Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Menorcan Birding Trip 2014

On the 8th of August we set of for a couple of weeks in Menorca and while we were there we were hoping to do some birding. One of the things I was most looking forward to was trying to find a Scops Owl as my Mum told me that there was quite a few in the hotel grounds. Most nights we heard them and after if we just waited a while we saw them and on on night I managed to get really close to one, its amazing how small they are!

Day 1
On our first birding day we had a couple of mile walk down by a rocky area near the beach where we spotted lots of Sardinian Warblers. About half way along my Dad spotted a big bird circling distantly over some hills so I looked through the bins and comfirmed that it was a White Stork! After a while it flew further away so we continued on walking where we came across 4 Crested Larks which was a first for me! Also around the rocks lots of Stonechats were flying about. A bit further on my Dad spotted a Shag sitting on the rocks just next to where the Crested Larks were so we went to have a look where we got very close to it, I felt like I was back on the Farnes again it was that close lol. On the way back we had about 3 Bee Eaters fly over.

Day 2
This day we had another walk down the rocky area but we didnt see much other than 2 familys of Spotted Flycatchers and one of the Juveniles showed very well.

Spotted Flycatcher

Day 3
Today we finally managed to hire a car so we raced of to S'Albufera nature reserve. On the way we spotted lots of birds of prey such as Booted Eagles, Egyptian Vultures, Red Kites and lots of Kestrels. Also we saw about 10+ Woodchat Shrikes sitting on lines as we drove to the reserve. When we arrived we shot straight up to the first hide where we didn't see anything unusual other than a few Great Reed Warblers flying past, a couple of Sardinian Warblers in the near by bushes and a turtle in the middle of the lake, I am unsure of what the turtle species is so if anyone has any suggestions leave it in the comments section please.

Turtle of some sort
After we moved onto the next hide where there wasn't really to much of note other than a Great Crested Grebe. A little walk further up the reserve brought us to a viewing platform where I first heard the call of a Bee Eater and then moments later one flew right over our heads and then a few seconds later lots more started flying over, I reckon about 50 flew over! I only managed one decent shot of them as I was to busy watching these cracking birds.
Bee Eater
After that amazing sight my Dad then spotted a distant Osprey sitting on a post in the middle of the water! Moments later the Osprey flew of the post and flew across the lake where we got some nicer views of it.

A little while on the Osprey became more distant so we continued scanning the lake where my Dad spotted a island full of Black Winged Stilts also just behind the island there was about 4 Little Egrets, I think there was about 40 or maybe more Black Winged Stilts on the island but they were quite distant so I couldn't really tell. We then left the viewpoint and continued our walk around the reserve where we didn't see much else other than a Booted Eagle.
Day 4
Today we went on a long walk which took around 1hr 30mins. We didn't see much on the walk but when we reached our stopping point we found this little area which looked pretty good and more or less as soon as we walked in we spotted a juvenile Woodchat Shrike sitting on top of a bush, I kept on creeping a little closer to it where I managed pretty nice views. Later on I spotted another Woodchat Shrike, this one was an adult and very distant and by time I got close to the spot if flew of.
Woodchat Shrike
Afterwards we moved on where we spotted a couple of Audouins Gulls on the beach which was a nice surprise.

Audouins Gull
Day 5
This was our last birding trip of our holiday and we were hoping it would be a good one. We headed of to look for this nature reserve but as you probably know directions aren't our strong point so in the end we didn't find the reserve instead we did some birding on a golf course and surprisingly it was pretty good! When we went in we first had a look at a little lake which was at the entrance of the Golf Course and I couldn't believe it there was 3 Ferruginous Ducks on it, another lifer for us, there was a pair and a single male, they all showed pretty well at times.
Ferruginous Duck
After we moved on further into the Golf Course where we spotted several Spotted Flycatchers and Sardinian Warblers.

Spotted Flycatcher
When we got quite a way round there was a few small lakes hidden behind reeds but you could just see through them to see if there was anything on the lakes and there was a female Red Crested Pochard on one of them! Almost straight after that we spotted an Osprey which was being mobbed by Bee Eaters which was awesome to watch. Further on we spotted a Woodchat Shrike which hid amongst the bushes and then a few minutes later we had a Hoopoe fly right over our heads! A great looking bird.   

That was my last day in Menorca and what a nice days birding to end it on.



  1. Brilliant blog mate.
    Reminds me of some great days out (getting lost a lot) and seeing some great birds.
    Some great photos too.

  2. Excellent write up and photos Ellis , cracking birding holiday you all had :-)

  3. Cracking post there Ellis. Great pictures and birds there! Ben :-)