TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Menorca

14 - 21 April 2001


Leaders:
Graham Hearl
Jamie McMillan

TRIP DIARY

Saturday 14th April Travel day

The party travelled from all over the UK arriving at different times.

 

A few went to sleep after an all-night flight but ten of us lunched on quiche which was superb and we then went on a walk around the fields of Matchani Gran. We saw quite a few plants some of which were going over BUT we had a superb display of raptors. We saw Red Kite, Merlin, an unusual winter visitor here, Egyptian Vulture and all very close; in fact Jim and I saw a dark-phase Booted Eagle just over Matchani Gran as we arrived from the airport. We also had good views of Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit and, of course, Thekla Lark plus a small flock of four Raven. We finished early due to the heavy wind which certainly took the starch out of us.

 

At dinner we heard a Scops Owl very close but, as is often the case, not seen.

 

Sunday 5th April Tirant wetland, Cap de Cavalleria, Monte Toro

The weather was fine, sunny and the wind had calmed down. We went for an early morning walk hearing Nightingale and seeing the usual Matchani species including Hoopoe and the ever-present Sardinian Warblers.

 

We left at nine o'clock and headed for Es Mercadal stopping at the Depuradora seeing Yellow-legged Gull, Common and Green Sandpiper, two Little Ringed Plover plus Booted Eagle and lots of swallows, martins and swifts migrating.

 

We then headed for Tirant and at the first pond saw a wonderful close adult Purple Heron. We also saw quite a few Garganey but it was impossible to stop so we carried on to the wide track where we could stop at Tirant. It was here where Jamie spotted six White Stork just taking off and probably migrating. The area was wet so we managed to see a few waders, including Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Wood Sandpiper and several herons. We stopped again at another wet area just past Tirant and saw six Grey Heron, two Purple Heron and twelve Little Egret.

 

We then went for a coffee stop at Fornells and returned to the Cap de Cavalleria where we walked, seeing Peregrine and Osprey carrying nesting material, and then had lunch with a large herd of goats.

 

We then drove to the Faro (lighthouse) and saw a Dracunculus muscivorus in flower together with a few Menorcan endemics, and then saw a nice group of Cory's Shearwater but not that close.

We returned to Tirant and as time was getting away from us we decided to go to Monte Toro for tea and cakes. Whilst we were gathering to go back to Matchani Gran Brian spotted a streaky bird which we immediately identified as an Alpine Accentor, obviously a returning migrant from North Africa.

 

The day had been splendid for migrants especially the six White Stork and the superb Alpine Accentor.

 

 

 

Monday 15th April Son Bou, Torre den Gaumes

Our pre breakfast walk produced the regular field birds including Tawny Pipit and Short-toed Lark.

 

After breakfast we drove to Son Bou, it was cloudy and we thought perhaps a bit of rain later but no. The birds were a bit scarce but we did see Squacco Heron, two Black-crowned Night Heron, a few Purple Heron and a couple of Grey Heron. We also saw quite a few plants typical of sand dunes BUT on the way back we spotted a young Purple Gallinule and when everyone was around us we then saw a full adult Purple Gallinule. We also got to grips with Fan-tailed Warbler and a couple of Garganey.

 

We lunched under Aleppo pines at Son Bou when I looked at the sea for shearwaters but I was convinced I saw an Armenian Gull which Brian also saw. This bird does not occur in the western Mediterranean BUT it had all the features.

 

After lunch we looked at the rear of Son Bou with many plants plus Woodchat Shrike, Corn Buntings, Cattle and Little Egrets and a few waders including two Marsh Sandpipers all a bit distant. The flowers in the fields here were just stunning, and several dragonflies and other insects were also entertaining. This is a potentially good area for migrants, and we saw a fine male Whinchat and Willow Warbler today.

 

We then took a coffee, tea, fresh orange juice, even a beer at Son Bou and then drove to Torre d'en Gaumes. Here we saw Prasium majus and a few Sardinian Warbler including a nest with young. The flowers that had escaped the rather unfortunate spraying included several fine Pyramidal Orchids. We also saw a Black Rat plus several nests and sized up the really good sacrificial altar for children!!.

 

We then returned to Matchani Gran and of course did the bird log at seven o'clock.

 

Tuesday 17th April Mahon and Albufera es Grau

We did our usual morning walk seeing a singing Nightingale on a wire, which was unusual as they prefer dense bushes.

