Monday 21 June 2021

Around Santander Airport and Santoña, Catalonia, Spain.

Moving North for a few more year ticks, one that was not expected.
Mute Swans (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
I left the Hostal but I will return again as I had a great stay there and enjoyed it greatly, I took a steady drive up to a couple of spot near the airport at Santander, on the way I didn't see a great deal as to start with the roads were a tad tight and bendy and later it was almost all motorway, however I saw a couple of Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and several of both Black (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Red Kites (Milano Real / Milvus milvus).
Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo).
Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo).
I arrived at the freshwater pools along the Northern edge of the airport where my first target of the day was
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) and within a minute or two I had found a cygnet and parent bird as well as Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus).
Mute Swans (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) on the Estuary.
I drove just down the road to the port where I parked again and checked the estuary where I found
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Great Black-backed Gulls (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus).
Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), some of the flock.
Just around the corner I parked again and walked along the path that follows the estuary where I had good views of a couple of Common Terns (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo) that were using the fence to fish from.
Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima).

Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima).

In the same area I had 8 more Mute Swans and a male
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis).
I got back to the car and hit the road again and made my way around to the Port of Santoñia where I parked and waited for the rain to stop or at least ease of which is all it did so I went for a walk and scanned the estuary for the
Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) which had been reported for quite a while on Ebird.
Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus).
I did not see the Eider from the breakwater but I did see 30 odd
Pied Oystercatchers (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus), Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
The end of the days birding approaches.
I walked down to the far end of the breakwater and scanned with the scope again but this time I did find the Eider which was now stood up on a spit of rocks over near the main road out of town so I made my way around there and had some good views of this bird and also saw
Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).
Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).
Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).
Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).
Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).
The weather was again changing and I could hear thunder and see storms all around me so I headed back to the Port where I had a late lunch and then walked into the fish docks and scanned through the gull seeing the expected Yellow-legs, a couple of Great Black-backed and then a much more unexpected distant white winged gull which I was soon sure must be an Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides) but on the North coast of Spain in June??? I did later find out via Ebird that the bird had been around for a few days.
Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).

Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).

Iceland Gull (Gaviota Groenlandesa / Larus glaucoides).

However after getting much better views and asking Ed Mackrill for his opinion I was very happy to be watching a 2nd year Iceland. I spent a while watching and photographing it until the approaching storm arrived and finish my birding for the day. My next stop was a bar near the nights hotel.

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