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Wetland waterbird survey

S'Albufera de Mallorca

If you've ever strayed up to the Playa de Muro area on Mallorca's north coast you'll have noticed the many canals and drainage ditches which form a grid system in the marshy, reeded areas on the inland side of the main road alongside the beach.

This is the S'Albufera wetland area which is an important wildlife habitat, particularly for aquatic birds which migrate to wetland areas all over Europe each year. To keep an eye on the birds for conservation purposes, the Wetlands International NGO, carries out a yearly census to compare numbers.

Aided by local organisations – in Mallorca the ornithological group GOB (photo) provides assistance – the census of ducks, herons, waders revealed that around 25,000 waterbirds of 68 different species made the Balearic Islands their temporary home in 2019, slightly less than the two previous years!

In total, Mallorca has 34 wetland areas, Menorca 18, and 16 in Ibiza and Formentera, with S'Albufera being the biggest and most populated area with around 8000 visiting birds. Members of GOB were pleased to report 25 specimens of the Marbled Teal duck – a threatened species – in S'Albufera, along with mallards, egrets, Eurasian bitterns and spoonbills, and white storks to name just a few more.

Just take a look at the beautiful video shot by an ornithological enthusiast at Mallorca's S'Albufera wetlands as the scenery and birdlife are quite breathtaking. There are areas in the wetlands which have been provided for bird watchers if you have been inspired to visit after watching the vid.