Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Mallorca - Son Bosc and the Depuradora

We made three visits to the Depuradora, a sewage works and settlement pools on the southern edge of the Albufera. There is an observation platform gives good views out over the pools and there are also good birding opportunities from the access road in the area known as the Son Bosc. This is a mix of wasteland, low intensity farming and a few old quarry areas.

Birds seen in this small area included:-

Roller (at least two)
Thekla Lark
Short-toed Lark
Stone Curlew
Woodchat Shrike
Tawney Pipit
Marbled Duck
Ferruginous Duck
Whiskered Tern
White-cheeked Pintail (Bahama Pintail)

As well as numerous Nightingales, Cetti's Warblers, flyovers by Squacco, Night, and Purple Herons, and various birds of prey. There is limited cover along the road or from the platform so the birds tend to be a bit distant but there were some good picture opportunities.



Ferruginous Duck

Marbled Duck

Whiskered Tern

Stone Curlew

The Stone Curlew wasn't too difficult to find. We had watched it fly in and knew it was there. It took a bit of searching but that eye really makes a difference.

Some of the other little brown birds were a bit harder to spot against the ploughed fields. The Thekla Lark below stands out as it is silhouetted against the lighter ground but without cover it is unlikely that the birds will come closer and it is difficult to get photographs.

Thekla Lark using 420mm lens combination

Thekla Lark - big crop from the shot above

Cetti's Warbler

And one unusual find, an Egyptian Grasshopper. I think this is a female. It is about six centimetres long and although it is quite common around the Mediterranean area this is the first one I have seen.

Egyptian Grasshopper

A few years ago permission was granted to build a golf course on the Son Bosc area. Work did start but this now seems to have been blocked by the Mallorcan authorities. It would be a great loss to the birding world. A better solution would be to include it in the Albufera Natural Park to give it long term protection.

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