Three Dunlins

Three Dunlins

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sanderlings in Pitillas.

Last thuesday I went to Pitillas reservoir, a famous a valuable site in the middle zone of Navarra.

The climate conditions weren't the best ones but due to the lack of time that I have lately for birding I had no chance of changing the schedule.

Mild showers and increasing winds received me in the reservoir's parking, so I took a sweater and my Kowa 88 scope and headed to my observation points.

It had rained previously and I saw a few water poddles on the path but I it wasn't on my planes to visit de wadder traditional sites because they were  dried out for sure.

I started looking the shoreline when a group of wadders  feeding on the floatting weeds call my atention. They were quite a few , something not usual here.

I headed to that point to observe closer the birds and they were sanderlings and a nice band of twenty two!! a very good record here (there is only one more observation with more individuals, it was back in 2007 with 50 birds- R.Rodriguez ).

A nice group of sanderlings feeding in the weeds. The light conditions were very poor.

In the first view the solitary dunlin that was among them helped my as a yardstick to evaluate the size of the other waders around ( I doubted two secs with little stints with nuptiale feathers).

Redshanks (20 birds) flying around my position with their fluttering voices.

I saw a fast crossing group of birds in the distance. Rapidly a I took a record shot and realized that they were ringed seemed that it was a good day for migration (the last impulses I suposse because we are already in advanced month of May).

Sanderlings  ready to "land" in a floatting area of weeds a floating vegetation.

That's all for today -;)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Poor numbers in the reservoir.

Good afternoon:

Today,14/05/17, I made my second visit to zolina and I soon detected a few waders in th tiny West island (with no water becomes a Peninsula...).

I headed to the shore to observe the group from  a better distance and I counted seven Ringed plovers and a solitary Dunlin.

The prenuptial season is fading and poor numbers till the moment at the area, as an example :

  • Zero Avocets
  • Zero Knots
  • Zero Turnstones
  • Zero Spotted redshank
  • Zero Kentish plover
  • Zero Curlews
  • Zero Bar tailed godwit
  • Zero Curlew sandpiper
  • One litte stint!!

I hope things change a little in the forthcoming days .......will see!

Small group cleanning their feathers.

I saw also a Little ringed plover and a Redshank .

Thursday, 11 May 2017

A few waders in San Sebastian.

Good morning!!

The past 30 of april I made a visit to my family in San Sebastian /Donostia (Basque country) a wonderfull city in the Northern coast of Iberian peninsula , famous for his culinary aspects and precious buildings.

Anyway I had another intention fot that day, and my aim was to check the riverside of Urumea river that ends up into the Cantabric ocean, if I had enough time between my familiar responsabilities.

I had luck because the tide was low at my arrival and the good feeding areas with some sand a many rock blocks appeared to the delight of the few waders (and gulls) that were present at that moment.

Those are my best shots:


Very confident bird. I only saw one individual. Took a record shot and let him alone....


Another confident bird. There are many pedestrians at both sides of the river and birds get used to it.

A Common sandpiper. I didn`t expect this bird here in the intertidal area, so close to the ocean....


I was happy to see a group of eight birds close to the wall. In a second all of them flew away to the sea.

View of the Urumea's rivermouth in San sebastian/Donostia.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Three Whimbrels in Zolina

Good morning!

Last wednesday (26/04/17)  the reservoir was quite interesting with a few wader species lingering around. The star of the visit was a group of three wimbrels in the east coast.
Is the first time since 1989 that this quantity is shown here.
The record in the reservoir is five individuals back in 1977!!
Sadly the numbers are decreasing and in the last decade in some years there has been only one visit with a single bird....

Three whimbrels - Zolina - 26/04/17

Other waders:

12 BW stilts
16 Common sandpipers
06 Dunlins
06 Little RP
04 Rplovers
01 Greenshank
03 Redshank

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

In the Basque coast , Zarauz.

Hello again.

This time some wader watching from the Basque coast in northern Iberian peninsula, more precisely in Zarauz village, famous for his surfing ocean and long and beautifull beach.

I stayed three days in vacation with my family and every morning quite early , I managed to make a tour to the INURRITZA reservoir, a small but very valuable intercoastal habitat.

Dates were good for bird migration  (21,22,23,24/04/17) and I managed to see nine different wader species. Personally the Kentish plover was a nice observation and also the quality of the Grey plover sighting with a prolongate viewing during his feeding actions. Wont forget also the cute sanderlings in the beach always with their funny runnings alongside the shoreline.


Redshank with the rare here BWstilt.

A group of sanderlings (6 ind)


Common sandpipers (4 ind)

Dunlin (max 5 ind)

Dunlin feeding at hide tide.

Five birds darting in the sand.

I saw five Ringed plovers resting during their migration.

Dunlin with a little moult still to moult.

I saw them in every walk a made those very nice sping mornings.

Little ringed plver. This one breeds here. Hope it has success with his brood this season.

The redshank always present in the sandy shore of the river.

Dunlin feeding.

A whimbrel feeding in the intertidal stones with his grey plumage was very hard to detect.

A group of ten whimbrels appeared flying from the south, but unfortunatelly didn't stop because there were many golf players in the adjacent golf course.

Those two whimbrels were feeding early in the beach and a cleanning truck preparing the sand for the people scared them and the birds around ( various gulls YL, and a ringed plover..).

One of my best sights of the holidays Kentish plover, always a special bird in Zarauz.

Elegant and quick it mantained the security distance with me ( a let him alone and respècted that distance).

Those migrational waders suffer a lot from people and their dosgs in the beaches. Dogs should be carried with leads in those periods where the birds need shelter and food for their long journeys.

Common redshank.

And now a few pics of this magnificient northern traveller ,the grey plover:

Feeding quite confidently facing the sun.

Late april but still with the winter feathers.

Same period but clearly a different plumage moult sequence!!

Feline manner stalking...and a quick plunge to obtain the recompense.

Handsome bird with his almost complet nuptial plumage.

A whimbrel with a crab in the beak ready to make its morning lunch.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day!!

Hudsonian Whimbrel !!

I had this post to be published for a long time but due to the lack of  it, things got delayed more than expected. Anyway I will post a few record shots of one of my best bird discoveries ever, a Hudsonian Whimbrel that I found in Marismas de Santoña reservoir in Cantabria (North Spain).

The record has been the second homologated  for Spain and first ever for the Cantabria province!!

Here I show the bests pics of the wonderfull bird (thanks also to my friend David Arranz that stayed with me and helped me with the obtention of the pictures.)

The bird has remained in the area till the second week of april!!

Hudsonian whimbrel.

Hudsonian whimbrel.

Hudsonian whimbrel.

David took this picture with his mphone handholding it to the scope (Kowa 88).

This was the area. Intercoastal mudflats.

Was nice to see my picas the main one of the week in this important Spanish web.

The bird atracted a lot of birders to the corner.

Another twitch in a different day....

Monday, 24 April 2017

Again in the south.....

Here are some of the birds I saw the 14th of april in the south of my province, Navarra.

I repeated the place of the past blog entry and things didn't go bad at all, not many birds but some "first" of the year like the common sandpiper (3ind) and a wood sandpiper.

The reservoir was has still water but the muddy fields  are going to dry if it doesn't rain soon.....

The protective eyelid of the Common sandpiper.

The bird got still in the stone quite confidently.

My first wood sandpiper of the year. You know is going to appear but when and were.....

The omnipresent Little ringed plover ( I saw two pairs and I hope the have a succesfull breeding).

There were lingerin around also six black winged stilts.

have a nice day!