Thursday 30 December 2021

Laguna de Covadonga, Pico's de Europa and Punta de Jarri, Llanes, Asturias, Spain

A morning in the mountains and then some sea watching in the afternoon.
Ebird List for Covadonga area.
The view from Mirador de La Reina with the fog still in the valley.
I started out along the coastal motorway heading west and then drove inland hoping to get up to the mountain Lakes in the Covadonga area of the Pico's, the last time I had tried the road up to the spot had been closed to private vehicles and they were charging €9 per-person to take you up in a bus and as it was totally covered in low cloud we decided not to bother.
Lago Enol.

This time as it was winter there were no barriers so I drove up, the road was interesting and tight at times which was made even more interesting on the way back down with the amount of traffic coming up and lots of drivers working on the theory that driving on the right is just an idea and not manditory.
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus) in the car park.
On the way up I stopped at the Mirador de La Reina where I got great views right down into the fog filled valleys below which I had just driven through, at the view point I saw a single Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and just a little further up the road the first of quite a few Alpine Choughs (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
I arrived at the car park just below the Lago Enol, the first of the mountain lakes and found more Alpine Choughs and as I walked up the hill I also found a muddy beaked
Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) which was picking around in one of the many mole hills.
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
On the lake I only saw a few Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra), 2x Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) which was flushed up by a herd of goats and their two guard dogs, it flew up on to the nearby cliff calling loudly all the way.
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
On the road side back I found a very nice little Narcissus species which I still need to put a name to along with
Shrubby Gromwell (Lithodora fruticosa), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) over head.
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
Alpine Chough (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus).
I dropped back down to the car and then drove up to the higher
Lago de La Ercina where a few Alpine Choughs showed very well, I walked down to the lake but there were too many people around for my liking so I soon returned to the car and started to drive back down and not a minute to late as the number of cars coming up was massive so I got out of there and headed back to the coast.
Lago de La Ercina, which is a stunning spot that I will revisit when its not a holiday.
I arrived at a spot on the Western edge of Llanes were I walked out to th Punta de Jarri and set up the scope for a couple of hours sea watching which was more productive than expected.
Santuario de Covadonga.
Out on quite a rough sea I saw a 1000+ Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), 92 Auk species which I think were all probably Razorbills (Alca Común / Alca torda), 4x Manx (Pardela Pichoneta / Puffinus puffinus) and 7x Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and lots of Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).

Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).

As I walked back down to the car I saw a nice male
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and on a road side pool as I drove back to the appartment I saw a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).

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