TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT
Friday 22 - Friday 29 April 2005
We landed in pleasantly warm sunshine and were met cheerfully by our host Shaun Murphy, who helped us with our bags and guided us on the ten-minute drive round to Matchani Gran where we were soon downing the first beers of the trip.
After we had settled into our rooms it was soon time for lunch, after which Jamie dived into the woods and brought out a Hermanns Tortoise for all to admire. Ray meanwhile had found a Common Redstart and the first of many Booted Eagles soaring over, as well as a Peregrine also enjoying the sunshine and uplift from a steady southeasterly breeze.
The fields behind the farmhouse were carpeted with flowers and it was soon evident how late the spring was with an excellent showing of Sawfly and Mirror Ophrys, the latter usually well over by now.
As we admired these, we noticed an intriguing gathering of at least a dozen kestrels over the nearby town of San Clemente. The way they were flocking and catching insects suggested that they were Lesser Kestrels, a rare visitor to the island, so we decided to drive over to the village for a closer look. Sadly, they all seemed to have vanished as soon as we got there, but we eventually found them again on the way back and clinched the identification. In fact they were to reappear several times during the afternoon, several showing well right overhead at the guesthouse.
Back at the fields we admired more orchids including Small-flowered Tongue Orchid, and saw another male Redstart, while Pallid Swifts showed very well overhead. Down the drive we saw several dapper male Pied Flycatchers, unusually numerous today but the usual Arabian Garlic was still in bud. It had been an excellent start, with a new write-in bird for the tour list on the first day.
23rd April Sunny, cool, southeasterly breeze.
After a night of calling Scops Owls and Stone Curlews we awoke to a clear dawn with singing Nightingales and calling Quail. The pre-breakfast walkers were rewarded with several Whinchats, a Willow Warbler and Short-toed Lark and excellent views of Tawny Pipit.
After breakfast we headed along the coast to Son Bou where a Sardinian Warbler greeted us in the empty beach car park. The wetland creek held around twenty Mallard, some admittedly of dubious origin. Their eyes lit up as they saw us, and immediately stampeded towards us: evidently we were the first potential bread suppliers they had seen for sometime.
Up on the viewpoint we could see a Black-winged Stilt on the pool below us, a Purple Gallinule (Swamphen was outvoted this trip!) that eventually gave excellent views and a Purple Heron that didnt. Ray always had one eye on the sea and was soon picking out distant Corys and Yelkouan Shearwaters, while the land watchers were entertained by Common and Green Sandpipers on a creek and several Stonechats and Northern Wheatears.
Jamie nearly stepped on a young Hermanns Tortoise, which he held in his palm for all to admire as an Audouins Gull flew past. We walked further along the dunes getting excellent views of a pair of these smart gulls performing a courtship display. From the beach itself we had much better views of the Corys Shearwaters lazily flapping on the sea but the best view was of a somewhat decomposed corpse which allowed us a close up look at the yellow bill and tubenose.
Sadly the beach cafés were shut this year so we drove into the town for our coffees and then went back to the beach to have our picnic under the pines. Here we saw two Turtle Doves in exactly the same spot as last year and also admired a Dung Beetle rolling its treasured ball of dung.
After lunch we went round to the back of the marsh stopping for our first view of Marsh Harrier, an immature male apparently displaying but with no female in sight. A Chiffchaff, not seen at all on last years trip, sang from the edge of the marsh while a fine Woodchat Shrike was in view by the car park. We walked across to a small bridge with Stripeless Tree Frogs calling and seeing several damselflies, including Small Red Damsel which was new for the trip. A group of at least five Whinchats indicated that they were on the move today. The Harrier disturbed a flock of Stilts from a pool further down and three Squacco Herons flew up with them, together with two small duck which we scoped from the track further on. They turned out to be a pair of Garganey and we had good views of the eye stripe of the male. The small waders were hard to see but we identified Wood Sandpiper, Redshank and Ruff.
On the walk back we saw a Migratory Locust trying to create an egg-laying burrow in the path. Then we went onto the Neolithic site of Torre den Gaumes where we admired the recent excavations of the stone houses and later saw Iberian Wall Lizards and a good flypast of Swifts. Remarkably we were virtually the only visitors both there and on the beach on a fine and sunny Saturday afternoon.
