Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Driving North, Observatorio De Aves De La Arenilla, Santoña Port and Mirador Montehano, Santoña, Cantabria, Spain.

Travelling North from Santi's to Santoña for a bit of birding.
Ebird list for the Hide.

Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) Male.
I left Santi's after breakfast and drove North towards Santander and then across to Santoña, on the way I saw Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) Male.
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).
My first stop was at the Observatorio De Aves De La Arenilla where I sat and scanned the estuary at about half tide, As I arrived I picked up the resident male Common Eider (Eider Común / Somateria mollissima) mid channel, lots of both Eurasian Curlews (Numenius arquata) and Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), as well as good numbers of Eurasian Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), 50+ Northern Pintails (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), a large flock of around 250 Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla) which I realized later was only part of the Flock, Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), 5x Common Scoter (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra), a Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda) which I got better views of later near the port, a distant Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer), lots of Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) as well as a single Great Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) which was feeding amongst the Spoonbills.
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
I moved just up the road and parked at the central point of the port and walked out onto the nearest of the larger jetties where I could see the full extent of the Brent Goose flock which must have numbered well over 400 birds.
Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer) just surfaced.
Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer).
Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer) taking a deep breath.
Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer) about to Dive.
I spent quite a while scanning the main channel in front of me and got better views of another Great Northern Diver, the Razorbill,
Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), 8x Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla) after being flushed by photographers on a boat.
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla).
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla).
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla).
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla).
I returned to the hide breifly but did not add anything new so I started to make my way around to my hotel for the night in Escalante, on the way I made a stop at the Mirador Montehano and checked the river and marshes, just below me I had my fourth Great Northern Diver, more Black-necked Grebes, Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and big numbers of Western Cattle Egrets flying passed heading for their roost.
Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda).
Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda).
Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda).
Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda).
Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda).
I arrived and checked in at the Hotel Rural las Solanas de Escalante before going for a couple of beers and some food just up the road at Mesón Blanyfer.
Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis).

Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis).

Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer).

Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).

View from the Port of Santoña.

Looking from Mirador Montehano to Escalante.

Christmas lights in Escalante.


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