ESRA Mallorca

English-Speaking Residents′ Association - Mallorca

Oct 31, 2020

Bird of the Month - June 2015

The European Roller​

There are just some birds that have been a real headache for me; only a few but enough to make me wince every time I look at my list of species seen here in Mallorca. I have climbed up mountains, waded through boggy marsh and flogged across the baking central plain in the sizzling heat of summer in pursuit of my most wanted birds.

I have mostly succeeded but there are a few glaring omissions. One such bird, the dazzling blue European Roller, has given me the slip every time I have tried to catch up with one and it was beginning to get to me. Then one very pleasant evening whilst enjoying a relaxing meal with Chris and Liz, Chris turned to me and asked “what’s the big blue bird that looks like a crow called?” There was a silence followed by some intense questions before I realised that he was serious and that he really had seen one.  Indigestion set in and I became even more determined to see one this year.

Soon after this, news came through of a sighting in Pollença so I dropped everything and set off north. I was fine until I got to the last few miles when I became anxious at the thought of yet another failure. I screeched to a halt near the reserve and stopped by an elderly couple wearing binoculars. I asked them if the Roller had been seen and they replied that it had. All I remember was leaving them in a large cloud of dust so if they turn out to be ESRA members then I am truly sorry. Only a few seconds later I was out of the car and enjoying stunning views of this brilliantly coloured visitor. I put the news out on the mobile phone service and received many messages of congratulations from all the locals who knew how much I wanted this bird. Then the impossible happened; another one turned up right next to the first one. When I added this message I was bombarded with many jokes about how, having seen the first one, I must have had a celebratory drink and was now seeing double! It was all in great spirits and I really didn’t mind. At long last I could put a big tick next to European Roller on my list.

Michael Montier
Photo by kind permission of Daly Wildlife

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