A misty start with many hearing Scops Owls in the dark. Mary and Jamie witnessed a Moorish Gecko picking off a moth from round the house lights but very little else was seen in the pre-breakfast walk apart from three Turtle Doves.
After breakfast we headed north to Es Mercadal where the Depuradora (nice word for sewage farm) held the usual Little Ringed Plover with two fine Hoopoe showing well on a stone wall on the way.
It was cloudy and dull as we reached the Tirant wetlands but we immediately saw a local scarce bird, a White Stork, as we pulled up. A Purple Heron was a fine sight too, but more unexpected was a Wood Warbler in a Tamarisk. As we were watching this John called out that a herony thing was flying over. It was a Bittern that landed in a barley field and sky-pointed with its bill out of the crop for us to find in our scopes: a superb experience.
Almost immediately after this two Stone Curlew were found sheltering under a tree on the marsh, while Bee-eaters appeared simultaneously behind us. As we watched the latter a Whiskered Tern flew across. Was there no end to the good birding? We walked around the marsh seeing several tree frogs which we caught for the camera, one jumping onto Bobbys nose.
Further on Ray was scoping the masses of Swifts and hirundines that were appearing overhead found two Collared Pratincoles and another five were seen flying just over the minibuses. Unfortunately at this time we were several hundred yards away from them! We walked back to the vehicles and then drove to Fornells for coffee returning to the Tirant pig farm pool. Here we saw a Red-crested Pochard, a vagrant to Menorca and had good views of the Whiskered Tern.
We then headed to the Cap de Cavelleria calling in at the new eco muse but we were not allowed to stop for a picnic there and so headed onto a sheltered bay where we had lunch. Here a pair of Audouins Gulls called like mobile phones according to one group member and landed beside us taking a keen interest in Bobbys rucksack. As we left a Dunlin, new for the trip list, landed on the beach. We then headed to the Cape itself getting good views of the shearwaters in a raft offshore while John found a splendid pair of Blue Rock Thrushes. As it was still cloudy inland we abandoned our proposed visit to Monte Toro and spent time around the ecomusée with a good selection of flowers and a few migrants before heading for home.
The pre-breakfast brigade were rewarded with a superb clear sunrise and a few good birds in the fields including a Peregrine on a pylon seen distantly but well in the scope, a brief Song Thrush, then a splendid Cuckoo perching on a bush and drying its wings and tail in the early morning sun.
After breakfast we headed west to the lush, forested Algendar Gorge where it was characteriscally hot and sunny with many raptors in the air including at least seven Egyptian Vultures together. Here Jamie at last caught up with Wood Pigeon but better were at least eight Alpine Swifts buzzing back and forth overhead. Few of these even lingered until we had lunch on the beach, an unprecedented chance to get long views of this normally here-and-gone bird.
Butterflies were numerous in the sunshine and an excellent variety included Green Hairstreak, Brown Argus, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Clouded Yellow and Cleopatra while several Hummingbird Hawkmoths settled obligingly for all to see. The birds were rather quiet in the heat but eventually several Firecrests sang and were seen by the persistent, and a few elusive migrants included Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat.
We then headed for coffee in Cala Galdana, and then for a picnic lunch under the pines on the beach. After this some went for a paddle in the inviting-looking water in typically British style: wearing shorts, hats and binoculars and all looking splendidly out-of-place amongst the rather more scantily clad sunbathers.
After lunch we headed west again to the Naveta des Tudons, a stone burial chamber admist flowery fields. Here we encountered our first Meadow Pipit but mainly looked at the annual cornfield weeds including Pheasants Eye and Shepherds Needle. We finished the day admiring the old town of Ciutadella before heading back in the evening sunshine to Matchani Gran, where it was warm enough for at least one group member to venture into the pool.
It was a rough night, though calm and starry weatherwise. Rough, because the Scops Owl kept several of us awake by calling right outside our rooms all night - and those who tried to see it couldnt! It was another beautiful sunrise, though, with Stone Curlew calling.
We drove to the coast and despite Jamies lack of navigational sense we eventually found our way to Canutells (the answer on this occasion was no) where we saw Pallid Swifts and Blue Rock Thrush in excellent light. It was Rays looking for shearwaters again that gave us our best sighting of the morning: a school of Bottle-nosed Dolphins clearly visible as they leapt out of the water, a distant but exciting sight. Meanwhile, strings of shearwaters streamed past.
