Thursday, 13 January 2022

Ria de Lires, Muxia, Galicia, Spain.

The brute I wanted to see, second time lucky.

Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla) immature.

With even more information from local birder Cosme Damián Romay Cousido about a good spot to look for Barrilete, the American Herring Gull (Gaviota Argentea Americana / Larus Smithsonianus) which had been returning to this area for winters since 2007 some 14 years.
Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla) immature.
Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla) immature.
Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla) immature.
I arrived at the site just after first light and after parking the car at the end of the road I walked back to a spot which over looked the low tide Islands in the river and the beach opposite.
Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus).
Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus).
Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus).
I set up my chair, Scope and supplies and sat down for a six and a half hour stint of Gull watching, to start with it was cold and I mean cold so within half an hour I had lost all feeling in my feet and fingers.
Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) on their way into the fish farm.
After getting the blood flowing by having a walk into the sun I settled back down and soon found an immature
Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla) which was flying in from the sea and then sat on the far shore.
European Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus).
European Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus).
I also recorded Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), an almost adult European Herring (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus) and masses of Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), several hundred Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), 70+ Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
After another defrosting walk I sat back down and I was watching a Common Gull (Gaviota Cana /Larus canus) when the Guardia pulled up and I thought they were going to ask what I was doing but the one guy spoke good English and just asked why I didn't sit in the sun at the other end of the road as I looked frozen and they weren't wrong. After explaining that I was looking for Gulls and they like the beach opposite they laughed and went on their way leaving me dithering and wishing there was a cafe close enough to get a coffee.
Barrilete the adult American Herring Gull (Gaviota Argentea Americana / Larus Smithsonianus).

American Herring Gull (Gaviota Argentea Americana / Larus Smithsonianus).

American Herring Gull (Gaviota Argentea Americana / Larus Smithsonianus).

American Herring Gull (Gaviota Argentea Americana / Larus Smithsonianus).

I sat back down and did several more scans through the growing Gull flock and then I found the one I had hope to find,
Barrilete the adult American Herring Gull which was quite a brute of a bird size wise but being so clean looking it had a nice look to it
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Other species seen during the time there were
Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax),  Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Pink-footed Goose (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus).

After seeing
Barrilete I packed the kit back into the car, turned the heating up full and moved down the road to the Cemetrey where I had xeconds of the Pink-footed Goose (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus) before heading back to the Accommodation.
I ended up seeing the American Herring Gull after getting help from Cosme who also looked at my picks and confirmed the Gull Identifications for me, Thanks.

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