Sunday, 26 July 2020

12 miles off Rota and Bonanza Saltpans, Cadiz Province.

Out at sea, a quick trip around the saltpans and then a long wait for the breakdown truck.

All masked up and underway.
I was up and about at 05.30 and on my way down to the port of Rota where I dropped lucky with a freeby parking slot right outside the gates. I walked inside and the bar where we were meeting was just opening, I walked in for a coffee and met David Elliot-Binns who was already there. 
Leaving Rota.
Shortly afterwards Derek Etherton and a friend who I don't know the name of (Sorry). We were soon joined by a couple of guys from Gibraltar and shortly after this Javi and Rafa arrived.
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
We made our way down to the boat and Pepe the Captain let us on board and after the chum was on board and we had a safety brief we set off.
Possible Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)??????
We motored out for quite a while picking up the odd Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis) and Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and much to our suprise just before we reached the first big feeding groups at about 8 miles out some of the group had 3 Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and then even more unexpected a Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis).
When we reached a large group of around 400 or so Shearwater Javi soon had the chum over the side which pulled in large numbers of Cory's and it appears from photo's Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) also visited the area as well as a couple of Great Shearwaters (Pardela Capirotada / Puffinus gravis) which was my number one target for the trip and a single Manx Shearwater (Pardela Pichoneta / Puffinus puffinus) which was bird of the trip for Javi.
Possible Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)??????
In the same feeding area we also recorded a single Pomarine (Págalo Pomarino / Stercorarius pomarinus) and several Great Skua's (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) and a couple more Northern Gannets.
Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus).
Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus).
Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and
Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)????.
Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus).
The next couple of hours were spent crusing but we did not come across much so we started to head back to the area where we had seen the big numbers of birds and chummed again. 
Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua).
Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua).
Another different Pom Skua came in along with most of the already seen species but we did not get any of the hoped for Petrel species.
Pomarine Skua (Págalo Pomarino / Stercorarius pomarinus).
At around 14.00 we got back in to Rota and after a coffee we all headed off, I went out to Bonanza Saltpans and had a quick look round finding Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Night (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), Purple (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Manx Shearwater (Pardela Pichoneta / Puffinus puffinus).
I was on my way out but made a stop to look through a flock of Godwits and when I tried to start the car again there was nothing, battery was fine so I guessed the Starter Motor had packed in. I got on the phone but struggled to get through so I call friends Howard and Santi who soon found me the new number I needed and not long after that I was sorted and waiting for the breakdown guy to arrive. 
Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus).
Considering where I was it only too two extra phone calls and a little longer than usual before the guy was there and agreed it was the motor so he gave me a quick tow, got the car going and I was on my way to the hotel to collect my stuff and then on my way home.
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) being checked by a couple of Shearwaters 8 miles out.
On the way I did see Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).

Great Shearwater (Pardela Capirotada / Puffinus gravis).
Feeding Shearwaters.
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea).
Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa).
Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta) Immature.

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