|Cuber reservoir (shown on the map below) is set high in the Tramuntanas, a limestone mountain
range running along the north
west coast of the island. To reach Cuber reservoir leave Porto de Pollenca on the C-220, heading
towards Pollenca. |
You will pass Pollenca, a scenic old town with a flight of 365 stone steps leading up Mount Calvary to a statue of Christ on the cross. At the top of Mount Calvary the views towards Porto de Pollenca and Alcudia are excellent on a clear day. There is also a well preserved water wheel in the town.
On passing Pollenca follow the C-710 all the way to Cuber. On the way you may wish to stop at
Lluc Monastery, which is well advertised from the main road.
This historic building has an amazing Basillica and in the grounds are a hospice,
several restaurants and a museum housing many finds from the area. The walk up the hill from the
Monastery gives excellent views over the surrounding mountains and is an excellent raptor watch point
and many smaller migrants may be found in the surrounding woodland.
Continuing from Lluc the road passes through a long tunnel with Gorg Blau reservoir on it's far side. Crag Martins and House Martins breed close to the tunnel exit, whilst the reservoir area is another good area for raptors.
Further up the road after a sharp right hand bend, coming out of the woods you will see Cuber reservoir to your left and Puig Major, the highest mountain in Mallorca to your right. Puig Major stands at 1445 metres from sea level. There are several parking areas close to Cuber, one of which is situated next to the gates allowing entry to the path that circles the reservoir.
On walking clockwise around the reservoir you will notice grassy scrubland on your left which is a good area to see Spectacled Warbler and many other mountain birds. Continuing you will reach the dam wall. The valley to the left, in which a stream runs down to the reservoir, is worth checking for flycatchers and warblers. Past the dam wall on the left is the quarry, a good area for chats and Rock Thrush. At the end of the reservoir is a mountain refuge.
Past this, a track runs off to the right and continues back along the other side of the reservoir under some electricity pylons. To your left is the north ridge, a favoured haunt for many of the islands raptors and at the bottom of the ridge is a wooded area to check for flycatchers, warblers and the like. This path will eventually lead back to the parking area.|
A leisurely stroll around the reservoir may take anything from 1 to 3 hours. Always be sure to scan the sky for the many raptors visiting the area.
On our first trip to Cuber (walking clockwise around the reservoir) we saw several Spectacled Warblers in the scrub to the left of the reservoir. At the dam wall a Blue Rock Thrush sang from a tree and Tawny Pipits called from the mountainsides. Pied and Spotted Flycatchers fed along the stream and a Cetti's Warbler was viewed mobbing a Weasel. Ten or more Eleonora's Falcon were seen over the reservoir and on scanning the high mountain tops towards Puig Major a lone Black Vulture soared away into the distance. Whilst watching the falcons I spotted two larger raptors, an Osprey and a pale phase Booted Eagle, both of which were mobbed by the falcons as they crossed high over the reservoir. We walked a short way up a small path just past the quarry and were rewarded with views of a female Rock Thrush, pointed out to us by a couple of scottish bird watchers we had spoken to earlier by the dam.
Our initial visit to Cuber was cut short on reaching the refuge at the far end of the reservoir by an almighty thunderstorm with some pretty scarey bolt lightening all round the valley. I would advise keeping an eye on the weather in the mountains as storms are fairly frequent in September and driving back out of the mountains in a storm can be a hair raising experience as the torrents of water wash mud, branches, rocks and other debri down the roads.
The weather, early in the morning on our second stop at Cuber was extremely cold so we continued to the town of Soller. We spent an hour wandering round the streets of this picturesque town, with it's tree shaded square offering views of the cathedral.
As the temperature rose we headed back to Cuber to be met in the car park by the resident sheep, one of which attempted to gain entry to the boot of the car in search of food. They are partial to a biscuit or two. On a more serious note if they have escaped through the gate they are easily led back away from the road with the lure of food.
The main aim of this second visit was to look for raptors. Unfortunately, not a single bird of prey showed in the 3 hours or so we were there. However, on walking anti-clockwise round the reservoir from the parking area, we spotted a female Collared Flycatcher in a bush close to the left hand side of the path just before reaching the main wooded area. The lack of raptors on this trip compared to our first visit shows that the area is worth checking on more than one occasion.
On the way back to Porto de Pollenca we stopped off at The Torrente de Pareis and Lluc
Monastery. Although few birds of interest were noted at either, both are worth checking out if only for the scenery.|
As it grew dark we heard our first Scops Owl calling from a large wood by the side of the road as we neared Pollenca. According to various sources, the birds had just started calling from several locations around the island.