Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Ibiza: Sa Talaia - Es Vedra

We had a bit of a later start this morning before venturing over to Sa Talaia. It’s just a short 15 minute drive firstly on paved road and then after the turn-off up and along a dirt track through the forest. Our first stop beside some fields was good for views of another Balearic Warbler and Balearic Woodchat Shrike before driving up the steepest section and into some really good forest. 

Balearic Warbler

Balearic Woodchat Shrike

Unfortunately there weren’t any Balearic Crossbills present, but we had maybe 3 different Eurasian Hobbies flying over on their way north. A spritely Common Firecrest gave superb views here and showed nice and close before we drove on further to the end of the road. 

Common Firecrest

The panoramic views here are always a crowd pleaser and that included the noisy gang of Spanish hikers! But you can see both east and west coasts from here and today the weather was so clear that the Spanish mainland was on view. 

I love the views from up here...

So, after pending some time admiring the scenery we headed back down and decided to go towards the coast.

Another dirt track took us to a look-out opposite the mightily impressive towering cliffs of Es Vedra, and what a view this is. It’s a tricky, bumpy drive down to this point but definitely worth the effort when you see something as impressive as this and the sea was a stunning deep blue this morning. 

The towering cliffs of Es Vedra

Watching Pallid Swift...

Scoping the island revealed the first of a steady stream of Booted Eagles that had made the crossing from North Africa and were heading to the mainland. At first we had a group of 14, followed by smaller groups of 6, another 6, 7, and 4 crossing the sea towards the Spanish mainland. Then thermalling kettles of 10 at a time beside the tall cliffs made for an impressive site. It was whilst scoping one such ‘kettle’ that an Eleanora’s Falcon was spotted amongst them. Showing a long tail and swept-back scimitar-shaped wings we enjoyed repeated views of this truly awesome falcon flying around the eagles. This was a pretty early record of this species as they usually arrive a touch later in the month. An Eurasian Crag-Martin swept past us along the cliff top a few times, there was a pair of Blue Rock Thrushes, at least a single Pallid Swift was present in a newly arrived flock of Common Swifts and a Northern Raven was seen.

So by now it was early afternoon (where had the time gone?) so we returned to the villa for lunch and a siesta before heading to the north-west side of the island. Returning to Estabell again we found a few Spotted Flycatchers with a group of European Pied FlycatchersWhinchatTree PipitsCommon Redstart and Thekla’s Larks, oh and a calling Common Cuckoo but not much else. A drive along the north coast was quiet so we returned to San Antonio de Portmany for dinner and a few well deserved drinks!

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