An ideal destination
Mallorca’s an ideal destination for dedicated birdwatchers, as well as for those who wish to combine birdwatching with other family activities.
And in all Mallorca, Alcúdia’s the obvious choice when it comes to enjoying all these and many other attractive features. Along with top-class tourist amenities, it also has over 200 bird species, some of them of very high conservation value: flamingos, Cory’s shearwaters, purple herons, osprey, Eleonora’s falcon, cranes, Kentish plover, scops owl, bluethroat, Balearic warbler and many more
It’s always impossible to predict when we’ll get to see the rarest and most elusive specimens; and when we do see them, they may be somewhere other than indicated here. Nevertheless, on this map we present some of the most worthwhile areas for birdwatching with a fair probability of success. Within each area we’ve marked out the three best birdwatching spots - an additional guide for those who are visiting these birdlife-rich areas for the first time.Download Alcudia birdwatching map here
S’Albufereta is a Nature Reserve. It’s a coastal wetland with mainly brackish waters, with awe-inspiring tamarisk woods, channels and lagoons, small beds of rushes and well-preserved dune systems. It’s surrounded by traditional arable farmland, where birds are also abundant. For all these reasons, s’Albufereta is one of the places in Mallorca where one can see a high number of species.
- Kentish plover, little ringed plover, Sandwich tern, common tern, osprey.
- Herons, harriers, coot, Western swamphen, ducks, black-winged stilt, streaked fantail warbler.
- Eleonora’s falcon, kestrels, spotless starling, pipits, wagtails and stonechats.
Alcúdia’s highest talaia (look-out point), 445 metres high, has spectacular views over Pollença and Alcúdia bays and the whole of Mallorca’s northern coastline. As you gain height, the pine woods give way to large tracts of càrritx (Ampelodesmos mauritanica, a giant bunchgrass) and bluffs of bare rock. From La Victòria you can go on a pleasant hike to Sa Penya Rotja, with fine views over the Cap des Pinar area.
- Common wood pigeon, European turtle dove, wryneck, common firecrest, spotted flycatcher, red crossbill.
- Red-legged partridge, pheasant, booted eagle, peregrine falcon, common raven, crag martin, Sardinian warbler, wren.
The trail runs through a coastal area whose most distinctive feature is the islet with Alcanada lighthouse. Being a low-lying coastline with few ups and downs, one can take children on this walk and the going is easy. The coastline is mainly rocky, although the trail runs very close to the occasional small beach where one can cool off in the sea if the heat gets too much.
- Hoopoe, greenfinch, serin, stonechats, flycatchers, pipits, wagtails.
- Balearic shearwater, Cory’s shearwater, shag, yellow-legged gull, common firecrest, red crossbill.
Prat d’Alcúdia, also known as Maristany or Albufera de Cas Ferrer Nou, is a small wetland covering a few tens of hectares which, despite its small size and the fact that it’s surrounded by built-up areas, possesses a truly incredible wealth of bird life. From a central point, by going along a track used by residents, one can watch most of the waterfowl that congregate there.
- Ducks, little egret, purple heron, black-crowned night heron, little grebe, black-necked grebe, great cormorant, osprey, common sandpiper, black terns, barn swallows
Despite its moderate height (258 metres), Puig de Sant Martí makes a de luxe observatory for viewing practically the whole of the municipality of Alcúdia, as well as the lovely coastal wetlands of northern Mallorca. Its lower reaches are covered with pine woods of varying densities, whilst on the upper part, low-growing vegetation predominates.
- Hoopoe, Eurasian wryneck, nightingale, goldfinch, serin, great tit, common firecrest, red crossbill.
- Booted eagle, peregrine falcon, common kestrel, streaked fantail warbler, wren, Sardinian warbler.
6 km. from Alcúdia you can visit the biggest and best-known of Mallorca’s wetlands. The Nature Park has a high diversity of environments and species, and a large number of trails and observatories which enable visitors to watch close-up, and photograph, a good number of birds.
- Red-crested pochard, water rail, red-knobbed coot, Western swamphen, common tern, black-winged stilt, Cetti’s warbler
- Little bittern, squacco heron, Western marsh harrier, common kingfisher, great reed warbler, moustached warbler, common reed bunting
- Marbled duck, common shelduck, harriers, hoopoe, European bee eater, bluethroat
About 14 km. from Alcúdia is Son Real, one of Mallorca’s best-preserved coastal areas, primarily rocky but with a few dune systems and a good presence of very well-preserved garrigue and pine woods. At Son Real farm we find fig and almond trees, traditional dry-stone walls and grassy fields where various domestic animals graze. This farm also has an interesting interpretation centre which we recommend you visit.
- Shag, Kentish plover, ruddy turnstone, Audouin’s gull, common stonechat, Thekla lark.
- Balearic warbler, Dartford warbler, Sardinian warbler, dunnock, tawny pipit.
- Partridge, stone-curlew, peregrine falcon, barn owl, hoopoe, Eurasian wryneck, woodchat shrike, serin.
The Formentor Peninsula, just 10 km. from Alcúdia, is famous for its vertiginous cliffs, tucked-away coves, coastal pine woods and spectacular lighthouse. It’s one of Mallorca’s most picturesque landscapes, and is much visited. But it’s also known for its birdlife, which attracts thousands of ornithologists from various countries each year.
- Balearic shearwater, Cory’s shearwater, peregrine falcon, Eleonora’s falcon, yellow-legged gull, pallid swift.
- European honey buzzard, Western marsh harrier, black kite, sparrowhawk, European bee-eater, blue rock thrush.
- Booted eagle, peregrine falcon, Eurasian wryneck, redstarts, chiffchaffs, flycatchers, stonechats.
- In the summer months heatwaves are commonplace. For that reason, it’s a good idea to go out in the early morning and evening, and to wear suitable clothing and footwear.
- In autumn and winter, wellington boots are advisable.
- It’s always a good idea to dress in muted tones so as to avoid scaring away the birds.
- Besides binoculars, we recommend that you also take a camera along.
- Our own interests should always take second place to those of the birds.
- We mustn’t disturb them while watching or photographing them.
- Wetlands are fragile and vulnerable habitats, which we need to treat with extreme care.
- We must always respect private property, and never stray off the track or footpath.
- We must notify the local authority of any environmental offence that we come across (Alcúdia’s Environmental Department, tel. 971897107).
- If we have dogs with us, we must walk with them only in the places provided for the purpose.