Great shots of Pomarine Skuas taken from the headland by our team member Antonio Martínez Pernas on Aug 18th, when 146 Poms were counted, most of them in nice close groups flying quite close:
SW Wind: 3 Arctic Skuas, 5 Bonxies... Instead, 23 Minke Whales and 2 Fin Whales, and a pod of Pilot Whales. (Obs: Antonio Sandoval)
118 Sooty Shearwaters in 6 hs. Also 36 Pomarines, 102 Arctic Skuas, 15 Long Tailed Skuas, 110 Bonxies, 13 Sabine's Gulls, 16 Great Shearwaters, 3 Roseate Terns... (Obs: Antonio Martínez Pernas, Ricardo Hevia, Javier Cantil)
389 Sooty Shearwaters in 4 hs. Also 17 Pomarines, 59 Arctic Skuas, 9 Long Tailed Skuas, 66 Bonxies... (Obs: Antonio Martínez Pernas, Ricardo Hevia)
NE Winds mean poor numbers: 3 Pomarines, 16 Arctic Skuas, 30 Bonxies... (Obs: Ricardo Hevia)
1 Fea's Type Petrel. Also 12 Pomarines, 32 Arctic Skuas, 6 Long Tailed Skuas, 12 Bonxies... (Obs: Ricardo Hevia)
2,339 Manx Shearwaters in 6 hs. Also 32 Arctic Skuas... (Obs: Antonio Martínez Pernas, Ricardo Hevia, Antonio Sandoval)
Estaca de Bares Lighthouse from the road (Antonio Sandoval):
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Great days at Estaca de Bares with some excellent sightings.
July 27th: 1st Grey Phalarope of the year, and more Great Shearwaters (15 in 2 hs). Also a few Bar Tailed Godwits.
Birder at the Observatory: Ricardo Hevia.
July 28th: 1st Fea's Type Petrel at 21:00 hs. A bird feeding wih Great Shearwaters and Cory's. Some other birds watched in 2,45 hs in the evening: 6 Pomarine Skuas, 2 Long Tailed Skuas, 5 Bonxies.
Birder at the Observatory: Antonio Sandoval Rey.
July 29Th: Another Fea's Type Petrel late in the evening. Also first day with nice groups of Commic Terns: a total of 206 in 6,15 hs. Other birds: 71 Common Scoters, 7 Pomarine Skuas, 16 Long Tailed Skuas, 33 Bonxies, 2 Arctic Skuas, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 27 Great Shearwaters, 1 Grey Phalarope, 7 Black Terns, 7 Little Terns, etc.
Birders at the Observatory: Antonio Sandoval Rey, Alfonso Valderas.
July 30th: SKUA FESTIVAL! Amazing passage of LongTailed Skuas in july - 149 birds, all of them but 6 from 16:15 to 21:00. One of the groups was of 22 individuals! Other totals in 8,30 hs: 70 Pomarines (very good number for July too), 20 Arctic Skuas, 34 Bonxies, 4 Sabine´s Gulls. 155 Manx Shearwaters, 36 European Strom Petrels, 1 Grey Phalarope, 54 Great Shearwaters, 29 Black Tailed Godwits, 276 Commic Terns and more.
Birders at the Observatory: Antonio Sandoval Rey, Alfonso Valderas, Ricard Hevia, Antonio Martínez Pernas, Antonio Gutiérrez, Pablo Gutiérrez, Carla Soaje, Dani Monteagudo.
Video of the Long Tailed Skua passage on 30th:
Birders at the Observatory: Antonio Sandoval Rey, Ricardo Hevia Barcón, Pablo Lado, Javier Cantil, Fran Tornero.
Friday 21th, W winds. 38 Great Shearwaters in 3,30 hs provided again a nice evening count. Also 276 Cory’s and the first tiny groups of terns: 18 commics and 10 Sandwhich.
Saturday 22th – NW winds. A South Polar Skua landed at sea close o the headland at 9,15 am. It stayed there for a few minutes and continued westwards. There were quite a lot of Common Dolphins in the area, and over them huge concentrations of Gannets, Cory’s and a few Great Shearwaters. The total count for Great Shearwaters on passage in 7,45 hs was 204 birds. Other seabirds watched moving westwards were 24 Manx Shearwaters, 22 Balearic Shearwaters, 905 Cory’s, 8 Pomarine Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua, 8 Great Skuas, 26 commic Terns, 11 Sandwhich Terns, 2 Med gulls and 6 Whimbrels.