 

After breakfast we then headed for Mahon where everybody did a bit of shopping especially Jamie! We stopped at the harbourside for Audouin's Gull but none appeared; thank goodness for the splendid sightings we had at Son Bou. However we did see a Yellow-legged Gull chewing on a large piece of fish.

 

We returned via a splendid ceramic shop to take lunch at Matchani Gran; the weather was nice and warm, even Margaret took a swim - was it cold or what!!!

After lunch at Matchani Gran we headed for Albufera es Grau, the only protected Natural Site on Menorca. Immediately we saw a wonderful Osprey and a Cuckoo and lots of excellent plants. We walked the area seeing Black-winged Stilt and Lesser Ringed Plover and walked the woods seeing Great Tit and hearing a Chaffinch.

 

We then took to the beach discussing Posidonia oceanica and then headed back to Matchani Gran where a few of the party took to the pool emerging rather bluer in hue not too long afterwards.

 

We did the bird log at seven o'clock and dined par excellence as usual at Matchani Gran, with birthday cake for an extra pudding thanks to Bess (or whoever told Shaun & Jenny!)

 

Wednesday 18th April Mongofre Nou, Cap de Favaritx

Our pre-breakfast walk got us flight views of two Stone Curlew, which had been tantalisingly calling most nights.

 

After breakfast we drove to Mongofre Nou stopping on the way on the bumpy track for Blue Rock Thrush, seeing two males. We parked and walked in to the salinas of Mongofre Nou. We had a superb morning seeing many waders including Wood, Green, Common and Marsh Sandpipers, Black-winged Stilt, all three species of small plover: Kentish, Little Ringed and Ringed and four immature Greater Flamingos. We also saw two White-cheeked Pintail, obviously escapes, and a couple of Osprey

 

On our return I spotted a pipit landing which went into cover, I waited for it to return out of cover and it turned out to be a Red-throated Pipit with a lovely buffy throat and giving everyone excellent views. This is a pretty unusual migrant for the Balearics, with only a handful of records most years. (John Muddeman on our Andalucia trip was also seeing one at this time and reports a small influx into Spain in April)

 

We lunched near the vans at the entrance to Mongofre Nou seeing a Willow Warbler and a brief calling Siskin, which is a bit late as they are usually winter visitors in small numbers.

 

For the afternoon we travelled to Cap de Favaritx seeing excellent close views of Cory's Shearwater with a couple of Balearic Shearwater a bit further out. The birding on the cape was somewhat sparse but we did see another Kentish Plover, a Little Stint and our first Northern Wheatear. We tried a walk in the garigue on Cap de Favaritx but got little apart from a Red Kite, two Booted Eagles and many Sardinian Warbler.

 

We returned to Matchani Gran a bit early as we were going out for the dinner in Es Castell but Jamie, Shaun and I walked the wild wood getting a Hermann's Tortoise for everyone to see at the log.

 

The dinner in Es Castell was excellent with everyone having a splendid time.

 

Thursday 18th April Algendar Gorge, Cala Algaiarens,Naveta des Tudons

The weather was cloudy to start but cleared later for the afternoon. We did our early morning walk with Tim finding us a superb close Wryneck of which we all had good views.

 

After our usual excellent breakfast we drove to the Algendar gorge at the back of Santa Galdana, a wonderful ‘cala', or cove. We walked the gorge to about half way hearing lots of Nightingale and, of course, Sardinian Warbler but seeing Egyptian Vulture and Booted Eagle plus House Sparrow up the gorge and genuine Rock Doves and hearing Firecrest. Perhaps the highlight was a pale-phase Eleonora's Falcon mobbing a pale-phase Booted Eagle high above us. We also had good views of one of the most strikingly-plumaged Purple Herons we are ever likely to see, and many butterflies and other insects, together with a good range of plants, kept us well entertained.

 

We returned and took lunch at the base of the gorge and talked to a couple of people who had bought my book. They had been to Cala Algaiarens on the north of the island which is a superb place to visit, but normally closed at this time. SO Jamie said why not visit this place so we did. We actually got in for free and returned for free also - very pleasant for Jamie!!!

 

Here we saw a perched Audouin's Gull, two Egyptian Vultures flying close and giving excellent views plus of course the usual Booted Eagle.

 

We returned via Naveta des Tudons which is a stone age site and supposedly the oldest two story building in the world. In fact a few people went in to the stone age building and I actually got a photo shot of Jamie's bum going in.

