I thought for this post I will continue to step outside the UK and recount a visit I made to the beautiful island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea. This island acts as a staging post for birds migrating up from Africa and through into Europe and has long been a popular destination for bird watchers in the Spring. The northern end of the island has remained relatively unscathed by the commercialism of the more popular tourist resorts in the south, has some amazing scenery and more importantly has a very large wetland reserve called S'Albufera.
This was a low cost trip undertaken in April with a 2 hour flight on a budget airline from the UK and the renting of an out of season Villa near the town of Pollenca. The weather during the week was cloudless skies which meant trying to find any migrants was hopeless as there was no rain to bring them down. However, there was no shortage of birds for the cameras. You could quite easily spend the whole week at the S'Albufera reserve but we did also venture out to the coastal garrique on the east coast (a kind of coastal Mediterranean scrub), to salt lagoons in the south, and the mountains in the west and farmlands in the centre. Our tally for bird species seen for the week was around 120 but we were not there to spot birds but to try and get good photographs of them which is a whole different matter.
Obviously a week out from dawn to dusk can produce a large number of images so I will only show a selection to give a flavour of the interesting birds to be found around the island.
There were plenty of waders to be photographed in the wetlands with Greenshank, Spotted Redshank in transition to their dark summer plumage and a favourite of mine the Snipe. All these species can be found in the UK.
Out on the coastal garrique, which involved a long walk and several blisters, we encountered warblers flitting amongst the flowering shrubs and rosemary. A bird that is common around the Mediterranean, the Sardinian Warbler.
Our final day on the island proved to be a special one. After trying all week I managed to finally get a Cetti's Warbler in front of the camera. This is probably the most frustrating bird there is to photograph. The bird has a very loud short song but fly offs as soon as it finishes. So just when you think you have found it, it suddenly burst in to song again in a bush 30 yards away.