Saturday, 9 January 2016

Santa Uxia de Ribeira, Castro de Barona and a medieval Bridge, SW of Santiago de Composela, Galicia.

A day of mixed weather again but with a visit to a very special Place along the way.

Jayne and I again headed off out in the rain which eased as we went down the peninsular towards Santa Uxia de Riberira where we were going to make our first stop of the day in the town. By the time we arrived the rain had stopped but it remained windy and the locals were setting up a market on the car park of the fishing port so we parked and had a walk around buying some local fruit bread and Oranges. During the stroll I checked the jetties for gulls and found several Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) of various ages and an adult Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and on the rocks just back along the coast a nice adult Great Black-backed (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus). As we walked back to the car I also had Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and a fly over Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo). We continued on around the coast for a short way before finding a couple of lakes almongst some Dunes but they were all inaccessible due to the amount of lying water but from a distance I did pick out Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and several Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) but little else.
We moved on up the coast to Castro de Barona an excavated site of an old Celtic fortress / settlement on a rocky out crop in the sea which when we arrived was getting a right battering due to the very strong winds and high sea. This place is magical and worth coming all the way to Galicia alone. We did not get to spend as long as would have liked there due to the weather which was truly horrendous when we arrived and after about an hour went down hill rapidly so we were forced to leave as it was becoming slippery and dangerous. However during the time there I scanned the sea a few times and had dozens of passing Northern Gannets, a Shearwater species which was probably a Manx but I was being blow in to next week at the point and could not be sure, singles of both Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) and Guillemot (Arao Común / Uria aalge) which came in very close and several small grey waders but again they could not be sorted in the conditions. On the rocks I had a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Black Redstart and several Meadow Pipits. The wind got worse and the rain came down so we headed back to the car picking up a Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and a pair of Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) on the way. 
We got back to the car and in to the dry just as it got really heavy, on the way up to the spot we had also seen a sign for a medieval bridge so we went back a few Km for a look. 
We sat in the car for a while and the rain eased a bit so we went for it and by the time we had walked down the short track it had stopped and we enjoyed seeing the bridge before starting our journey back to the hotel in Santiago. 
On the way we made a quick stop in the port at Porto do Son where I tried to get some shots of the Gulls and Turnstones.
During the evening we went back to the Tapas bar we had been in on the first night and Jayne tried the local Octopus and I had more of the superb Tapas.

Photographs from the top: Cheese on the Market, Salt Cod, The bread men, a Pigs head on the butchers stand, Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Some stone Goose barnacles (Pollicipes polymerus),  selection of 7 shots from Castro de Barona, 3x shots at the medieval Bridge, waves at Porto do Son, Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Another Black-headed, Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) and Jayne's Galician Octopus.



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