 

We returned with some of the party quite tired but certainly happy.

 

Friday 20th April Tirant, Sa Roca

The weather had turned nasty, windy with some rain, however we did our early morning walk with just the usual birds.

 

We left after breakfast and headed for the Depuradora at Es Mercadal with quite a few hirundines low over the water. We then headed for Tirant seeing at least three Marsh Harrier and a flock of ten Wood Sandpiper and again lots of hirundines but no hoped-for Red-rumped Swallow or Alpine Swift but we did see four White Storks which had obviously remained eating lots of frogs in the wetland. While we were there a Hobby cruised in trying its luck at the hirundines. This was unsuccessful, but we also saw one of the Marsh Harriers stooping and carrying off a Coot chick later.

 

We visited Cala Tirant for a few plants seeing Cistus creticus and Serapias lingua.

 

We then went to Fornells for yet another coffee stop and then dove to Sa Roca. Here we immediately connected with Violet Limodore in full flower, but the main colony had been sadly damaged by the logging company clearing some large pine trees and clearing the undergrowth.

 

We lunched here as it was away from the wind and then returned to Tirant. Here we connected with the storks yet again this time five. At a nearby pond or should I say wet area there was a very large flock of House Martin with a few Sand Martin and Barn Swallow.

 

As the weather was deteriorating we decided to return to Matchani Gran for tea and warm rooms

 

We did our bird log at seven o'clock with our grand total ninety plus, followed by an excellent (as ever) final dinner, manfully barbecued by Shaun despite the bad weather, with yet more birthday cake thanks to Gerry.

 

We had seen some splendid birds during the week such as Marsh Sandpipers, Merlin, Eleonora's Falcon, two Hobby, Alpine Accentor six White Stork and four Greater Flamingo. The plants had been good also despite most of the orchids being over.

 

Saturday 21st April Travel day

The party was well split up for travelling so we said our good-byes at breakfast. The weather was appalling, wet and windy, just like the UK. Although the leaders left in the morning, several of this by now well-trained group saw both Pied and Spotted Flycatchers in Matchani drive in the afternoon.

 

Acknowledgments

To all the party for being such good company, To Jamie for being El Jefe and of course to Shaun, Jenny and Viv for looking after us so well

 

Graham Hearl, Mallorca


SPECIES LISTS

 

BIRDS

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis

Heard on two days, on 15th and 20th at Tirant

Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea

Seen at Cap de Cavalleria on 15th, Son Bou on 16th and Cap de Favaritx on 18th.

Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus

Seen on 16th at Son Bou and two on 18th at Cap de Favaritx

Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis

Recorded on six days from 15th to 20th.

Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax

Two seen at Son Bou on 16th and one at Algendar gorge on 19th.

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides

One seen on 16th at Son Bou

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Four plus seen on 16th at Son Bou and two at Tirant on 20th.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Recorded on six days from 15th to 20th; maxima of 21 on 20th at Tirant

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

Recorded on five days; maxima of six plus at Tirant on 20th.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea

Recorded on six days from 15th to 20th; maxima of five plus at Son Bou on 16th.

White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Seen at Tirant, six on 16th and five on 20th.

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber

Four immatures seen at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Recorded on six days in wetland areas from 15th to 20th.

Garganey Anas querquedula

Maxima of 26 at Tirant on 15th two at Son Bou on 16th, one at Mongofre Nou on 18th with two at Tirant on 20th.

Red Kite Milvus milvus

Recorded on five days on 14th and 16th to 19th mostly singletons but two on 18th and 19th

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus

Seen on four days, from 14th to 16th and maxima of four at Algendar gorge on 19th.

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus

Seen on 15th, 17th, 18th with maxima of four on 20th at Tirant

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus

Recorded on six days from 14th to 16th and 18th to 20th.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Two seen on 15th at Cap de Cavalleria, one at Albufera es Grau on 17th and two at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus

Recorded on seven days.

Merlin Falco columbaris

One seen at Matchani Gran on 14th.

Hobby Falco subbuteo

Two sightings, probably the same bird, at Tirant on 20th.

Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae

One second year bird seen at Algendar gorge on 19th.

Peregrine Falco peregrinus

Single seen at Cap de Cavalleria on 15th.

Quail Coturnix coturnix

Heard on 16th and 18th at Son Bou and Mongofre Nou.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus

Recorded on six days from 15th to 20th.

