Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Conil del la Frontera, Costa Ballena, Chipiona Port, Playa Montijo, Colorado Pools, Bonanza Saltpans and back to Chipiona, Cadiz Province.

A day of Gull hunting.
 
Ring-billed Gull (Gaviota de Delaware / Larus delawarensis).
I started by driving down to the beach along the Rio Salado at Conil de la Frontera where there had been a 1st winter Ring-billed Gull (Gaviota de Delaware / Larus delawarensis) for a few days, I arrived before dawn but walked out to the far side of the bridge over the rio.
Ring-billed Gull (Gaviota de Delaware / Larus delawarensis).
Ring-billed Gull (Gaviota de Delaware / Larus delawarensis).
As the light started to come I picked up Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), a few Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) started to arrive and soon I had my first sighting of the Ring-billed but it was still quite dark so the shots are not great but better than nothing. 
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).

Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).

Unfortunately yet another tosser with a dog flushed everything off the river including the gull but it returned and then flew off strongly North. 
Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus).
Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus).
In the same area I also found Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Grey Plover (Chorlito Gris / Pluvialis squatarola), Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and a Caspian Tern (Pagaza Piquiroja / Sterna caspia).
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).

Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).

The Gull didn't return and I wanted to spend as much time later at Chipiona so I headed back North seeing Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) on the way, then calling in at Costa Ballena where I again had some nice views of the Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus) again.
White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala).
Also there I had Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Mediterranean, Lesser Black-backed and again the Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) which was roosting on the same grass area as yesterday when they were flushed by a dog, again I walked passed the roosting Greenshanks (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia) but just then a photographer stepped out from behind a building near to the gulls and again they all flushed up so I only got some flight shots of the Common Gull as they all disappeared off up the canal, I am just jinxed I think.
Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula).
Tufted Ducks (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula).
I also had Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Grey Heron, Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and both Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) over head.
Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
I passed by Chipiona and went out onto the Playa Montijo where I looked for Waders, Gulls and Terns but it was quite, however I did find Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Grey Plovers, Red Knot (Correlimos Gordo / Calidris canutus), Sanderling and several Caspian Terns.
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) with a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) sitting down.
The next stop of the day was at Colorado Pools, I parked and scanned the three pools, there were some
Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) in a group of Tamarisk trees, White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) on all the pools and a couple of Tufted Ducks (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) as well as Eurasian Coot, Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).
I moved on to Bonanza Saltpans but they were even quieter than last time I visited but I still found Sanderling, Kentish and Ringed Plovers, Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Dunlin, Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Greater Flamingo's, a pair of cronking Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a singing Lesser Short-toed Lark (Terrera Marismena / Calandrella rufescens) which was just behind the car but as hard as I looked I could not see it, eventually it hopped up from behind a small plant and perched for a second before flying off.
Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
I decided to return to Costa Ballena to see if the Common Gull had returned but it had not so I checked the top pool finding a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).
Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).
I spent the rest of the day wandering around the port and the beaches of Chipiona, in the port there were Yellow-legged, Lesser Black-backed, Audouin's, Med and Black-headed Gulls,
Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Common Sandpiper, Great Cormorant and Grey Heron.
Ruddy Turnstones (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) roosting on the Jetties.
I checked the beach looing through the Gull flock there for a reported Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus) and I soon found a bird that I thought fitted the bill so I got some shots before it flew off.
Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
Not being a gull expert and this species and Yellow-legged are difficult so I asked around once I was home and posted the Pictures on social media and sent it to friends and over all consensus came back as it is a Herring Gull which is a new species for me in Spain.
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) 1st winters and adults.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) 1st winter.
I returned to the Port to see if this gull had dropped in but I did not relocate it again but I did see Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and just before I set off for the hotel a couple of Little Swift (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis).
Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus).
Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus).
Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus).

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