Friday, 22 July 2016

A virtual walk along a spectacular valley

Last Majorca-themed post for the time being, I promise!

I think it's a fair bet to say that any birder that has visited Majorca, especially if they have stayed (or visited) the north of the island, would have wandered along the Boquer Valley - situated just north of Port de Pollenca, it is in fact an easy stroll from the town itself. The entrance into the valley is at its narrowest point, via the gates of a lonely finca. This area has a number of orchards that are well worth checking, being the haunt of Woodchats, Wrynecks and Cirl Buntings. During spring and autumn some real surprises can pop up.

Once through these gates you pick up a path that runs along the valley to the sea (some 20-30 minutes of steady walking). If you are birding then that same walk can take a few hours! Throw in plants and inverts then you can write off a whole day! The main path is at a moderate elevation, and until you get to the sea there are few paths going higher - however, there are plenty of runs created by the goats that can take you down to the valley floor. Ready for a virtual stroll? Here goes...

Not far into the valley, a rocky outcrop act as a natural gateway to the wonders beyond.
The valley bottom. Home to, among other things, Stone Curlews
Looking to the left as we progress, this higher ground is the best for picking up raptors. I have seen Black, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Peregrine and Eleonora's Falcons over the years from this very spot.
Looking right and here is the easiest place to see Blue Rock Thrush and Crag Martin.
Getting near the end and we are now entering prime Balearic Warbler territory.
The sea here is a dazzling array of blues and turquoise. There is a small beach if you so desire a dip.
Looking up towards Formentor. The breeding ground of Eleonora's Falcons.
The valley is not just about birds. There is a specialised flora, and the invertebrate diversity is high. I have only visited in June, July and August, so have yet to experience the area during the heights of migration. As you can see, it is a stunning site that is well worth a visit at any time of year.

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