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio

An immature and a full adult at Son Bou on 16th.

Coot Fulica atra

Recorded on five days from 15th to 18th and on 20th.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

Four seen at Albufera es Grau on 17th, thirty plus at Mongofre Nou on 18th and three at Tirant on 20th.

Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus

Heard and seen at Matchani Gran on 15th, 16th two seen on 18th and singles seen on 19th and 20th. Heard calling most nights.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius

Twos seen at Es Mercadal on 15th and at Albufera es Grau on 17th and a few seen at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula

Three seen at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus

Many seen at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Little Stint Calidris minuta

Four at Mongofre Nou on 18th and one at Cap de Favaritx on 18th.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax

One at Son Bou on 16th and one at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus

Two at Tirant on 15th.

Common Redshank Tringa totanus

One at Tirant on 15th and 20th , two at Son Bou on 16th.

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis

Two at Son Bou on 16th and four at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia

Singles at Tirant on 15th 20th, four at Son Bou on 16th and six plus at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus

Singles at Es Mercadal on 15th and 20th with two at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola

A single and ten at Tirant on 15th and 20th with many at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos

Seen at Tirant on 15th, at Son Bou on 16th and two at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii

Seen at Cap de Cavalleria on 15th close views at Son Bou on 16th and three at Albufera es Grau on 17th.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Recorded on all days from 14th to 20th.

Armenian Gull Larus armenicus

One showing the characteristics of this gull seen sitting on the sea at Son Bou on 16th.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis

One seen in Mahon harbour on 17th.

Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia

Recorded on all days from 14th to 20th including a few genuine doves near rocky headlands.

Woodpigeon Columba palumbus

Seen on 16th at Son Bou, two on 18th at Mongofre Nou, four at Sa Roca on 20th.

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto

Recorded on six days from 15th to 20th, now all over the island.

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur

Singles seen at Tirant on 20th.

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus

Singles seen on 17th and 18th at Albufera es Grau and Mongofre Nou.

Scops Owl Otus scops

Heard most nights at Matchani Gran.

Common Swift Apus apus

Recorded on all days from 14th to 20th mainly small numbers

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus .

Singles seen on 14th at Matchani Gran and Es Mercadal on 15th with a few seen at Es Castell on 18th.

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster

Heard at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Hoopoe Upupa epops

Seen on every day from 14th to 20th mainly singles.

Wryneck Jynx torquilla

One seen very well at Matchani Gran on 19th.

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla

Mainly seen at Matchani Gran on five days with six on 14th.

Thekla Lark Galerida theklae

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th again mainly at Matchani Gran.

 

Sand Martin Riparia riparia

A few seen at Tirant on 15th and 20th, four at Son Bou on 16th.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th.

House Martin Delichon urbica

Recorded on six days, 14th, 15th, 17th to 20th with a large flock of over one hundred at Tirant.

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th with six plus at Matchani Gran on 14th.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis

Two plus two at Matchani Gran on 14th and seen on 19th and 20th.

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus

A nice adult seen at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava

One seen at Mongofre Nou on 18th and four seen at Matchani Gran on 19th .

White Wagtail Motacilla alba

Singles seen on four days, 15th, 16th, 18th and 20th.

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris

A rather late migrant was an excellent find at Monte Toro on 15th.

Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos

Mostly heard but seen on a few occasions from 15th to 20th.

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus

One seen at Matchani Gran on 19th.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra

One seen at Son Bou on 16th and two at Tirant on 20th.

Stonechat Saxicola torquata

Recorded on every day except 19th.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe

One female seen at Cap de Favaritx on 18th.

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius

Two seen at Mongofre Nou and two at Cap de Favaritx on 18th with one at Algendar gorge on 19th.

Blackbird Turdus merula

Recorded on all days from 14th to 20th.

Song Thrush Turdus philomenos

One seen at Matchani Gran on 15th

Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti

Mostly heard on six days from 15th to 20th but seen three times on 16th, 19th and 20th.

Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis

Heard on 15th, seen on 16th, 18th and 19th.

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th seen well in all habitats.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla

One seen on 15th at Es Mercadal and a pair seen on 19th at Algendar gorge.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus

Singles seen on four days from 16th to 19th.

Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus

Heard in Algendar gorge on 19th.

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

One female seen at Sa Roca on 20th.