After breakfast we headed into Mahon for the traditional culture-cum-retail therapy. It was another navigational triumph that saw us saloming around the café tables on some of the narrower streets, in a scene somewhat reminiscent of the Italian Job. But eventually we got to the harbour and found to our delight that the harbour cruises were indeed going that day.
So at twelve noon we assembled on the boat in hot sunshine amongst a whole lot of bridge players (should that be a pack?) for a delightful harbour cruise showing us the forts and old isolation hospitals on many of the islands, as well as the fish and sea urchins of the seabed from the glass bottom.
After a late lunch some opted to stay by the pool in the hot afternoon while the rest headed to Albufera Es Grau. The pools are normally fairly quiet here, but today they were spectacularly so with only a few flycatchers and warblers in the pine wood to enliven things although the purring of Turtle Doves added to the somnolent atmosphere. The group walked round Es Grau beach seeing the first White Wagtail of the trip, while the leaders drove to meet them at the café.
Back at Matchani Gran it had been an eventful afternoon. A tortoise had got itself firmly stuck under the gate and Guy had helped to release it.
The Scops Owl was finally seen (or rather glimpsed) last night, and the early risers were up to a clear dawn and the songs of Turtle Dove and Hoopoe. Both Sardinian Warbler and Nightingale were seen in the scopes, and we had good views of a Hoopoe on the ground in the donkey field. A mini-fall of Wheatears, around ten, were showing and a Short-toed Lark was doing its yo-yo display flight.
After breakfast we headed again for the Depuradora where the air was somewhat ripe, but we did see a Whiskered Tern very well, as well as the waders. Tirant Marshes were looking fine in the sunshine and had the usual Purple Heron. Despite disturbance from a few bird watchers unbelievably walking across the middle we went to the west end where Little Grebe were calling and found, amazingly, two Marbled Ducks, yet another vagrant from the mainland to Menorca. These sadly disappeared before most of the group could see them, and we spent a frustrating time looking for them but hearing our first Sedge Warbler for the week and seeing two fine Yellow Wagtails on a roadside pool.
Round at the track Stone Curlew were showing well again in the sun and we had superb views of perched Bee-eaters and heard Great Reed Warbler. As we got back to the vehicles a couple of local journalists pounced on us (Alison having identified Jamie as the leader: thanks a bunch Alison!) and interviewed us about birdwatching tourism.
We then headed to the pig farm pool seeing distant Pond Terrapins and our first Zitting Cisticola of the trip. After coffee in a much quieter Fornells we headed up into the forested hills of Sa Roca for lunch. There were plenty of Bumble-bee Orchids up here with the spectacular Violet Limodores still in bud, and only a few of them at that. A Black Kite briefly joined the Booted Eagles overhead.
We decided to give the ducks at Tirant one more try, and scored spectacularly with everyone getting great sunlit scope views of the Marbled Ducks feeding on their pool.
Then it was up the hairpin bends to Monte Toro for wonderful clear views of the island and a view of the Mallorcan mountains. A male Black Redstart was a good find, and we saw a female around the other side. From the café we watched several migrants - flycatchers and warblers - while back at the car park Wheatear and Common Redstart were seen.
But Ray left the best until we were packing up to go, finding a splendid male Rock Thrush seen by all in the scopes eventually, later joined by a female on the rocks below. A fabulous end to the day!
In the evening we ventured out to Es Castell for what we all agreed was a splendid meal in one of the islands best restaurants in a superb setting by the harbourside.
Jamie just made it to join the pre-breakfast brigade on a second jaunt to Canutells. Ray successfully navigated there this time, and here we watched the amazing spectacle of migrants arriving in off the sea, some, including Wood Warbler, flying low over our heads and one, a tired Hoopoe, plonking down on the path in front of a rather startled Martin. The Yellow Wagtails and warblers were a good sign of things to come later on.
After breakfast we headed to Cap Favaritz. Here amidst the lunar landscape of shale were single Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers on the wader pool and hundreds of shearwaters in a raft off-shore. These were mostly Corys with several Yelkouan and the bright light made for a superb viewing. We also looked down the rock pools seeing several jellyfish and sea anemones.
We then drove to Mongofre Nou where we met Santi from G.O.B. and saw Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and Willow Warbler on the entrance trail. First bird over the pools was a superb Osprey. Later we saw another and the first (or possibly a third) fishing in a bay past the pools.
