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Rural tourism in Mallorca: complementary activities around cottagesPrint
More than 300 species can be watched in the Balearic Islands which makes them very attractive especially for the ornithological tourism. The flocks of sedentary birds are joined by a great number of winter and summer birds and it is relatively easy to observe a good number of raptors during the migration period. If one of our objects during our stay in Mallorca is to observe the birds we cannot miss visiting some places like the humid parts in the north of Mallorca “Parque Natural de S´Albufera de Mallorca” and “Reserva Natural de s’Albufereta”. You can also enlist the areas rich in water birds, limicolas, herons … As well as the area in the south, “Salobrar de Campos” which offers a variety of limicolas. Along the coast of Pollença, there is a small humid area “La Gola”, which maintains an ornithological tourist center. Some information about the species and the best areas in Mallorca to watch the birds can be obtained there.
If you get closer to the “Serra de Tramuntana” and go on one of the numerous excursions that are offered there, it will be very easy for you to watch some examples of the last insular population in the world of the black vulture Aegypius monachus, Together with other species as the booted eagle Aquila pennata, peregrine hawk, peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, vulture Gypsfulvus or the eagle Aquila fasciata (recently introduced) the black vulture can be seen in the north. The hawk from Eleonora Falco eleonorae which inhabits Madagascar and the nearby coast of continental Africa in winter, comes to our islands in April-May and stays until the end of October for raising the small birds during the mating season. At the end of June, at sunset, watching the small ones and the way they catch insects is really amazing (near son Bosc and s’Albufereta). Do not forget to take some protection against mosquitoes with you. We can also watch these birds on the cliffs of Formentor, the Natural Park Sa Dragonera and the National Park of Cabrera during the mating season. In winter we can go further into the summits of Tramuntana to observe some winter birds as the hawk finch Coccothraustes coccothraustes, brambling Fringilla montifringilla and different species of thrush. It is very interesting to watch this kind of birds in the vineyards of Martitx.
Far from the cited areas, the spots that are of great importance during the mating period are the watchtower of Albercutx (Pollença) during the antenuptial period and Cap Ses Salines during the post breeding period. These are the places where ornithologists from different parts of the island gather together to watch the passage of the raptor and other migratory species like the stork Ciconiaciconia and the black crane Ciconianigra, Grusgrus...
It is necessary to approach the spots near the sea to watch the sea birds as for example the endemic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus The lighthouse of Capdepera, n’Amer and Cap de Ses Salines are good options for dedicating yourself to the beauty of the dawn or the sunset in waiting to watch the passage of the shearwaters (Pardelas). Other option is the lighthouse of Formentor which offers an excellent view and allows you watching the sea birds with a good telescope. Not to mention the magnificent sunrises and sunsets. You can also choose between a boat trip along the coast or a visit to the National Park of Cabrera where an ornithological tour can be organized by the specialized services. The ostrey Pandionhaliaetus, the Audoin seagull Larusaudouinii and the shag (cormorant) Phalacrocorax aristotelis have nesting populations along the coast of the Baleares and are relatively easy to be watched. The Balearic warbler Sylvia balearica, which is also endemic, can be observed in the scrubland along the coast. You can have a look at it in the National Park of Llevant (Artà), Son Real (Santa Margalida) and the slopes Albercutx (Pollença) y Cap Blanc (Llucmajor).
The central part of the island offers a very interesting rural landscape, especially in the areas where the colourful hoopoe Upupa epops and the curlew Burhinuso edicnemus, can be seen. There can be also watched the kite Milvus milvus which is tireless protecting its territory in search of food. The autillo Otusscops, the owl Tyto alba and the eared owl Asiootus are the most common inhabitants in this central part of the island at nightfall. At that time of the day, in summer, it is also very easy to watch the nighthawk (goats) Caprimulgus europaeus and listen to their ¨funny songs¨. Some migratory birds as the crane in winter, the kestrels Falco naumanni the red footed Falco vespertinus, the eared owl Asioflammeus and the precious rattle Coraciasgarrulus. have a rest and reset forces in Pla de l’Ánzell (Vilafranca) and Blanquer (Maria de la Salut), which are the largest cereal spots of Mallorca. It is very easy to observe the lark Galeridatherklae, the terrarias Calandrellablachy dactyla and the skylarks Alaudaarvensis in these parts of the island.
Every year the local group (GOB) publishes “Anuari Ornitòlogic de les Baleares¨. This issue can be downloaded from the website (the previous year editions are free of charge). This is the place where you can see the status of the species and their phenology. Some small practical guides for watching the birds in different parts of Mallorca can be downloaded too.
You should take good binoculars with you in order to bring the humid areas closer or a telescope to have a better look at the details of the birds along the coast.
There are some specialized entities for preparing the ornithological routes. Do not doubt to ask for the latest piece of information where you are accommodated. All will be done for you to contact specialized entities.
ORNITHOLOGICAL PAGES OF INTEREST
- http:// www.balearsnatura.com/parc-natural-de-s-albufera-de-mallorca
Information about the visit of this natural park: Entrance permission is required. It can be obtained on the day of the visit at the reception center. See timetable.
Ornithological tourist information center
Local ornithological group, ornithological activities and an active forum about watching the birds
Publication, recommended to plan an ornithological holiday in Mallorca
Update of the last ornithological peculiarities observed on the Baleares
Reintroduction project of the Aguila de Bonelli in Mallorca
SPECIALIZED ORNITHOLOGICAL ENTITIES THAT OFFER TOURISM
ENTITIES THAT AMONG OTHER SERVICES OFFER INFORMATION AND ORNITHOLOGICAL TOURISM
Located in places of great natural beauty, the Majorcan golf courses are true paradises of peace which attract thousands of people from all nations who come to visit the island throughout the year. One of the peculiarities of golf is that the best time for its practice in Balearics is in the low season, not coinciding with the months of more tourist affluence in Majorca. The excellent climatic conditions of the Balearics allows the playing of golf throughout the whole year, this, next to the quality of hotels and residences available, go some way to explain the interest of those so fond of the Majorcan golf courses.
Winter in Mallorca
Encouraged by the temperate Mediterranean climate, the first variety of the island's more than 7,000,000 almond trees timidly begin to bud in late January, a foretaste of the exquisite fields blanketed by white, delicate flowers that burst into bloom between late January and mid-February. Be it in a lone specimen or a riot of flowers, this surprising and omnipresent forerunner of spring is a special treat for visitors.
The cultivation of almond trees was introduced en masse after phylloxera devastated the Islands' vineyards in the late eighteenth century, especially in Mallorca and Ibiza. Their fruit can be sampled as is, toasted or as part of the islands' typical dishes, especially pastries.
Mallorca is an island that boasts a wide array of incredible landscapes. This translates into itineraries in the mountains, along the coastline and across the plains. Impressive views of the Tramuntana Mountains to the west, with several peaks measuring over 1000 m high and up to 1450 metres in Puig Major’s case, and the Llevant Mountains to the east, with their lower profile that reaches 561 m at its highest point, reflect the islands’ most rugged terrain. The marina to the south and north and the central plain conceal landscapes that astonish hikers who adventure along their paths.