I visited Mallorca for two weeks in autumn 1999 arriving on the 11th and leaving on 25th
of September.We stayed at the Bahia Apartments in Port de Pollenca. Port de Pollenca is probably the
ideal place to stay if you are bird watching in Mallorca as it is situated close to most of the best
birding sites. The town itself is reasonably quiet and there are plenty of good places to eat.|
At this point I must mention my friends at C'an Ferra, Martins House, a small family run restaurant off the main seafront road in Porto de Pollenca. The place had a friendly atmosphere and the food was excellent. The prices were very reasonable, we generally spent around £15 - £20 if we stayed there all evening. This included drinks and a meal for two. An indication of the quality of the food was given by the fact that many of the locals ate there on a Friday and Saturday evening.
If you are planning a bird watching or walking holiday to Mallorca, I would recommend
staying in Porto de Pollenca as many of the other towns on the island cater for the beach enthusiast and
as such, in my opinion, were not as pleasant.
Generally the north of the island is fairly unspoilt and provides much better birding, walking and scenery
than the rest of the island. The beauty of Mallorca, especially in the north, is that
many of the best birding spots offer good scenery for the less ardent birders who may be
accompanying a bird watching visitor.|
We travelled with JMC who I would thoroughly recommend if you are planning a package trip to Mallorca.
Car hire is not essential, as many good birding areas are within cycling, bus or walking distance from Porto de Pollenca. However, car hire is reasonably inexpensive on the island. We paid approximately £180 for 12 days hire. Be very wary of theft from cars. I do not advise leaving anything of value in a hire vehicle. Basically take everything you can with you, leaving the front seats forward and the parcel shelf off if possible. These tactics however do not stop theft of wheels from your car as we found out to our cost. Wheels and tyres are the only items not covered by the insurance, even with the best hire firms.
Although our trip involved as much bird watching as possible in the 14 day stay on the island, Sarah who is not a bird watcher, thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in Mallorca, which did include visits to the Caves of the Dragons Teeth, the old towns of Palma, Alcudia, Soller and Pollenca as well as several hours relaxing in the superb weather on the beach at Pollenca Bay.
The weather in September was excellent with only a single thunderstorm, which caught us out half way round Cuber reservoir. It is still pretty hot during the middle of the day in September. We found that early morning and evening birding combined with relaxing and swimming during the hotter period of the day suited both birders and non-birders alike.
|Spring seems to be the recommended time to visit Mallorca for bird watching, however, autumn provided a good
variety and number of interesting species. The main drawback of autumn is that many migrants have
moulted into their less attractive winter plumage. This can, however, present more of an interesting
challenge in identification.|
I have produced a simple map of the Island showing some of the sites of interest that we visited. These sites are listed in red on the map.Click your mouse cursor on each of these sites to link to a page giving details on how to reach the site and some of the birds we saw during our visit.
For a more detailed overview of the above sites and many more, refer to "A Birdwatching
Guide To Mallorca" by Graham Hearl|
A note of interest is that twice weekly bird meetings are held at the Hotel Pollenca. The meetings are around 4 o clock in the back of the bar below the hotel on Mondays and Fridays. Information related to site details and recent sightings are passed on at the meetings. The site information would be useful to anyone paying their first visit to Mallorca and includes any recent developments regarding areas that have been privatised or are of restricted access. I found on my visit that Ternelles valley was closed to the public. Later some locals informed me that the valley was guarded by security and only locals were allowed access.
To conclude, Mallorca is an excellent island to combine bird watching with the usual holiday activities. If you are planning your first birding trip to Mallorca I would recommend purchasing A Birdwatching Guide To Mallorca by Graham Hearl which is, as I have already mentioned an essential guide to bird watching on the island.
Gosney in Mallorca is an excellent video to buy, giving a taste of bird watching on the island in spring. Information on Gosney's videos can be found at The BirdGuides Website.
|For those of you who are interested I have produced a comprehensive, tabulated list of the birds we saw in September 1999 on a separate page.|