The pools themselves had the usual collection of waders with two Little Stints the most unusual. Land migrants were surprisingly numerous, and you could hardly walk twenty yards without seeing another warbler, flycatcher or Whinchat. It was hot in the bright sunshine without a breath of wind and as we walked back for lunch we saw a Water Pipit fly up from the edge of the pool and show intermittently over the other side.
Lunch in the shade was a welcome and sleepy affair in the heat. We set off back along the rough road stopping every so often to look at yet more migrants which seemed to be everywhere. At one point a Weasel chased out on to the track after a lizard, and kept reappearing, only to be frightened back by the sight of our minibus (rather than its driver). Finally we headed back out to the cape scrub for a quick botanize and several Red-legged Partridges. Spotted Flycatchers and Turtle Doves lined the drive (well, at least four of each!) as we returned to Matchani Gran and headed for the cold beers after what was probably the hottest day Jamie has experienced in three trips to Menorca.
In the evening a vote for bird of the trip produced no clear winner, with the Bittern, Nightingale and Marbled Ducks all tying just in front, and other votes for a huge variety of species. The non-bird of the trip was clearer, with tree frogs and dolphins tying for first place, but there were other votes for Hermanns Tortoise, Weasel and flowers. Everyone had a different moment of the trip but the most quotable was getting a tree frog on my nose.
Many thanks to Jenny, Shaun, Jade, June, Catolina and Terry for making us so welcome again at Matxani Gran, and to the whole group for making this trip so enjoyable to lead.
The details in brackets denote the number of days in which a particular species was recorded during the eight day trip followed by the combined number for that species on those days.
GREBES Podicipediformes Podicipedidae
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis. (4/8)
Recorded on 4 days with a max of 4 on the 26th.
SHEARWATERS & PETRELS Procellariiformes Procellariidae
Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea. (4/660+)
Seen on 4 days with over 600 on the 28th.
Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan. (4/115+)
Observed on 4 days with at least 50 on the 26th.
CORMORANTS Pelecaniformes Phalacrocoracidae
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo. (2/4)
Two seen on 2 days.
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis. (4/27)
Recorded on 4 dates with max of 10 seen on 2 days, all ssp.desmarestii.
HERONS, EGRETS & BITTERNS Ciconiiformes Ardeidae
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea. (4/8)
Observed on 4 days with a max of 3 on the 25th & 28th.
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea. (4/8)
Three on the 27th at Tirant with smaller numbers on 3 other days.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta. (6/13)
Seen on 6 days with a max of 5 on the 24th.
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides. (1/3)
Three at Ses Canassies, near Son Bou on the 23rd.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis. (1/1)
Single bird recorded at Tirant on the 24th.
Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris. (1/1)
Good views of a bird that landed in a cereal crop at the Tirant Marsh on the 24th.
STORKS Ciconiiformes Ciconiidae
White Stork Ciconia ciconia. (1/1)
Prolonged sighting of one in the Tirant Marsh on the 24th, later seen to fly off high to the north.
SWANS, GEESE & DUCKS Anseriformes Anatidae
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos. (6/90+)
Common in good numbers with a max of at least 50 on the 27th.
Garganey Anas querquedula. (1/2)
Pair seen at Ses Canassies, near Son Bou on the 23rd.
Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris. (1/2)
A pair of these very rare small ducks at the Tirant Marsh on the 27th. A vagrant to Menorca.
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina. (1/1)
A moulting male seen on the Tirant Mash on the 24th. A vagrant to Menorca.
White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis.
Small numbers of escapes/feral birds seen at Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
OSPREY Falconiformes Pandionidae
Osprey Pandion haliaetus. (1/2)
Two birds fishing the waters of Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
HAWKS, EAGLES & KITES Falconiformes Accipitridae
Red Kite Milvus milvus. (6/12)
Small numbers seen on 6 days with a max of 3 on the 23rd & 28th.
Black Kite Milvus migrans. (1/1)
Single migrant recorded flying over Monte Toro on the 27th.
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus. (5/56)
Observed in small numbers on 5 dates apart from the max of 40 on the 25th.
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus. (3/6)
Male in display over Son Bou Marsh on the 23rd. Up to 3?? seen on 2 other days.
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus. (8/71)
Recorded every day with a max of 15 on the 28th.
