Accommodation in Menorca - Birdwatching Holidays
Birdwatching in Menorca
Menorca Birds Paradise - 2010 holiday details now available
By far the least populated of the 3 main islands that make up the Balearic archipelago, Menorca is a small stepping stone set in the western Mediterranean Sea which divides the continent of Europe from the northern coast of the continent of Africa. Being only 48 by 19 kilometres at it`s widest points, it is a green oasis bathed in the wonderful light, created as the sun’s rays are reflected from the surrounding ultra clear blue waters.
One of the most important geological features of Menorca is the harbour of Mahon, considered to be one of the largest natural harbours in the world, extending three and a half miles inland. Since the middle ages it has attracted seafarers from many ancient civilisations. These include the Romans, the Moors, the Turks and the French and from the early 18th century to the early 19th century Menorca was a British Dependency. Mahon harbour became a sanctuary for the British Navy who were responsible for building the Naval Base and the superb fortresses of La Mola and Fort Marlborough. Much still remains of the military constructions erected during this epoch and of the residential and commercial buildings, which demonstrate many distinctive features of English building styles. These are most apparent in Mahon and Es Castell, though all of the invaders have left their individual marks and influences on the architecture, language and food and, as happens, genealogically.
An important and long lasting contribution to the economy of Menorca was made by the British when they brought the first dairy cattle to the island. The present day descendants of these first Friesian cattle are the backbone of an industry which produces superb dairy products. Particularly prized are the artisan cheeses which are now exported to all parts of the world. The tranquil presence of the many thousands of black and white cows is a much loved part of the landscape.
From Monte Toro, the islands highest point at 358 metres, one can view the whole of Menorca and looking around it is easy to be bowled over by the wonderful roll of the terrain, with hillsides clad with the evergreen, scented Pines or Mediterranean Oaks and the groves of ancient Olive trees set among fields bordered by seemingly ageless dry stone walls.
Menorca is also famous for its Megalithic stone monuments including taulas, talaiots and navetes which litter the island and have given it the title of the largest outdoor museum in Europe. These structures are attributed to the presence here of an organised, prehistoric culture, dating back some 4000 years.
Very little of the land is taken up by the small towns, white washed villages and coastal resorts so around 97% of the 200 kilometres of coastline is untouched. The local authorities and the Menorcans themselves are very proud of the unspoiled aspects of the island and strive to ensure that new developments are strictly controlled and the existing ones conserved and maintained. The majority of the terrain is farmland, forest and natural areas including long stretches of rocky coastline, large coastal cliffs and some 120 beaches. At the back of several of these beaches, salt marsh wetlands, reed beds, and lakes, known as albuferas have formed as part of the natural geography of the island. All of these differing landscapes, at different times of the year, support a great diversity of avian life.
Because it is so unspoilt and unpolluted, and due to the richness of it`s wildlife, in 1998 UNESCO designated it as a WORLD BIOSPHERE. This award has been taken very seriously by both local and national governments and many steps have been taken to ensure that the island maintains and improves the high quality of its clean air, seas and land.
These standards are highly prized by the human population, and plainly by the bird population, given the number and variety of species encountered here both as residents and visitors.
High on the list of sought after species are the birds of prey, including Booted Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Red and Black Kite, Kestrel, Hobby, Harriers, Peregrine, Red-footed Falcon, and Osprey. Their presence and numbers testifying to the abundance of food that is available for these natural hunters of the air.
Other residents include the emblematic Hoopoe, the Blue Rock Thrush, Stone Chats, Egrets, Herons, Sardinian Warblers, Stone Curlew, Scops Owls, Nightjars, Audouin`s Gull, Wryneck and Black-winged Stilts, Black-crowned Night Heron and many more species to delight those with a little time to observe the richness of the bird life with which the island is blessed.
Due to it`s position and the fact that there is plenty of food on offer in the varying natural habitats, many transient visitors stop here on their migratory journeys between the 2 continents. At certain times of the year, enormous flocks of Starlings can be seen wheeling like great, ever changing moving sculptures, gathering in size, as they feast off the wild olives as they ripen, and wait for those optimum weather conditions to continue their journey.
Spring and Summer are heralded in with the arrival of the Nightingales who set up their territories in such numbers that the island rings with their songs, as they perform their magical al fresco repertoires, which continue throughout the days and nights.
Other spring and summer residents, less accomplished in singing skills but never the less possessing their own particular attractions include many colonies of jewelled coloured Bee-eaters, Common, Pallid and Alpine Swifts, Eleanora’s Falcons, Shearwaters, Night Herons, Red-legged Partridge, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Little Ringed Plovers, Cuckoos, Redstarts, Wheatears, Tawny Pipits, Whinchat, Stonechat, Little Stints, Thekla Lark, Petrels and lots more.
The Autumn and Winter visitors are many and varied and include Arctic Terns, Lapwings, Rollers, Cranes, Flamingos, Avocets, Cetti`s Warbler to name but a few.
MENORCA BIRDS PARADISE WILDLIFE HOLIDAYS.
We are offering birdwatchers the possibility of observing the myriad of species that take advantage of this wonderful birds paradise as their home for either the whole year round, or as their Winter or Summer quarters, or even as a stopover on their migratory journeys.
Our resident guide, Jonathan Neslany and his team are passionate to ensure the welfare of the wildlife of the island, particularly the birds. It is the most important consideration to them, that, in their work, they support and protect both the creatures and their environment.
Our knowledge of the most important ornithological sites and the particular species that frequent them, together with our familiarity with the terrain, enables us to plan daylong or half day, guided excursions.
Their destinations will be decided by the time of year and the bird populations at that time. Transport for the excursions will be included for those who have no wish to hire a car. Our proposal is to combine bird watching and the observation of the flora and fauna of the island with a Mediterranean holiday.
We are longstanding members of the GOB,- Grupo Ornitológico de las Baleares and the SOM – Menorca Ornithology Society, which are the two most important bodies of bird protection and watching on the island. In our observations of the birds, we always follow their recommendations so as not to disturb or alter bird behaviour or their environment.
For those who wish to be involved in other outdoor pastimes, we are able to arrange extra activities including trekking along the recently revived old coastal path, mountain biking and kayaking.
In the Summer it is also possible to enrol in a scuba diving trip, exploring the unspoilt depths of the waters along the islands fabulous coastline or to join a windsurf and sailing school. All these options are available to our guests at specially discounted rates.
Our centre is well situated on the northwest coast of the island, between 3 of the best wetland reserves, at the quiet western end of Arenal de`n Castell. It is well positioned, just above the sandy horse-shoe bay and handy for shops and bars. We are able to offer you accommodation in a small group of 2 bedroom apartments with a balcony or terrace, which are suitable for parties of up to 4 people. The properties are situated in a large expanse of garden incorporating a super sized swimming pool. There is a reception office run by English speaking staff and next to this a meeting room where we are able to get together with our guests, enjoy a drink and discuss the bird watching trips planned for their stay.
Bird watching season 2010
A choice of 8 one week trips are available for the following dates:
Spring and early Summer,
23rd–30th April; 7th–14th May; 21st-28th May; 4th-11th June.
Late summer and Autumn,
10th-17th September; 24th September-1st October; 8th-15th October; 22nd- 29th October
Your holiday price from £350 per person for 8 days includes:
- On arrival we will personally meet you and transfer you to your accommodation at Arenal D'en Castell and at the end of your stay return you to the airport.
- Accommodation in a 2 bedroom apartment which can sleep groups of up to 4 people; and if 4 people share there is a reduction of £50 per apartment off the total price. Larger properties may be available on request.
- We have arranged that each day you can enjoy an English breakfast and a 3 course evening meal, and if required, as an extra, a packed lunch, at a good local restaurant, ideally situated for our guests.
- 3 professionally guided bird watching trips, including transport, although it is possible to book more, on otherwise, free days.
Inquiries and Bookings can be made by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning us direct at;
00 34 971 362991 9:30am – 1:30pm.
00 34 971 376534 10:00am –2:00pm.
00 34 639 849 594 10:00am – 6:00pm.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries you may have.
Menorca birds paradise is waiting for you.