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The best birding spot in Mallorca. One of the best places in Europe to see specialties like Moustached Warbler, Red-knobbed Coot and Marbled Teal.
Parc Natural de S’ Albufera is the largest wetland in Mallorca and 1650 hectares big. To really get to know the place and see all the best birding spots you need more than one visit. The reserve contains many trails and habitats ranging from pine woods, fresh water pools and lagoons, extensive reed-beds, salt marsh and tamarisk groves.
Spring visitors are likely to see Whinchat, Sandpipers, waders and several species of Heron which include Purple Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron and Squacco Heron as well as Little Bittern. Along the canal footpaths the amount of Cetti's Warbler and Common Nightingale is asthonishing and here they are easy to photograph. Also Purple Swamphen are most of the time easy to see. Birds of Prey are common with regular sightings of Marsh Harrier, Osprey and Eleonora's Falcon. There are also some birds which make S'Albufera even more special, because they are relatively easy to see here: Moustached Warbler, Red-knobbed Coot en Marbled Teal.
Visitors to the reserve in winter will see an abundance of wildfowl which often attract birds of prey such as Peregrine Falcon and Merlin in addition to the local Marsh Harrier. Common Kingfisher arrive here and local resident warblers such as Moustached Warbler and Cetti's Warbler are common.
S'Albufera is situated just south of Alcudia next to the coastal road on the way to Can Picafort. Entry to the reserve is free. But a free permit needs to be obtained from the visitors centre. This Visitor Centre is inside the reserve (1km from the entrance gate, see map). Important to know: The parc only opens at 09.00. This is too late for most birders, so birders are allowed to enter the reserve earlier. They can slip through the gate (see 'point of interest' marked with a star on the map) on the left side and get in before 09.00, but not earlier than sunrise. Don't forget to pick up your permit afterwards. The best located parking place (see the P on the map) is rather small, but if you arrive early, you will find a free space most of the time.
If staying in either Puerto Pollensa or Alcudia the Albufera Reserve is easy to get to using the local TIB buses (352/353) that run frequently between Puerto Pollensa and Can Piquafort. The bus stop is at Playa Muro right outside the Reserve entrance and outside the main tourist season it only takes twenty five minutes from Puerto Pollensa to the Albufera. During the main season the buses run every fifteen minutes but out of season there is a midday break during siesta time.
The reserve has clearly marked trails which are popular with birders and cyclists alike. To visit the core of the reserve, it's best to walk, but if you want to visit the whole reserve, be prepared to walk about 14-15 km. Renting a bike is a good alternative.
If you walk the long trail, take plenty of water, cover your head and bring sunscreen oil, because the sun can be intense.