Great Tit Parus major

Seen on 17th at Albufera es Grau, on 19th at Algendar gorge and at Sa Roca on 20th.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator

Seen on five days, 15th to 17th,19th and 20th.

Raven Corvus corax

Mostly seen at Matchani Gran with flocks of twenty and fourteen coming from a roost.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th and mainly at Matchani Gran.

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

Heard at Albufera es Grau on 17th seen on 19th at Algendar gorge and at Sa Roca on 20th .

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th.

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th.

Siskin Carduelis spinus

One seen at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

Linnet Carduelis cannabina

Recorded on every day from 14th to 20th except 18th with a flock of one hundred at Matchani Gran on 14th.

Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra

Recorded on six days from 15th to 20th

 

ESCAPES

White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis

Two or a pair at Mongofre Nou on 18th.

 

 

MAMMALS:

Algerian Hedgehog: one or two seen dead on road each day.

Black Rat: One seen in nest at Torre d'en Gaumes. The individual var plasticus produced by Jenny in the dining room to the cry of 'Ees a rat Mr Fawlty' deserves a mention here…

Rabbit: Seen at Matchani on 15th

 

REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS

Moorish Gecko (Tarentola maurentanica): seen most evenings Matchani Gran.

Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula): Seen at Torre d'en Gaumes and Matchani Gran.

Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanni): two seen at Matchani Gran and Son Bou,
European Pond Tortoise (Emys orbicularis): a few at Algendar Gorge.

Green Toad (Bufo viridis): one at Matchani Gran.

 

BUTTERFLIES:

Swallowtail: Seen on 2 days.

Large White: Seen 4 days.

Bath White: Seen on 1 day.

Clouded Yellow: Seen on 5 days.

Small Copper: Seen on 3 days.

Common Blue: Seen on 1 day.

Holly Blue: Seen on 2 days.

Geranium Bronze: This South African introduction was seen around the Matchani Geraniums on 17th.

Red Admiral: Seen on 2 days.

Painted Lady: Seen on 4 days.

Small Heath: Seen on 1 day.

Speckled Wood: Seen on 4 days.

Wall Brown: Seen on 1 day.

 

A possible Small Tortoiseshell was seen at Monte Toro by several group members and JDM while we were looking at the Alpine Accentor. This species is supposedly absent from the Mediterranean islands.. so what was this??

 

OTHER TAXA:

Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium)

Paper Wasp (Polistes sp.) on nests.

Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea)

Rhinoceros Beetle (Copris lunaris)

Pine Processionary Moth (Thaumetopoea pinivora) nests

Mediterranean Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) - at Son Bou

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) - probably this species at Son Bou

 

Several other species remain unidentified, including a possible Gomphus sp. The island is under-recorded for dragonflies.

 

 

 

PLANTS

 

Pinus halepensis (Aleppo Pine) - most common tree

Juniperus phoenicea (Phoenicean Juniper) - adapted for life on dunes

Ephedra fragilis (Joint Pine) - erect shrub with brittle stems

Quercus ilex (Holm Oak) - quite common

Ulmus minor (Smooth-leaved Elm) - a few scattered trees in fruit

Ficus carica (Fig) - mainly planted surrounded by circular stone walls

Urtica membranacea (Membranous Nettle) - common

Parietaria judaica (Pellitory-of-the-wall)

Rumex crispus (Curled Dock)

R. conglomeratus (Clustered Dock)

Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima (Sea Beet)

Halimone portulacoides (Sea Purslane)

Arthrocnemium fruticosum - shrubby type of Glasswort. Albufera and Son Bou

Phytolacca arborea (Ombu) - S. American tree at Matchani Gran and Mahon

Carpobrotus edulis (Hottentot Fig)

Silene gallica (Small-flowered catchfly)

Clematis flammula (Fragrant Clematis) - reportedly fiery flavour

C. cirrhosa (Virgin's Bower)

Ranunculus peltatus (Pond Water-Crowfoot) - many at Tirant

Papaver somniferum (Opium Poppy)

P. rhoeas (Corn Poppy)

Fumaria capreolata (Ramping Fumitory)

Sisymbrium officinale (Hedge Mustard)

Matthiola incana (Hoary Stock)

Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alison)

Capsella bursa-pastoris (Shepherd's- Purse)

Cakile maritima (Sea Rocket)

Raphanus raphanistrum (Wild Radish)

