We were all surprised to be hit by another wintery spell over the last few days, here in Mallorca. Temperatures dropped to a low of 9° C in the daytime yesterday and 4° C last night, here in the Felanitx area. Similar temperatures can be expected for today, with snowfall being predicted over 50 m above sea level. The weather alert for today was raised to Amarillo (Yellow).
Many birds, meanwhile, have come back to Mallorca in expectation of mild temperatures and the approaching Spring season. One could hear their tweets, twitters and chirps everywhere over the last few weeks or so.
Yesterday, I came across a number of Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus), a lovely bird who seems vaguely related to the Stork. The Stilt is called Cigüeñuela in Castellano (Cigüeña being the Castilian name for Stork). The Black-winged Stilt is a relatively common wader in the countries around the Mediterranean, where it arrives in early spring after spending the Winter in Africa. You can find Stilts in the Parc Natural de s’Albufera de Mallorca, in the Parc Natural de Mondragó, in the Espai Natural Es Trenc-Salobrar, or just outside of Felanitx if you know where to look.
Yesterday, I even spotted the first fruit tree blossom, other than almond, in the shape of rows of lovely pink nectarine trees. I’ll get a photo today or tomorrow, if I can.
If you like the feathered friends, you might be interested in a most comprehensive guide to Mallorcan birds, published in English and Catalan a few weeks ago under the title Birding Tourist’s Guide to Majorca. The 128 page guide book is produced in full colour throughout and comes with excellent GPS referenced maps for 17 sites covering Mallorca’s wide range of bird habitats, providing detailed information for more than 240 species of birds with excellent photos of about 80 birds. The guide also includes additional information that seems vital for the tourist, including some dos and don’ts as well as a recognised code of behaviour to make the bird-watchers’ visit a success. The book sells for 18 € at selected Mallorcan bookshops or on the Internet (www.birdingmajorca.com) where postage will be added.
The photo (top) was taken near Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 9th, 2010. The time was 14:36:21. The photo (centre) was borrowed from the Internet. Credit is due to treknature.com and the photographer, Argus.
Thank you very much.