Friday, 3 February 2017

Dársena de Raos and Airport Pools, Marismas Alday and Marismas Blancos, Santander and the drive to Bilbao, Cantabria.

A move to Bilbao via a couple of birding spots and some shops.

Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula).
Jayne and I started to make our way towards our next in Bilbao but on the way we called at a shopping centre where I dropped Jayne off and then went birding along the Northern side of the Airport. 
Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
First of all I checked the pools on the side of the runway and soon found Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) heard only, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria), Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
I then spent some time along the sea front and port area scanning the sea and rocks, I soon found several new species including Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis),  Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra) x4, Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer) and over 300 roosting Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina).
Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra).
I got back to the carpark early so I went and had a look at the pools at Marismas Alday where I saw more Common Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Little Grebes, Eurasian Coots, Common Moorhen, Gadwall and then a bird which superficially looked like a Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) but it later turned out to be a Hybrid between a Ferruginous and a Common Pochard.
3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) ?????????

In the same area I also recorded Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Group of Ducks.
I met Jayne and we moved on to another wetland nearby called the Marismas Blancos, I only saw a few new species along with most of the other seen earlier, the new ones for the day were Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Eurasian Curlew (Zaoaito Real / Numenius arquata), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Group of Ducks.
We made our way to Bilbao and then spent a very nice evening wandering around the city finding the entrance of the Guggenheim Museum ready for Jayne's visit tomorrow and then the old part of the city. 
Ferruginous Duck X Common Pochard.
Later we walked back towards the main center where we had something to eat before returning to the hotel for the night.
Female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
The Guggenheim.
Out side the Guggenheim.
Some of the Tapas we had for our eveing meal.

Tapas selection.

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