Reseda alba (White Mignonette)

Umbilicus rupestris (Wall Pennywort)

Rubus ulmifolius (Bramble)

Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) - one tree in flower at Algendar Gorge

Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)

Potentilla reptans (Creeping Cinquefoil)

Calicotome infesta (Thorny Broom) - Widespread with yellow gorse-like flowers

Lupinus micranthus (Hairy Lupin) - near Fornells

Ceratonia siliqua (Carob Tree)

Psoralea bituminosa (Pitch Trefoil) - blue pea-flowers and leaves smelling of pitch

Astragalus balearicus - endemic hedgehog-like shrublet with tiny pea-flowers adapted to exposed sites. At Mongofre Nou.

Vicia hirsuta (Hairy Tare)

V. laxiflora (Slender Tare)

V. sativa (Common Vetch)

Lathyrus cicera (Red Vetchling) - lovely brick-red flowers

L. ochrus - cream pea-flower with enlarged leaf stalks. Dunes at Son Bou.

Medicago marina (Sea Medick) - golden pea-flowers with silky grey leaves on dunes

M. arabica (Spotted Medick)

M. polymorpha (Toothed Medick)

Trifolium tomentosum (Woolly Trefoil)- pale pink clover with woolly fruiting heads

T. stellatum (Starry Clover) - pink clover with starry fruiting heads

Dorycnium hirsutum - hairy shrublet with pale pea-flowers. Open places

D. pentaphyllum - more slender and seen with the above at Montgofre Nou

Lotus cytisoides - dunes yellow with this pea-flower

L. ornithopodioides - yellow pea-flower with long slender pods. Fields

L. subiflorus (Hairy Bird's-foot Trefoil)

Anthyllis vulneraria ssp insularum (Kidney Vetch) – hairy ssp balearicum

A. tetraphylla (Bladder Vetch) - creamy flowers with inflated fruits, Algendar Gorge

Hedysarum coronarium (Italian Sainfoin) - aka French Honeysuckle. Striking red pea-flowers in fields and on roadsides.

Geranium molle (Dove's-foot Crane's bill)

G. dissectum (Cut-leaved Crane's-bill)

G. rotundifolium (Round-leaved Crane's-bill)

G. purpureum (Little Robin)

G. columbinum (Long-stalked Crane's-bill)

Erodium malacoides (Mallow-leaved Stork's-bill)

E. moschatum (Musk Stork's-bill)

Oxalis pes-caprae (Bermuda Buttercup) - many fields over-run with this yellow S. African plant

Linum bienne (Pale Flax)

Mercurialis annua (Annual Mercury)

Euphorbia dendroides (Tree Spurge) - common hillside shrub in open situations

E. helioscopa (Sun Spurge)

E. paralias (Sea Spurge)

Ruta chalepensis (Fringed Rue) - blue-leaved shrublet. Matchani Gran and elsewhere

Melia azedarach (Indian Bead Tree) - street tree in Es Castell.

Pistachia lentiscus (Gum Mastic)

Rhamnus alaternus (Mediterranean Buckthorn)

Malva sylvestris (Common Mallow)

M. neglecta (Dwarf Mallow)

Lavatera cretica (Cretan Mallow)

L. arborea (Tree Mallow)

Thymelaea hirsuta - shrublet with reduced leaves in exposed coastal sites

Cistus albidus (Grey-leaved Cistus) - large pink flowers

C. creticus - similar but leaves stalked

C. monspeliensis (Narrow-leaved Cistus) - small white flowers and sticky leaves

C. salvifolius (Sage-leaved Cistus) - large white flowers

Ecballium elaterium (Squirting Cucumber) - in fields at Matchani Gran

Tamarisk - probably several species

Frankenia hirsuta - prostrate pink flowered plant in rocky coastal sites

Opuntia ficus-carica (Prickly Pear)

Hedera helix (Ivy)

Eryngium maritimum (Sea Holly)

E. campestre (Field Eryngo)

Smyrnium olusatrum (Alexanders)

Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel)

Crithmum maritimum (Rock Samphire)

Ferula communis (Giant Fennel)

Daucus carota (Wild Carrot)

Erica arborea (Tree Heath) - at Montgofre Nou

Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)

Anagallis arvensis - (Scarlet Pimpernel) - mainly in its blue flowered form

Limonium spp.-(Sea Lavenders)

Olea europaea (Olive) - usually planted but wild trees frequent

Blackstonia perfoliata (Yellow-wort)

Vinca difformis (Intermediate Periwinkle)

Sherardia arvensis (Field Madder)

Galium aparine (Goose-grass)

Rubia peregrina (Wild Madder)

Calystegia soidanella (Sea Bindweed)

Convolvulus althaeoides (Mallow-leaved Bindweed) - common in fields

Buglossoides arvensis (Field Gromwell)

Echium plantagineum (Purple Viper's Bugloss)

Borago officinalis (Borage)

Cynoglossum creticum (Blue Hound's-tongue)

Teucrium capitatum - clusters of tight pink flower-heads. Near Fornells.

