Monday 6 February 2017

Santona, Sollagua, Cantabria and travelling to Gijon, Asturias.

A trip over to Gijón via Santona for a couple more Spanish Lifers.

Hudsonian Whimbrel (Zarapito de Hudson / Numenius hudsonicus).
We packed our things, had a good breakfast and then started to head back West along the coast, calling in at Santona on the way as there were a couple of species I had missed on my last vist that I wanted to have a look for as I had seen on the net that they were still about and were seen from the hide near the town. I was looking for Red-breasted Merganser (Serreta Mediana / Mergus serrator) and Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) but when I reached the hide I did not see either species but did find Rock (Bisbita Costero / Anthus petrosus) and Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer) x2, good numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla), Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus) and Grey Plovers (Chorlito Gris / Pluviali squatarola).
Hudsonian Whimbrel (Zarapito de Hudson / Numenius hudsonicus).
We popped up to the port quickly and saw the Black-throated Diver (Colimbo Ártico / Gavia arctica) but it was well out in the estuary this time along with two more Great Northerns, on the jetties there were 8 Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and a couple of Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phala crocroax carbo).
Hudsonian Whimbrel (Zarapito de Hudson / Numenius hudsonicus).
Going back past the hide I stopped again briefly to see if a Diver I had seen earlier had come any closer and it had and this time I could Identify it as a winter plumaged Red-throated Diver (Colimbo Chico / Gavia stellata) as I had suspected but after just a few minutes the bird started to run along the surface and took to the air and then flew passed and out towards the sea. Another birder then came in briefly and I gleened a bit of info about the birds I had wanted and found that I would be better at the spot where I had visited a few days earlier for the Whimbrel.
Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
We moved further around the bay, on the way I had good views of a Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) before parking and again meeting the same birder who had come for the Hudsonian Whimbrel (Zarapito de Hudson / Numenius hudsonicus). I walked through to the site just as a group of Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus) were flying passed along with the Hudsonian which stuck out really well in amongst the group. In the same area I also had Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Eurasian Curlew (Zaoaito Real / Numenius arquata), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and at least 3 Velvet Scoters (Negrón Especulado / Melanitta fusca). The Guy I had net earlier said that I might do better for the Mergansers and Eider a little further along the shore line so I had a walk picking up 2 Dunnocks (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and a calling Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus).
Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
Up on the bank looking over the estuary I soon found 3x Common Eiders (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) but no Mergansers, also seen was a 1st winter Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) feeding along with a good many Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis).
We continued on our way once I had finished at this site and arrived at Gijón late in the afternoon and eventually found our hotel near the beach. Later we had a good walk along the eastern beach before having a meal in the town and returned to the hotel.

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