Friday 22 January 2016

Oliva beach. Spain

I have been in Spain for the past week at my winter home. It has not really been a birding week. However I did manage to squeeze some light birding in.

My house is in Oliva and a visit to the beach revealed some activity though mid-winter is a weak time for many waders and terns.

Audouin's gull (left) and sandwich tern (right)

Luckily on a set of rocks were several Audouin's gull. This species has a relatively small geographic distribution across parts of the Mediterranean.

Audouin's gull with sandwich terns

The only tern which stays in the Mediterranean in the winter in any numbers is sandwich tern. There were also several of these.

Audouin's gull

Audouin's gull is medium-large and is distinctive. It's essentially dark red bill and grey legs rule out anything else in an adult bird. I have only ever seen this bird at Farwa on the Libyan border with Tunisia before. It is a rare visitor there in winter.

yellow-legged gull

The same set of rocks held a single adult yellow-legged gull.

Black-headed gull

I had hoped to find a Mediterranean gull but the related black-headed gull was as close as I could get.

Waders were few.

sanderling probing

Four sanderling were feeding at the water's edge. 

sanderling taking off

Sanderling's upper wing pattern is quite distinctive. It has wide white wing bar bordered almost black.

great cormorant

On my return to the rocks on my way home, great cormorant  another species sharing the rocks with the gulls and terns.

It is always interesting to bird in a different area to where you are used to. This was pleasant. However my birding on land in the Oliva area was more varied. I will blog about that next. 

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