From, CIM hide we walked across the Grand Canal where there were more Gallinules, a Purple Heron and a Moustached Warbler was heard. From Bishop 1 hide I had good views of Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Little and Temminck's Stint. Bishop 2 hide revealed little except a few Little Egrets.

We took a long walk down to Xisco Lillio hide, which at the time was closed due to an unstable boardwalk. However in amongst a flock of Egrets over towards the Power Station was a Glossy Ibis. As the weather became to hot for birds and birders we visited the historic old town of Alcudia, which was worth a visit with its old town walls and narrow streets.

Little Egret Long Eared Owl That evening I returned to S'Albufera. I had excellent views of a Great White Egret feeding on a pool situated by the small bridge that crosses the main road into the park. At Bishop 1 hide 30 or more Spotted Redshanks and 6 Wood Sandpipers congregated in a pre-roost and on returning to the main track over the canal bridge I had excellent views of a Moustached Warbler feeding amongst the reed stems. On leaving the park by the main entrance I stopped to watch the egret roost which is situated in the large trees adjacent to the main gates on the right as you are leaving the park.
After my first trip to S'Albufera I couldn't resist returning the next day. On reaching the road bridge on the way in to the park I noticed a Long Eared Owl asleep in a bush right next to the road beside the bridge. The bird allowed me to approach to within 9 or 10 metres and take several photos before retreating.
I spent some time on the mound, found a little further along the track from CIM hide. This vantage point affords good views over the reed beds. From here several people saw a Sacred Ibis that had apparently been around for some time and was considered to be a wild bird. From this point several Marsh Harriers were seen quartering the reed beds. Good numbers of Little and Cattle Egrets joined the roost as several Night Herons left to feed.
The morning of the 22 of September, I spent at S'Albufera with a good selection of birds, including Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Spoonbill, Moustached Warbler, Cattle Egret and Firecrest in the woods on the opposite side of the road to the reserve.
The Grand Canal On Friday, the final full day on the island I arrived at S'Albufera at 7 o clock in the morning just as the sun was rising. On walking over the Canal Bridge 3 Glossy Ibis flew low over my head. A good selection of waders were present on the reserve, such as Green, Common and Wood Sandpipers, Black and Bar Tailed Godwits, Little and Temminck's Stint and a Golden Plover. Other birds included Reed and Moustached Warbler, 4 or 5 Marsh Harriers, a pair of Ospreys and my first Nightingale.

I returned again that evening to learn that I'd missed a Bonelli's Eagle during the day. I spent my last evening in Mallorca sat on the mound at S'Albufera watching Grey and Purple Herons coming in to roost in the reeds and watching Cattle and Little Egrets and a couple of Glossy Ibis roosting in the trees at the entrance to the reserve.

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