FALCONS & CARACARAS Falconiformes Falconidae
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni. (1/12)
Flock of about 15 feeding on insects near Matxani-Gran on the 22nd. A vagrant to Manorca.
Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus. (8/23+)
Observed every day with a max of 10 on 2 days, the 23rd and 28th.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. (5/11)
Small numbers on five dates with a max of 4 on the 24th.
PHEASANTS & PARTRIDGES Galliformes Phasianidae
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa. (4/12)
Heard on three days but nine were seen on the 28th at Cap Favaritx.
Quail Coturnix coturnix. (8/9)
One or more heard every day but none were seen.
RAILS, GALLINULES & COOTS Gruiformes Rallidae
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio. (1/7)
Seven recorded from the Son Bou Marsh/Ses Canassies area on the 23rd.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus. (3/4)
Singles on the 23rd and 27th but two recorded on the 26th.
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra. (6/61)
Common in most wetlands with a max of 30 on the 24th.
AVOCETS & STILTS Charadriiformes Recurvirostridae
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus. (2/37)
Seven on the 23rd & thirty on the 28th.
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola. (1/8)
Eight over the Tirant Marsh on the 24th.
THICK-KNEES Charadriiformes Burhinidae
Stone-curlew (Eurasian thick-knee) Burhinus oedicnemus. (8/12)
Heard every day; two seen on the Tirant Marsh on the 24th & 27th. Three flushed during a walk at Cap de Favaritx on the 28th.
PLOVERS & LAPWINGS Charadriiformes Charadriidae
Greater Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula. (1/1)
One at Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius. (3/29)
Small numbers on 2 days with a max of 20 on the 28th at Mongofre Nou.
Kentish (Snowy) Plover Charadrius alexandrinus. (1/1)
Single seen at Cap de Favaritx on the 28th.
SANDPIPERS Charadriiformes Scolopacidae
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago. (1/1)
One flushed from the Son Bou Marsh on the 23rd.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus. (2/2)
Singles at the Son Bou Marsh on the 23rd and Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia. (1/4)
At least four at Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus. (2/2)
Singles at the Son Bou Marsh on the 23rd and Tirant Marsh on 24th.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola. (4/34)
Recorded on 4 days with a max of at least 20 at Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. (4/12)
Small numbers on 3 days with max of 6 at Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
Little Stint Calidris minuta. (1/2)
Two birds just coming into summer plumage at Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
Dunlin Calidris alpina. (1/1)
Single on the beach near Cap de Cavalleria on the 24th.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax. (3/5)
One on the 23rd and two on the 27th and 28th.
GULLS Charadriiformes Laridae
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii. (4/20)
Seen on 4 days with max of ten on the 26th.
Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans. (8/66+)
Common and recorded daily with a max count of 50 on the 24th.
TERNS Charadriiformes Sternidae
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida. (2/2)
Single over the Tirant Marsh on the 24th and one at Es Mercadal Depuradora on the 27th.
PIGEONS & DOVES Columbiformes Columbidae
Rock Dove Columba livia. (8/27+)
Common and seen daily with max count of at least 20 on the 22nd.
Common Woodpigeon Columba palumbus. (4/22)
Recorded on 4 days with a max of 10 on the 25th.
Eurasian Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur. (7/32)
Fairly common over the island with birds breeding at Matxani Gran.
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto. (8/17+)
Very common and found throughout.
OWLS Strigiformes Strigidae
Scops Owl Otus scops. (8/1)
Heard every night at Matxani Gran and finally seen in flight one evening.
CUCKOOS Cuculiformes Cuculidae
Common (Eurasian) Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. (2/2)
One seen at Matxani Gran on the 25th and one heard on the 27th.
SWIFTS Apodiformes Apodidae
Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba. (1/8)
Prolonged views of up to 8 at the Algendar Gorge on the 25th.
Common Swift Apus apus. (8/260+)
Recorded daily with hundreds seen on the 24th & 25th.
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus. (6/66)
Seen most days with a max of 20 on the 26th & 28th.
BEE-EATERS Coraciiformes Meropidae
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster. (5/43)
Observed on 4 dates with a max of 16 on the 27th.
HOOPOES Coraciiformes Upupidae
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops. (8/39)
Heard and seen everyday with a max of 10 on the 24th & 25th.
