Menorca waterbirds winter census

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Birdwatching tours in Menorca

Last 18th of January, took place a water bird census in the most important wetlands of Menorca. An activity comprehended in an international census program (IWC, International Waterbird Census) coordinated by Wetlands International since 1967, and carried into effect here in the island by the members of the Societat Ornitològica de Menorca (SOM), who Menorca Walking Birds collaborates with.

In total 13 locations spread all over the island were censed. Standing out by their size and importance we will mention the Albufera de’s Grau, Salinas de Addaia, Prat de Son Saura del Nord, basses de Lluriac and Prat de Son Bou. 

This time, a total of 20 volunteers participated in this annual census, been now more than 25 the years that it has been performed here in the island. 

A total of 5,486 birds belonging to 49 different species were counted. Between them we find grebes, cormorants, herons, ducks, waders, gulls, raptors and many other species associated with aquatic environments.

Noted for their abundance: Coot Fulica atra with 2.364 individuals, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos with 506, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus with 456, Shoveler Anas clypeata with 381 or Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis and Pochard Aythya ferina with 343 individuals both. Other species to distinguish cause of them being scarce or rare winter birds, or cause them belonging to the group of new nesting birds in the island are: Red-crested pochard Netta rufina with 28 individuals; Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca with 8; Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus with 7; Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii, typical summer bird, with two individuals; Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola with 2; Curlew Numenius arquata with 1 or Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus with also one individual.

Greylag Goose    Anser anser
Domestic Goose*
Shelduck    Tadorna tadorna
Wigeon    Anas penelope
Gadwall    Anas strepera
Teal    Anas crecca
Mallard    Anas platyrhynchos
Domestic Duck*
Muscovy Duck    Cairina moschata*
Pintail    Anas acuta
Shoveler    Anas clypeata
Red-crested Pochard    Netta rufina
Pochard    Aythya ferina
Ferruginous Duck    Aythya nyroca
Tufted Duck    Aythya fuligula
Little Grebe    Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe    Podiceps cristatus
Black-necked Grebe    Podiceps nigricollis
Cormorant   Phalacrocorax carbo
Shag    Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Cattle Egret    Bubulcus ibis
Little Egret    Egretta garzetta
Great Egret    Casmerodius albus
Grey Heron   Ardea cinerea
Flamingo    Phoenicurus roseus
Marsh Harrier    Circus aeruginosus
Osprey    Pandion haliaetus
Water Rail   Rallus aquaticus
Moorhen    Gallinula chloropus
Purple Swamphen    Porphyrio porphyrio
Coot   Fulica atra
Ringed Plover    Charadrius hiaticula
Little Ringed Plover    Charadrius dubius
Kentish Plover    Charadrius alexandrinus
Grey Plover    Pluvialis squatarola
Lapwing    Vanellus vanellus
Dunlin    Calidris alpina
Snipe    Gallinago gallinago
Curlew    Numenius arquata
Common Sandpiper    Actitis hypoleucos
Green Sandpiper    Tringa ochropus
Greenshank    Tringa nebularia
Redshank    Tringa totanus
Black-headed Gull    Larus ridibundus
Audouin’s Gull    Larus audouinii
Lesser Black-backed Gull    Larus fuscus
Yellow-legged  Gull    Larus michahellis
Sandwich Tern    Sterna sandvicensis
Kingfisher    Alcedo atthis
Total = 49 species

Species detected during the Waterbirds Winter census in the most important wetlands of the island. Winter 2015.  *Species from captivity or introduced.

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