Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Menorcan Birds

Our family holiday this year took us to Menorca. This was our first visit to the Mediterranean island and we were very pleased with the 30+ degrees temperatures, a couple of new birds "lifers" and some lovely beaches.

Our base for the holiday was in the south coast resort of Son Bou where we had daily sightings of Yellow-legged and Audouin's Gulls.

Yellow-legged Gull
Audouin's Gull
We spotted 4 different colour-ringed Audouin's Gulls, details of which have been sent off, so I'll post about them as soon as I have the information back. Also seen from the beach were Shags.

Just behind the beach at Son Bou there is a large marsh, which isn't the easiest place to access, but it is possible to walk along the sand dunes and look over the marsh in different places. We had several sightings of Little Egret (maximum 7 coming into roost one evening), Purple Heron (maximum of 3 in flight) and Purple Gallinule (1 in flight on two occasions) over the marsh, and one evening we saw and heard two birds in silhouette, which, when we listened to the calls on the IPod, sounded a lot like Night Heron.

Other birds heard in and around the marsh included Zitting Cisticola (heard every day), Reed, Cetti's and Sardinian Warbler, Hoopoe (4 together) and a pair of Bee-eaters that spent most days hunting in the dunes.


House Sparrows were very common around the accommodation, as were Spotted Flycatchers, Turtle Doves (seen daily around the resort, even feeding on the lawn, just 5 feet away from me) and a very confiding juvenile male Blue Rock Thrush, which fed every day on the lawn in front of our apartment!

Blue Rock Thrush

As well as the birdlife around Son Bou, we also hired a car for a few days and travelled around the island to a few other birding spots. Details of these other sites, the 2 "lifers" and an update on the year list next time!

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