Prasium majus - attractive shrub with lipped flowers

Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) - prostrate in harsh habitats.

Salvia verbenaca (Clary)

Solanum nigrum (Black Nightshade)

S. linneanum (Apple of Sodom) - Prickly shrub with mauve 'potato' flowers and yellow-veined fruits. From Africa.

Verbascum creticum - a lovely tall Mullein with large yellow flowers

Scrophularia peregrina (Nettle-leaved Figwort) - saw-toothed leaves with brown flowers

Misopates orontium (Weasel's Snout) - an agricultural weed

Linaria triphylla (Three-leaved Toadflax) - common field weed. Yellow toadflax with violet spur.

Cymbalaria muralis (Ivy-leaved Toadflax)

Parentucellia viscosa (Yellow Bartsia)

Bellardia trixago (Bellardia)

Orobanche. ramosa (Branched Broomrape) - blue flowers

Plantago coronopus (Buck's-horn Plantain)

P. lanceolata (Ribwort Plantain) - common and well known

P. maritima ssp crassifolia - fleshly-leaved coastal plant

Lonicera implexa (Honeysuckle)

Centranthus calcitrapa - pink flowerlets, variable and in most habitats

Bellis annua (Annual Daisy)

Evax pygmaea (Evax) - silvery stemless rosettes.

Helichrysum stoechas - grey shrublet in exposed rocky areas

Phagnolon rupestre - similar but single flower-heads

Pallenis spinosa (Spiny Golden-star) - frequent. Yellow daisy-type flower with green starry bracts.

Anthemis maritimus - fleshy leaved coastal plant with daisy flowers

Chrysanthemum coronarium (Crown Daisy) - Everywhere!

Senecio rodriguezii - endemic pink daisy found in harsh coastal areas

S. vulgaris (Groundsel)

Calendula arvensis (Field Marigold) - very common field weed.

Galactites tomentosa

Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle)

Hyoseris radiata - common yellow composite with stepped pinnate leaves

Urospermum dalechampii - large soft yellow composite with dark centres.

Reichardia tingitana - a yellow daisy with a dark centre.

Launea cervicornis - endemic spiny shrublet on exposed rocky coasts

Sonchus oleraceus (Smooth Sow-thistle)

Posidonia oceanica (Neptune Grass) - fibrous 'sea-balls' from this on beaches. Graham had another name for them.

Asphodelus aestivus (White Asphodel).

A. fistulosus - shorter, with rounded hollow leaves.

Muscari comosum (Tassel Hyacinth)

Asparagus albus (White Asparagus)

Ruscus aculeatus (Butcher's Broom)

Smilax aspera (Common Smilax) - climbing prickly plant with heart-shaped leaves.

Allium roseum (Rosy Garlic)

A. triquetrum (Three-cornered Leek)

A. ampeloprasum (Wild Leek)

Pancratium maritimum (Sea Daffodil) - leaves only on dunes.

Tamus communis (Black Bryony)

Gladiolus illyricus

Gladiolus italicus - still not sure what many of the gladioli were!

Ampelodesmus mauretanica - a green robust plant with striking flower heads up to 3m tall

Arundo donax (Giant Reed)

Phragmites australis (Common Reed)

Arum italicum (Italian Arum)

Dracunculus muscivorus (Dragon's Mouth) - found at Cap de Cavalleria, but flower not quite fully open.

Anacamptis pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid) - white to deep pink forms

Serapias parviflora (Small-flowered Tongue Orchid)

Serapias lingua (Tongue Orchid) - near Fornells

Ophrys speculum (Mirror Orchid)

O. tenthredinifera (Sawfly Orchid)

Orchis coriophora (Bug Orchid) - the fragrant variety


© The Travelling Naturalist 2001