The winter count of waterbirds in the protected natural areas of the Balearic Islands ends with almost 16,000 sightings

Jan 30, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

Protected wetlands concentrate more than 60 different species

15,803 specimens of more than sixty different species spend the winter in the wetlands of the different protected natural areas of the Balearic Islands. This is the result of the count that is carried out annually in January and in which, apart from the staff of the natural areas, ornithologists and collaborating volunteers take part.

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Waterbirds in the protected natural areas of the Balearic Islands

In the lagoons of northern Mallorca, 11,134 waterbirds of 62 different species pass through in winter. Most of them, 8,976, have been located in the Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park. In the Albufereta Nature Reserve, 1,793 have been seen, 168 in Maristany and 197 in the Estany dels Ponts.

This year, the species with the greatest drop in sightings are coots (Fulica atra), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), common moorhens (genus Aythya) and the European lapwing (Vanellus vanellus). Otherwise, the species with the highest number of observations are flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber), avocets (Recurvirostra avosetta), black-footed plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) and shelducks (Tadorna tadorna).

In the Ses Salines de Eivissa and Formentera Natural Park 1,900 birds of 35 different species have been censused, 1,604 of which have been observed in Eivissa and 296 in Formentera. The most numerous species on Eivissa is the flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber): 565 have been counted (550 on Eivissa and 15 on Formentera), followed by the golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria) with 279 specimens (147 on Eivissa and 132 on Formentera) and the shelduck (Tardorna tadorna) with 250 individuals (184 on Eivissa and 66 on Formentera). On Formentera, the kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) stands out with 113 birds (64 on Ibiza) and the black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) with 130 birds (20 were observed on Ibiza). The census on Eivissa and Formentera is coordinated by the Environmental Agents service, with the participation of ornithologists and naturalists from GEN GOB, as well as other volunteers.

In the Es Trenc – Salobrar de Campos Natural Park, 2,740 birds of 38 different species have been observed. The censuses were carried out in Salobrar de Campos, Salinas de s’Avall, Es Trenc beach and on the islet of na Llarga. The most abundant species were the golden plover, with 860 specimens, flamingos with 319 specimens and kentish plovers with 235 specimens. These were followed by shelduck, sandpiper (Calidris minuta), lapwing, mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and little tern (Anas platyrhynchos).

The number of golden plovers on the islet of Na Llarga stands out, where up to 470 have been counted. The golden plover is a wintering bird that behaves gregariously, forming groups that can be very numerous. The censuses carried out on the islet of na Llarga confirm the importance of the islets for seabird species, where they find a suitable place to rest and breed.

In Mondragó Park, 29 birds of 11 different species have been observed. The most frequently observed were the little egret (Anas crecca) with 7 individuals, the mallard with 5 specimens, the common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) with 4 specimens, followed by the little sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), the yellow wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), the snipe (Gallinago gallinago gallinago), the great egret (Casmerodius albus), the kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), the coot (Fulica atra), the shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and the little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis).