S‘Albufera Natural Park, Mallorca’s Wonderful Wetlands
While most people visiting Mallorca are out grabbing a beach chair, we decided to experience nature among the hustle and bustle of the Spring crowds in a quiet haven for wildlife called S’Albufera.
I guess I had neglected to visit S’Albufera Natural Park, because I usually visit Mallorca to hikes in the Tramuntana Mountains. After an injury put me on the hiking sidelines, I decided to take the chance to experience S’Albufera.
Getting to S’Albufera Natural Park
Getting to S’Albufera was a bit tricky. The point of interest to the entrance is Pont dels Anglesos (the Englishmen’s Bridge) which our navi and Google Maps couldn’t locate. Drive south of Port d’Alcudia on the MA-12. If you see Grupotel Natura Playa (Playas de Muro, 5, 07458) on your left, you have just passed the Englishmen’s Bridge. On the MA-12, you can also look for the signs Sector 2, Platja Sector 1 (V -1 VS-2 V-3). If you are still lost, you will see plenty of people entering the park near the Englishmen’s Bridge.
The parking lot is small but you can find places to park near the entrance of better yet, the Can Picafort – Port de Pollenca L352 bus stops near the main entrance.
Get your Visitor’s Permit
The park entrance is free but you need to get a visitor’s permit. You walk 1km from the entrance until you reach the information center. There you have a chance to view the exhibit of the park animal photos and chat with a ranger. Once you pass the information center, it becomes more tranquil as you roam the park past the center.
The Bird Hides
I was not an avid bird watcher before I visited S’Albufera Natural Park except for the occasional pigeons and crows that visit my balcony. Sitting in the bird hides gave me an appreciation for the hobby. You need a lot of patience to wait for birds and wildlife which is quite therapeutic. As a reward for my patience, I spotted many Black-winged Stilts. With a surface area of 1646,48 hectares, you’ll have to return many times to see it all.
In the Spring visitors are likely to see Woodchat Shrikes, Sandpipers, waders and several species of Heron which include Purple Heron, Night and Squacco as well as Little Bittern. Stroll along the canal footpaths to see Cetti’s Warblers, Nightingales and Blue Headed Wagtails. Birds of Prey are common with regular sightings of Marsh Harrier’s, Ospreys and Eleonora’s.
Sitting in a bird hide watching nature was for me, as peaceful as my daily meditation.
We visited three bird hides all of which are open to the public. They provide you and nature a natural barrier, still allowing human onlookers to get close-up look at nature. You are close enough to see the beautiful array of birds with your human eye, but binoculars are recommended. My husband rigged a one-eyed binocular from his camera equipment. After an enjoyable day viewing the birds, we decided to invest in a pair of binoculars for future bird watching.
In the reserve, you will walk among pine woods, see fresh water pools and lagoons, reed-beds, and salt marshes. There are numerous species, too many to list, too many to count. On one of the canal stretches, I heard male frogs croaking in the ponds, competing for females. It’s Spring after all, so love is in the air!
On your next visit to Mallorca, take a chance to escape the beach crowds and visit the S’Albufera Natural Park.