Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Son Alberti

After four weeks of unpleasant cold and wet, very wet days, it seems that good weather has settled provisionally in Menorca.

I had wanted to revisit the area of Son Alberti and Biniarroi for some time. These two farms that once were prosperous, when the countryside in Menorca was productive and profitable, today are practically abandoned.

Son Alberti old farm
An old abandoned millstone is the witness of an activity that is lost today.

It is proven that the area was already populated more than two thousand years ago and in these lands rise a fortified redoubt that takes advantage of a curious rock of difficult access. Probably the first farmers of Menorca used the fertile lands at the bottom of the ravines and with watchtowers like this they could watch their lands and defend them if necessary.

 The fortified hillock.

 Two views of the valley that extends to the foot of the rock

Entrance to the cave

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Osprey in Es Grau

A magnificent specimen of Osprey flying over the lagoon of Es Grau

The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) — also called fish eagle,— is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts.

This is one of the most emblematic birds of Menorca and at the same time more scarce.
It is estimated that there are four couples that nest on the island and perhaps some exemplary unpaired.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Torre Llisa Vell

Although Menorca is just a speck in the vast sea, it has attracted the attention of many archaeologists due to 33 mysterious stone megaliths scattered throughout the island. 

The Talayotic people who created these megaliths never documented the exact purpose of the mysterious stone monuments they left behind. Now, thousands of years later, researchers and archaeologists are trying to identify why they were built.

Torre Llissa is one of the 33 T shaped prehistoric monuments which are unique to the Island of Menorca and located nowhere else in the world. Set in a wilderness on the road to Alaior with a few other sites close by, you'll find the Taula through an archway at the end of a magical country road, where you can smell the ancient lands and some other nature treasures like wild flowers.

 White Wall-Rocket. Diplotaxis Erucoides.

The white wall-rocket is one of the most abundant herbs to be found during autumn and winter in arable land, even though it can be in flower at any time of the year. It germinates rapidly after the first rains, and in few weeks it flowers and covers the fields in white, often coexisting with field marigold (Calendula arvensis) with its orange flowers. Like all Cruciferae it has four petals in the shape of a cross and the leaves are very cut back.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Water Rail in S'Albufera d'es Grau

The water rail (Rallus aquaticus) is a bird of the rail family which breeds in well-vegetated wetlands across Europe, Asia and North Africa. in Menorca is common but highly secretive inhabitant of S'Albufera d'es Grau. It has chestnut-brown and black upperparts, grey face and underparts and black-and-white barred flanks, and a long red bill. Difficult to see but can be heard calling in the watery marsh.

Early morning walk yesterday. The last one of 2016.