23 November 2002
Parc Natural de S'Albufera
de Mallorca > Depuradora de S'Illot (S'Albufera Waterworks)
PARC NATURAL DE S'ALBUFERA DE MALLORCA
Parked just outside the main entrance to the reserve at km27.0 on the Alcúdia-Artá road (C-712) on the south side of Pont Dels Anglesos
(English Bridge over the Gran Canal. The car park, surrounded by a few pines, lay adjacent the edge of Albufera reedbeds. Arrived at 0945h.
Already warm with weak winter sunshine - however, considerably warmer and brighter than southern Britain. Sympetrum dragonflies
numerous - one landing on the back of the car, perhaps absorbing the reflected warmth of the sunshine. Several butterfly species noted: Red
Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) (single individual), Peacock (Inachis io), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) (the
most numerous species), distant Pierid butterfly. Firecrest watched flying across into a pine in the car park. Robin and Blue Tit calling. Mallard
calling. Walked out to the beach at S'Oberta. Kentish Plover (3) on the sand, feeding along the tide line before being disturbed by a dog
walker. A pair of Greenfinches feeding with (8) House Sparrows on maritime grass seeds on the foreshore. Walked through the marshes along
the track to the reception centre noting Little Egret (4), Common Sandpiper (1), Coot, Moorhen, and Yellow-legged Gull.
Bishop Hide 1, 39°47' 54
N 003° 06' 26
Osprey (2) picked out straight away on entering the hide at a range of around 300 metres. Marsh Harrier (2ff). Spotted Redshank (min 37);
the largest flock I have ever seen. The birds were disturbed several times by a passing Marsh Harrier and circled the lagoon several times in
one tight group, revealing the characteristic oval-shaped rump. Little Egret (10), Teal (c20), Mallard (6), Chiffchaff (1), Kingfisher (1),
Cormorant (1), Coot (12), Moorhen (2), Grey Heron (4), Cetti's Warbler, Meadow Pipits passing overhead.
Bishop Hide 2, 39° 47' 55
N 003° 06' 32 E
Osprey (1) perched a post to the far right. Coot (123) on one tight group. Stonechat (pr), Cormorant (2), Marsh Harrier (m), Chiffchaff (1),
Little Grebe (1), Little Egrets, Kingfisher (1), Gadwall (2), Grey Heron (4) visible, Moorhen (1), House Sparrow (3), Cleopatra (m) flew across in
front of the hide.
Walk from the Bishop Hides to Watkinson Hide:
Moustached Warblers calling, Cetti's Warbler (3). Kingfisher (1) watched through the 'scope, perched on the edge of a small channel
surrounded by reeds. Little Egret (1) feeding in an even smaller pool encircled by tall vegetation. Little Grebe (3) - one bird in adult breeding
plumage. Osprey (2) overhead. Wren calling, Robin, Blackbird.
Watkinson Hide, 39° 47' 49
N 003° 06' 09 E
Small hide overlooking the Gran Canal. Coots numerous, Gadwall (100+) further along the channel, Stonechat (pr), Grey Heron overhead, Little
Egret (1), Moorhen (2), Mallards.
Walk to the CIM Hide:
Superb close views of Zitting Cisticola (Fan-tailed Warbler) - very approachable to within two metres. Watched several feeding in low
vegetation and creeping mouse-like through ground vegetation.
CIM Hide & Lagoon 39° 47' 45
N 003° 06' 21 E
Five Marsh Harriers visible at one time from 'The Mound'. Greylag Goose (3), Purple Swamp-Hen (14), hundreds of Coot and Shoveler, Pintail
(f), Mallard, Teal (c20), Pochard (f), Black-headed Gull (30+), Meadow Pipit (o/h), Moorhen, Little Egret (5), Gadwall, Yellow-legged Gull (c70)
circling over a distant lagoon, Wigeon (6).
Area around the reserve reception centre:
Two Sardinian Warblers heard calling. One bird, observed perched on scrub, flew into a pine before dropping down into ground cover.
White-edged/tipped tail feathers visible in flight as it flew back up into the pine. Also noted: Great Tit, Goldfinch (2), Siskin (total of six
today), Blackbird, Robin, and House Sparrow.
Area around the entrance:
At least seven Night Herons found roosting in the pines near the main gate. All birds were in juvenile and first-winter plumage with the exception
of one adult bird. Around four Chiffchaffs flitting around the water logged scrub between the path and the main group of pine trees. A Migratory
Locust (Locusta migratoria) was photographed on the main track through the reserve. Noted to be fairly abundant.
Es Cibollar, (The Orange Bridge)
Lagoons off Km 28.0, 39° 48' 35
N 003° 06' 49
Great Egret (1) with striking winter-plumaged yellow bill. Little Egret (6), Chiffchaff (2), Marsh Harrier (2), Kestrel (1), Mallard, Coot, Moorhen,
House Sparrow, Moustached Warbler calling, Goldfinch (o/h), Blackbird, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gull, Meadow Pipit (3) overhead. Ruff
observed in flight. Swallow (1) over the marshland near the power station. Starling flock of thousands c2Km away over the extensive
Depuradora de S'Illot (S'Albufera Waterworks) 39° 46' 32
N 003° 06' 52E
Stone Curlew (1) disturbed from dry fields around the farm at the end of the Ses Puntes track (initially took a wrong turning and ended up
here). Two guys with air-rifles here. Hoopoe observed flying along the track in front of the car on the approach to the hide at the
waterworks. Settled briefly on the ground before being flushed again. Meadow Pipit and Stonechat (f) perched on a nearby fence. Sardinian
Warbler calling from scrub.
Observations from the hide: A flock of around (50) White Wagtails took flight and left the basin. On the surrounding concrete banks, 108
were counted, most of them calling and preparing to leave to roost in the marshes. Small flocks passing low overhead with some dropping in
and some leaving. As only one basin was visible from the hide and there are several basins making up the water works, there was possibly
many more birds involved. Green Sandpiper (2) and Common Sandpiper (2) feeding along the water's edge on the bare banks. A female Marsh
Harrier hunting nearby, quartering an adjacent reed bed.ht from around 0545h but slept until 0800h. Awoke to blue skies and crisper
visibility than the previous day. Alpine Chough (14) right outside
our window on a neighbouring roof. Also a pair of Black Redstart
active in the garden. Caught sight of small passerine in a small
patch of broom and junipers - a female Tristram's Warbler. Not a
bad start before shower and breakfast.