Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Xixón (Gijon), Asturias.

A morning around the Port and town and the afternoon birding the beaches of the town.

Jayne and I got up and went down for breakfast before heading out in to the town and port areas of Xixón. During the walk it was mainly dry and pleasant. As we walked the eastern side of the town I saw 4x Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis), a single Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). From the far end of the port we turned around and walked back towards the hotel through the centre of town, but when the rain knocked off and i side I wanted to check a spot out further in to the port we redid the first part of the walk and then continued of for someway out on to one of the promentories. I did not add any thing to the list this time except for Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and a couple of adult Great Black-backed Gulls (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus).
From here we againturned around and walked back along the full length of the port to the Península de Santa Catalina stopping for a coffee on the way. We walked the Península around to the oposite side of the town seeing Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Spotless  (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Starlings (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) on the way. Once we were down in the town we had some lunch and again the rain returned briefly. After lunch Jayne and I returned to the hotel where Jayne spent the afternoon whilst I grabbed the scope and went out birding again. This time I redid the ports but saw nothing new so decided to walk the far each down to the river at the far end of San Lorenzo beach where I checked through the group of roosting Gulls but only the species seen earlier in the day so I decided to check along the river for a short way and almost straight away I found a 1st winter Gull which I suspected was a Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) but it flew off up stream as I got the scope on it but landed again so I pursued it and a few minutes later was able to confirm that it was indeed the species I hope it would be. I managed to get some shots of this bird before it was flushed by a person on a push bike coming past and flew further up the river. I then walked back down to the beach and scanned the birds there again before I was going to walk back to the hotel but as I started I picked up another smallish gull which needed a closer look so I walked down the beach towards the roosting birds and was soon watching a very smart adult Ring-biled Gull amongst the 80 or so Meds. I got some shots of it and continued to check the birds further along the beach and found that the 1st winter Common Gull had come into the group. Very pleased with these finds I walked back to the hotel and later Jayne and I went out for a couple of beers.

Photographs from the top: Part of Xixón Port, Sidra bottle tree in town, Jayne on Península de Santa Catalina, Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus), 1st winter Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus), Adult Ring-billed Gull, Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), 1st winter Common Gull down on the beach, 1st winter Common Gull in flight and adult Ring-billed Gull.

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