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. 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).
Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
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).
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
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.
Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra).
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).
3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) ?????????
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. Later we walked back towards the main centre where we had something to eat before returning to the hotel for the night.

Ferruginous Duck X Common Pochard.

Group of Ducks.
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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