LARKS Passeriformes Alaudidae
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla. (4/7)
Four recorded on the 22nd with singles seen on 3 other days.
Thekla Lark Galerida theklae. (8/13)
Daily sightings with a max of 6 on the 22nd.
SWALLOWS Passeriformes Hirundinidae
Sand Martin (Bank Swallow) Riparia riparia. (6/33)
Singles found during the first half of the week with up to 20 present by the 28th.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica. (7/205+)
Observed daily with hundreds seen on the 24th & 25th.
House Martin Delichon urbica. (5/280)
Numbers building from the 24th onwards with hundreds seen on the 25th & 28th.
WAGTAILS & PIPITS Passeriformes Motacillidae
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava. (4/29)
Recorded on 4 days with a max of 15 on the 24th, of the Spanish race, iberiae.
White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba. (2/3)
Two observed on the 26th and one on the 27th.
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris. (7/46)
Common and widespread with a max of 10 on the 24th & 25th.
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta. (1/1)
Colourful summer plumage individual at Mongofre Nou on the 28th.
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis. (2/2)
Singles recorded on only 2 days, the 25th and 27th.
KINGLETS Passeriformes Regulidae
Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus. (2/7)
Five heard and one seen on the 25th at Algendar Gorge & 1 heard on the 27th.
THRUSHES Passeriformes Turdidae
Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius. (3/22)
A pair seen on the 24th with 10 recorded from a variety of sites on the 26th & 28th.
Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis. (1/2)
One pair found at Monte Toro on the 27th.
Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula. (8/25+)
Fairly common and recorded daily with a max of 10 on the 24th.
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos. (1/2)
Two observed on the 25th at Matchani Gran.
CISTICOLAS Passeriformes Cisticolidae
Zitting Cisticola (Fan-tailed Warbler) Cisticola juncidis. (1/1)
A single male found singing at the Tirant Marsh on the 27th.
OLD WORLD WARBLERS Passeriformes Sylviidae
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti. (8/31)
Common and recorded daily with a max of 15 on the 25th.
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus. (1/2)
At least two birds singing on the 27th at the Tirant Marsh.
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus. (2/2)
Singles singing at the Tirant Marsh on the 24th & 27th.
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus. (7/40)
Seen most days with a max of 20 on the 28th.
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix. (5/11)
Observed on 5 days with a max of 3 on the 28th & 29th.
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybeta. (1/1)
One seen and heard at the Son Bou Marsh on the 23rd.
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla. (3/5)
Singles on two dates and three individuals on the 24th.
Greater Whitethroat Sylvia communis. (1/4)
At least four found skulking in low scrub near Cap de Cavalleria on the 24th.
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala. (8/36+)
Common and widespread with a max count of 20 on the 25th.
OLD WORLD FLYCATCHERS Passeriformes Muscicapidae
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata. (5/19)
Recorded on 5 dates and increasing as the week went on, with a max of 9 on the 28th.
European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca. (8/45)
Observed daily with a max count of 10 on the 28th.
European Robin Erithacus rubecula. (2/2)
Recorded on the 22nd with another heard on the 27th.
Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos. (7/35)
Seen and heard most days with a max count of 10+ on the 25th.
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus. (4/15)
Observed on 4 dates with a max count of 8 on the 28th.
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros. (1/2)
Two found at Monte Toro on the 27th.
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra. (6/43)
Recorded most days with a max of 12 on the 28th.
Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata. (6/34)
Seen and heard most days with a max count of 10 on the 23rd & 27th.
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe. (4/30)
Observed on 4 dates with a max count of 12 on the 23rd.
CHICKADEES & TITS Passeriformes Paridae
Great Tit Parus major. (7/15)
Seen and heard most days with a max count of 4 on the 25th.
SHRIKES Passeriformes Laniidae
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator. (7/52)
Common and widespread with a max count of 15 on the 25th.
CROWS & JAYS Passeriformes Corvidae
Common Raven Corvus corax. (6/33)
Observed on 6 days with a max count of 10 on the 24th & 25th.
ORIOLES Passeriformes Oriolidae
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus. (1/1)
A few lucky people saw a male flying through the Sa Roca Woods on the 27th.
OLD WORLD SPARROWS Passeriformes Passeridae
House Sparrow Passer domesticus. (8/100+)
Very common and widespread throughout the island.
