Who knew we had flamingos in Europe, and that they’re just a quick and easy flight away!?
To get over our December blues, a few friends and I decided to seek out some winter sun. A quick trawl of flights revealed that Majorca was a cheap and easy getaway and in an impulsive flash – we’d booked our trip! I’d heard that Majorca was good for winter birds but I had not anticipated just quite how good!
As soon as we got off the plane we were greeted by 18°C of balmy winter weather. And there were birds everywhere! Especially impressive were the numbers of raptors and the (British) rarities popping up in every other field:
My goal for the trip was to see flamingos and fortunately, reports from the salt works in the south of the island confirmed that they were showing well. So we drove the two hours south from our hillside house to Sallobrar de Campos, using the excellent information from: https://www.mallorcabirdwatching.com/bird-sites-in-mallorca/salobrar-de-campos/
This place is winter birding heaven! The place was absolutely chocka with waders, passerines and… flamingos!
We were so distracted by the excellent views we were getting of these bright pink beauties that it took me a while to realise that an osprey was working around the marsh pans above us. I wondered if this one had decided that the winter feeding conditions were so good it had decided not to bother and fly any further south (though I have seen them in Morocco in Jan so perhaps it was ambling around the Mediterranean!):
Around the edge of every shallow pan were a superb mix of rarities, with greenshank, kentish plover and black-winged stilt all common!
The water levels in the pans across the reserve are well controlled by a series of dykes and one way water gates, but the whole place is still under the influence of the daily tides. The brackish side channels were filled with small fish and crustaceans – a brilliant indicator of the health of the place. The fields around the pans are low intensity farmland – and were also filled with plovers and pipits:
As we were making our way back, a gorgeous bugling sound overhead topped off our trip as a flock of common cranes came over to a large patch of reedbed at the north of the site – circling about a dozen times before deciding it was safe to land.
If you’re in Majorca, I highly recommend a drive down here followed by a trip to the saltworks gift shop. You won’t be disappointed!