Wednesday 10 November 2021

Somewhere in the Bay of Biscay to Santander, Cantabria, Spain.

Getting back to some birding in Spain.
Trip to Uk, Day Thirty Nine.
Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) a Stowaway about 5 hours out from Santander.

After a good nights sleep we were up for breakfast and then out on deck for the next 5 hours or so, whilst we were still in international waters thing were quiet and apart from a few Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), a single Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla) we saw nothing on the sea but we were joined by a few passerine migrants which included a very smart Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) which landed on the rail next to us, a Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) which we saw flying around the but we did not see it land and a Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) which landed in amongst the lorries before going forward and away toward the North.
Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) also about 5 hours out.
Once we entered Spanish waters (given time by the Captain) it continued to be quiet on the sea except for a Whale species which we think could have been a
Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) but with do some more checking.
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
There were more migrants either coming on board like a
Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) for a quick rest or just flying on by as several more Redwings did along with several Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris).
Th closer to Santander we got the numbers of Northern Gannets incressed and we also recorded a single  Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
Just as we arrived in Santander there was a message to return to our car, so we got the kit from the Cabin and made our way down to the deck and after a little bit of a search loaded the stuff into the car and then waited to get off and through the passport and security controls which took just over an hour.
Felt good to be back home in Spain and to see some blue skies, our first stop of the day was just down the road at some pools along the side of Santander Airport but when we arrived we decided to get a drink and some food before we started the birding.
Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus).
Once we were fed and watered we scanned to pools on the other side f the road where we found Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus).
We drove just around the corner and checked out the estuary, from this point we could see the boat we had just come in on as well as Great and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and a flyby Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis).
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
We continued on towards Santoña calling in at Marismas Blancas where I set the scope up and we scanned the fresh water pool finding Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Eurasian Coot, Mute Swan and Little Grebe.
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
Our final stop of the day was at the hide over looking the Bahia de Santoña where we soon found the resident male
Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Great Crested Grebe, Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), Eurasian Curlew, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Bar-tailed (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica) and Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Eurasian Spoonbills, 2x Great Northern Divers (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer), Great Cormorant, Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Approaching Santander.
From here we headed to the hotel for the next two nights and dropped the kit off before going out for something to eat later.

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