Sunday, 9 June 2013
Just returned from a week's birding on the sunny Mediterranean island of Ibiza, perhaps best known for its club scene. Jenny & I avoided these and concentrated on birds, beaches and history in that order. In any wooded habitat you would expect to see Spotted Flycatcher and hear the "purring" of a Turtle Dove. La Salinas is perhaps the premier birding site on the island and the clue is in the title, which is used as a working salt works, a big browny tinged white salt mountain was stacked up over 100 feet tall to one side! Our first view of the Salinas was from the aeroplane on the flight in in and I thought I could see 8 Greater Flamingos. On visiting the Salinas on Sunday 2nd, these were confirmed as we saw 9 distant Greater Flamingoes. We viewed from the track that leads down to the restaurant at the end. In the Pine woods, I heard and saw Spotted Flycatcher and a Turtle Dove was seen and heard purring near the trunk of a Pine tree. At the end, I walked up a sloping cliff covered in bushes were I was hoping to see Balearic/ Marmora's Warbler. I was not to be disappointed as one was foraging in a bush just feet away, a small slim long- tailed slate grey warbler with red eye. It spent several minutes hopping in this bush and then flew to the one behind before flying to a larger bush at the back, where it was conspicuous for around a minutes before disappearing. A Spotted Flycatcher seen here too.On checking the same area when I walked back I saw the Warbler in the same area. An immature Blue Rock Thrush briefly flew onto the wall, before flying off. On Monday 3rd June, a stop off by a cemetary and a cafe revealed singing Firecrest (not see), a Woodchat Shrike perched on the top of a tree, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Thekla Lark. In the mountain area of Talissa, by the radar mast station. 1st one then 2 Firecrest showed really well amongst the Pine trees, several balearic Crossbills seen flying past, I picked up 1 or 2 immature Baleric Crossbills. Wandering behind the radar mast, at the back up to 9 Balearic Crossbills congregated, including a great red male on the fence then seen in the tree. On Tuesday a walk along the river at Santa Euralia revealed 3 Reed Warblers, a Cetti's Warbler and little else save for the obligatory Serins, around 5 seen. Plus by the area near the sea, a popular walkway sported 3 showy singing Serins and the then first one then 2 very showy Iberian Wall Lizards crawling out from a rock and occasionally eating ants on the path, the first Lizard had a shortened tail, whilst the second had a complete tail and looked slightly greener, both performed amazingly well for the camera's macro lens. On the Wednesday 5th June, at Cala Lunga, I photographed up to 3 Audouin's Gulls whilst a male Blue Rock Thrush flew in off the sea. On the way back from a viewpoint close to hear we saw a Woodchat on top of a telegraph post. On Thursday on the return to the Salina's, several Black- winged Stilts included one on a nest and adults with up to 3 young. The Balearic Warbler was seen and heard singing in the scrub behind the posh restaurant. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen here too. Whilst at the back up the hill, in a cultivated area, 3 Blue Rock Thrushs seen perched on the posts including 2 immatures and 1 adult male. On Thursday, at El Vedra, I didn't see any of the hoped for Rock Sparrows, but a Red- legged Partridge seen and looking back over a distant rocky crag, an excellent Egyptian Vulture seen soaring past it and to the left. Another stop by the roadside revealed 5 Iberian Wall lizards all fairly showy and another stop nearby revealed first 1 then 2 Painted Lady butterflies along the rough track. On Friday back at Cala Lungha, just back from the viewpoint area, a Peregrine Falcon flew past. walking down a track another Woodchat Shrike seen, an adult female seen.