Birder’s Bliss #
Bird watching your thing? Why not play "tourist," plan a few outings and enjoy some pretty serious birding in the sun!
Bird watching may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Mallorca but the island is home to some of the best spots for viewing in the Mediterranean. With estimates falling between 300-400 recorded resident and migrating species living or passing through, it’s a can’t miss for hardcore ornithologists and casual birders alike.
Where to Go #
There are several sites for bird watching on the island, but three of the best are S'Albufera Nature Reserve, Ses Salines/Es Trenc and La Gola Bird Observation Centre. Add the Boquer Valley (Catalan: Vall de Boquer) located 3 km northeast of Puerto Pollença, the Artá Peninsula, the Formentor Peninsula and the Tramuntana Range and you have a lot of terrain to cover.
S'Albufera Nature Reserve
S’Albufera’s name is Arabic for “lagoon” and is the largest wetland area in the Balearics. Just 5km south of the Port d’Alcudia on the northwest coast, this 1,650 hectare marsh is home to many of the island’s bird species, both native and migratory. Rarely seen migrants like Montagu's harriers and Eleanora's falcons are often spotted here. Indigenous birds, such as stonechats, moustached warblers, the purple gallinule and hoopoes breed and live here year-round. The park is protected land designated by its status as a Natural Park.
Open 7 days/week from 9h-17h
Av. de s'Albufera, 07458, Ca’n Picafort
+34 971 89 22 50
Salobrar de Campos/Es Trenc
Behind the cliffs of Es Trenc is a newly created wetland project and nature park. The wetlands are being expanded to house more birds and other wildlife, and the government is making the area more accessible for ornithological enthusiasts. With a unique microclimate (low humidity, consistent sea breezes, mild year-round weather), this salt flat is a paradise for flamingos, sea eagles and reeds. Check out the village of Ses Salines to find boutique shops, restaurants and hotels that offer a glimpse of quaint Mallorca, away from tourists and franchises.
PM-604, 135. 07630, Campos
+34 971 176 666
La Gola Bird Observation Center
La Gola is smaller than the other two bird watching areas mentioned, but with its dynamic diversity, it packs a lot of punch. Here you’ll often see grey heron, egrets, warblers, and crossbills. Also, there is a visitor’s centre for “collecting and forwarding information,” with a permanent exhibition to learn more about the birds and other natural parks in the Balearics.
Open daily from 9h-14h/17h-20h
Parc de la Gola, Carrer de Temple Fielding, S/N, 07470
+34 608 586 430
Black Vulture Conservation Foundation (BVCF)
A walk back in time, this place provides an extraordinary look at the “old” Mallorca. For a more in-depth understanding of this spectacular work to preserve and protect the black vultures of Mallorca that are close to extinct, please read this article >> [ link to article]]. Take hiking shoes, a visor to protect from the afternoon sun and plenty of water then trek lightly.
Open Monday and Friday only 10h-14h
Finca Son Pons, s/n Campanet, Mallorca
+34 661 21 22 22
What Birds You Can See #
The list tops 300 bird species, so we won’t be able to tell you every single one, but a few of the rare or more interesting ones to be found on Mallorca are the Alpine Swift, Audouin’s Gull, Black Vulture, Balearic Crossbill, Balearic Warbler, Bee Eater, Booted Eagle, Griffon, Egyptian Vulture, Balearics Shearwater, and Purple Gallinule. For a complete list check out https://avibase.bsc-eoc.org
Best Times to View #
Mallorca is incredibly well-placed on the migratory path. Typically, April/May and September/October are the best times of the year to catch a glimpse at the most number of species. Happy birding!
By Stephanie Horsman
29 April, 2020