Golfers at Alcanada, in Mallorca, may be able to sight a rare bird of prey in the coming weeks as club officials hope the beautiful booted eagle may return to the vicinity.
The booted eagle (Aquila pennata) breeds in southern Europe, as well as North Africa and Asia, and it was just one of an amazing 66 species logged at the stunning Mallorcan golf club in an ornithological survey report, published recently by respected ornithologist Maties Rebassa.
The medium-sized bird of prey is mainly seen in late summer and autumn and the location of the golf course, adjacent to the eagle’s ideal habitat of hilly, rugged terrain and forests, makes it an ideal hunting ground.
It is also a perfect setting for spotting other birds of prey including the black kite (Milvus migrans), the phenomenally quick peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), and the kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). Other species to be seen include the beautifully colourful hoopoe (Upupa epops), and more common, yet still striking, birds such as cormorants, egrets, curlews, plovers and various types of tit and warbler.
Kristoff Both, director of golf at Club de Golf Alcanada, said: “The finger is often pointed at golf courses that they do little for the ecology and environment, yet, built and managed correctly, a golf course can actually enhance the environment.
“We take great care in ensuring we do not adopt policies which discourage wildlife and flora. Indeed, we actively maintain areas which encourage species of bird; for example, we have left a number of dead trees in place, which are ideal for perching kestrels.
“We were delighted – and proud in equal measure – to learn that, during the period the survey took place, an amazing 66 different species were recorded. We’re lucky to have more eagles than most courses, but we’ve yet to see an albatross …,” he smiled.
The 7,108-yard, Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed course has won a steady stream of awards since opening 11 years ago including, most recently, being ranked as the highest-rated course in the Balearics according to Golfboo, the world’s first golf travel search engine, and being shortlisted for the title of Spain’s Best Golf Course 2014, in the inaugural World Golf Awards, which will be held in Portugal later this year.
Last year users of the popular website 1golf.eu voted Alcanada their ‘favourite European course’ for the third successive year, while readers of the leading German magazine Golf Journal, chose the venue as their favourite course in Europe … for an unprecedented fifth successive year!
Situated in the north region of Mallorca in a breathtaking location overlooking the Bay of Alcudia, Alcanada’s 18-hole championship course opened in October 2003. Adjacent to the Mediterranean – the only course next the sea on the island – the layout blends naturally into the typical Mallorcan terrain and takes its name from an island with a lighthouse, situated just offshore, which can be seen from most of the holes.
Magnificent mountain and sea views and a mixture of pine and olive groves – ideal for the myriad bird species recorded – provide the splendid setting for a round at Alcanada and the course is recognised by the golf industry as one of the finest venues in Spain and Europe and is a founder member of The Leading Golf Courses of Spain collection.
In addition, the club boasts a centuries-old Mallorca clubhouse which offers guests the opportunity to sample regional specialties in its first-class dining facilities on a sun-baked terrace. A comprehensive golf academy including a spacious short game area and covered driving range are also available.
Alcanada Golf Club www.golf-alcanada.com