Mallorca’s Woodchat Shrike are of the Balearic subspecies, badius Let’s start with the one Mallorcan reserve that you’ve probably already heard of – Parc Natural s’albufera, to give it its full name. Situated just south of Alcudia, it’s the island’s largest wetland reserve, and probably the largest on any Mediterranean island. There’s a visitor centre with toilets, marked trails for birders, cyclists and walkers, and several hides, making it particularly user-friendly for birdwatchers with families in tow, or anyone dropping in for a day’s birding as part of a more general holiday. The habitats include saltmarsh, reedbeds, freshwater lagoons and pools, plus conifer woodland and tamarisk groves, and these bring the corresponding variety of species that you’d expect. In spring and autumn, a wide range of waders pass through, and it’s also a good place to look for herons, with Purple, Night and Squacco all present. Woodchat Shrikes (of the western Mediterranean badius race) perch atop bushes and scrub on the lookout for prey, while common warblers include Moustached and Cetti’s. Nightingales should also be heard in spring and summer, and check every Yellow Wagtail you see – the Blue-headed (flava) race is regular here.
GETTING THERE If you’re staying in Puerto Pollensa or Alcudia, you can use the TIB buses (352/353) that run frequently between Puerto Pollensa and Can Piquafort. These stop at Playa Muro, just outside the reserve’s entrance. If you’re driving, there is a very small car park, but also parking in front of the supermarket across the road.