Wednesday 14 December 2022

Santoña Port, Marismas Blancas, Bahía de Santander, Cantabria, Spain and a few hours at sea enroute to UK.

A bit more North Coast birding before getting the Ferry to the UK.
Ebird List for Marismas Blancas.
Ebird List for Bahía de Santander.

Looking along the Pleasure boat part of the port down to the Bull Ring.

After a good nights sleep at the Hotel Rural las Solanas de Escalante I went up to the Port in Santoña, had some breakfast and the did a walk along the Prom before it got light, on the way I saw Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).

It was still not very light by the time I got back to the car so I had another coffee before going out onto the main Jetty and setting up the scope, as I scanned I found Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla), Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlántico / Larus marinus), Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) and out in the distance thousands of wildfowl, most I am guessing were Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope) and Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta) but they were too distant to sort out.
Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Barnacla Carinegra / Branta bernicla) in the foreground and masses of other ducks off into the distance.
I returned to the car and the drove towards Santander but pulled of the Motorway to have a look at Marismas Blacas, a pool I always enjoy visiting, today was no different as straight away I saw two immature
Little Gulls (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus) feeding low over the water very Tern like.
Marismas Blancas, the main pool.
As I scanned the water I added
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Yellow-legged Gulls.
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).
Little Gull (Gaviota Enana / Larus minutus).
Around the margins and in the air I found a couple of Firecrests (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) picking their way through a small Willow tree with a single Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor).
Also seen were
Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), White Wagtail, House Sparrow, Robin, Blackbird, Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and a passing Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus).
Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
My last stop before catching the Ferry was at the Bahía de Santander where I could see the Ferry in the docks opposite, I set up the Scope and scanned the river and almost the first bird I saw amongst a flock of Black-headed Gulls was another Little Gull, as had as I tried I unfortunately couldn't turn it into an immature
Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla), 18x Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) flew over as did two large flocks of Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), on the rocks there were 50 odd  Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and a single Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres).
Leaving Santander, bet it won't look like this as we arrive in Southampton.
Other species seen included a Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
I went around to the port and then almost stright on to the ferry which I was suprised left on time at 14.00 instead of 16:00 which Brittany Ferries had said it would do in an email a few days earlier, as we started off I did a short sea watch but all I managed was a small flock of around 30 Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), a few Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and a single Razorbill.
Last View of Spain for a while.

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