8 BIRDS TO FIND in Mallorca

Eight tar­get species to dis­cover in this bird­ing par­adise IN MALLORCA, LOOK FOR AT… WHERE ELSE CAN I SEE IT?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Uk Bird Sightings - WORDS: MATT MER­RITT

MALLORCA OF­FERS op­por­tu­ni­ties to see near-en­demic species, to get great views of birds hard to find else­where, and to get close up to some more fa­mil­iar species. Here are eight species to look for on the is­land, else­where in the Mediter­ranean, and even closer to home… Or­chards and vine­yards are good places to look for this at­trac­tive bunting in its strongholds around the Mediter­ranean – it is par­tic­u­larly fond of sun­lit slopes. It can crop up in ur­ban and sub­ur­ban ar­eas, though, as long as its main habi­tat re­quire­ment – open coun­try with some dense cover – is met. Its song, a short, metal­lic trill, lacks the longer end note of a Yel­lowham­mer’s song, while the flight call is a short, high, soft ‘ssip’, of­ten frus­trat­ingly dif­fi­cult to place. The Al­bufera Re­serve is a great place to find them, but the species is res­i­dent and wide­spread in the right habi­tat. The Arta Penin­sula is a hotspot for them, mainly in arable fields, while the Cu­ber Reser­voir is an­other good spot to find them. Fi­nally, the Bo­quer Val­ley of­fers great op­por­tu­ni­ties – scan the tops of bushes and shrubs – they will of­ten be perched on these (Stonechats are the other species that typ­i­cally does this, here). It was first iden­ti­fied by the or­nithol­o­gist Ge­orge Mon­tagu (of har­rier fame) near the Devon town of Kings­bridge – still the bird’s UK strong­hold, its range having ex­panded into south­ern England, be­fore the re­cent range con­trac­tion Mainly a bird of south­ern Europe, al­though it breeds in north­ern France right up to the Chan­nel coast. In the UK, coastal hedges and fields in south Devon (and a few Cor­nish sites) are the only place you’ll find it – num­bers are low, al­though the RSPB has a project aimed at boost­ing them. MORE INFO

Cavall Ber­nat Male Cirl Bunting

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