FINCHES Passeriformes Fringillidae
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs. (4/10)
Recorded on 4 days with a max of 6 on the 26th.
European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris. (8/100+)
Common and widespread throughout the area.
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis. (8/50+)
Observed on every day with a max of 10 on the 22nd.
Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina. (7/50+)
Recorded on most days with a max of 50 on the 22nd.
BUNTINGS & SEEDEATERS Passeriformes Emberizidae
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra. (8/100+)
Common and widespread throughout the island and seen daily.
RABBITS & HARES Lagomorpha Leporidae
European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus.
Seen on two dates.
MICE, RATS, VOLES & GERBILS Rodentia Muridae
Black Rat Rattus rattus.
Evidence of nests at Torre Den Galmes.
WEASELS & PINE MARTEN Carnivora Mustelidae
Pine Marten Martes martes.
Scats found at Algendar Gorge.
Weasel Mustela nivalis.
One seen near Mongofre Nou, 28th.
HEDGEHOGS Lipotyphla Erinaceidae
Algerian Hedgehog Atelerix algirus.
Several seen dead on the roads.
DOLPHINS Cetacea Delphinidae
Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncates.
15-20 seen off Es Canutells on 26th.
BATS Chiroptera Vespertilionidae
Pipistrelle sp Pipistrellus sp.
Seen at Matxani Gran.
Stripeless Tree Frog Hyla meridionalis.
Several seen superbly this trip especially the ones that thought they were camouflaged! The nose-loving subspecies also seen on one day.
Moorish Gecko Tarentola mauretanica.
Seen daily on the walls at Matchani Gran
Italian Wall Lizard Podarcis sicula.
Hermanns Tortoise Testudo hermanni.
An excellent series of sightings noted most days.
European Pond Terrapin Emys orbicularis.
Several seen distantly at TirantMarsh
Swallowtail Papilio machaon.
Large White Pieris brassicae.
Small White Arlogeia rapae.
Clouded Yellow Colias crocea.
Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra.
Brown Argus Aricia agestis.
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus.
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta.
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui.
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria.
Wall Brown Lasiommata megera.
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi.
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas.
Geranium Bronze Cacyreus marshalli.
Hummingbird Hawk Moth Macroglossum stellatarum.
Pine Processionary Moth Thaumetopoea pityocampa.
Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa.
Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombei.
Mediterranean Demoiselle Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis.
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum.
Egyptian Grasshopper Anacridium aegyptium.
Violet Carpenter Bee Xvlocopa violacea.
Dung Beetle Scarabaeus semipunctatus.
Tiger Beetle Cicindeal hybrida.
Beetle-hunting Wasp Scolia flavifrons.
Paper Wasp Polistes gallicus.
Tawny Mining Bee Andrena fulva.
Pollen Beetle Oxythyrea funestra.
Scorpion Buthus occitanus.
The corpse of one at Matchani Gran shown to us by Shaun
Centipede Scolopendra cingulatus.
Violet Ground Beetle Carabus violaceus.
Oil Beetle Meloe sp.
Dung Beetle sp.
Whirlygig Beetle sp.
Jellyfish sp possibly Pelagia noctiluca
Seen in rockpools at Cap Favaritx
Menorca Plant List
Compiled on previous trips, this is a cumulative list of species identified. Not all of them were found or were in flower this year.
Many thanks to Ruth Charter for additions to the list in 2005.
(Order as in Mediterranean Wild Flowers Blamey and Gray-Wilson)
E Endemic SB Son Bou TG Torre den Gaumes EM Es Mercadal, Depuradora
MG - Matxani Gran T Tirant CC Cap de Cavallaria MT Monte Toro
MN Mongofre Nou CF Cap de Favaritx F Fornells SR Sa Roca AG Algendar Gorge
NT Naveta des Tudons EG Albufera Es Grau
Pinus halepensis (Aleppo Pine) - most common tree
Juniperus phoenicea (Phoenicean Juniper) - adapted for life on dunes SB EG
Ephedra fragilis (Joint Pine) - erect shrub with brittle stems CC EG
Angiosperms (Flowering Plants)
Quercus ilex (Holm Oak) - everywhere
Urticaceae (Nettle family)
Urtica urens (Annual Nettle) - odd plant at MG
Polygonacea (Dock family)
Polygonum maritium (Sea Knotgrass)
Phytolaccaceae (Pokeweed family)