Sunday 23 – WSW Winds. The first Long tailed Skua of the season was watched at 8,05 am. The second, at 18,20. Both adult birds. Good numbers once more of Great Shearwaters: 33 in 4,30 hs. Also 18 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Balearic Shearwaters, 354 Cory’s, 1 Pomarine Skua, 3 Arctic Skuas, 6 Bonxies…
Monday 24th – NW Winds. First day of good passage of Common Scoters: 220 in 7,15 hs. Very nice numbers of European Strom Petrels too: 23; all of them in the evening. And a Scopoli’s Sherawater at 17,05 pm. Also 40 Great Shearwaters , 17 Great Skuas, 6 Manx Shearwaters, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 573 Cory’s, 13 commic Terns, 33 Sandwhich Terns, 11 Oystercatchers, 1 Long tailed skua, 4 Little Terns (a group of 13 was seen the day before at Ortigueira, not far from the headland), lots of Common Dolphins again and a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins.
Tuesday 25th – Calm Winds. Nice numbers of Common Scoters again, with 81 in 3 hs. But very tiny numbers for all of the other species. Another Long Tailed skua at 08,25 am.
Here are some video images taken from the observatory during these days, including some nice (and long!) flights of Great Shearwaters:
Not bad for July: 23 Great Shearwater this afternoon in 3 hs. Also 323 Cory's, 2 Sooties, 9 Manxies and 2 Balearics. Other birds watched were 2 Pomarine Skuas, 3 Arctic Skuas and 3 Bonxies, 266 Gannets, 2 Sandwhich Terns, 41 Whimbrels and 1 Common Greenshank. Them all moving westwards.
The wind kept blowing from the NW.
Birder at the observatory: Ricardo Hevia Barcón
The strong NE winds during these days were not the best for seawatching at Estaca de Bares in this time of the year. Anyway, they made it possible to obtain nice numbers of Balearic Shearwaters moving eastwards. On 15th and 16th more than 148 birds were counted in 9 hs, c. 35% of them juveniles.
On 14th 2 Great Shearwaters moved westwards.
On 15th the first juvenile of Sandwhich Tern was also watched flying westwards, while the same and the following day several groups of up to 17 individuals of the same species kept moving eastwards.
On 16th a Sooty Shearwater moulting primaries was detected during the afternoon. Several groups of Mediterranean Gulls and Common Scoters were also on the move (westwards) these three days.
Birder at the observatory: Antonio Sandoval Rey
It was foggy and even rainy during these days at the headland, with almost not wind. On July 7th there was a huge raft of almost 200 Cory's Shearwaters not far from land. Seabird passage included 1 Pomarine Skua, a few Bonxies and 1 Manx Shearwater.
The following day there was a nice movement of tiny groups of mostly adult Mediterranean Gulls, with just two young birds, the first of the season here:
Gannet passage was close to 150 birds/h. Just 1 Sandwhich and 3 "Commic" Terns were counted in 4,15 hs, as well as 7 Bonxies (several of them chasing Yellow legged Gulls flocks feeding on the crab Polybius henslowii), 1 Pomarine and the first Whimbrels.
On 9th 8 Harbour Porpoises (one of them a very young one) were watched in the morning, when a few groups of Scoters moved westwards, as well as more and more Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and the first Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits. The afternoon was very quiet at sea. Just check this Black redstart attitude:
Birders at the Observatory: Antonio Sandoval, David Calleja
Very nice start of the 2017 counts at Estaca de Bares, with huge numbers of several species for this time of the year.
Following the appearance of 2 Roseate Terns in the area the previous day (by Antonio Martínez Pernas and Ricardo Hevia), and another from the headland on june 30th (Ricardo Hevia), another one was watched on july 1st evening.
That same day up to 8 Great Skuas and 22 Great Shearwaters were counted, as well as at least 2 Wilson's Storm Petrels together with 30-40 European Storm Petrels in a "feeding frenzy" group which included Gannets, Cory's Shearwaters, Manx Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters, Great Shearwaters, Yellow-Legged Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. All of them joining a pod of Common Dolphins. Not far from them there was also a pod of Harbour Porpoises. Two groups of Common Scoters were also seen. And in the last hour an ad. Pomarine Skua was watched.
On july 2nd the first juvenile Balearic Shearwater moved eastwards in the morning, with calm weather. There still were a few Storm Petrels at sea, one of them a Wilson's. Three European Storm Petrels were ringed at night (Pablo Pita, Antonio Gutiérrez). All through the day, groups of Mediterranean Gulls kept moving westwards.
During the afternoon, with NE winds, a group of 8 Common Shelducks was watched flying eastwards.
OBSERVERS at the headland: Antonio Sandoval Rey (both days), Ricardo Hevia (july 1st).
Observers: Antoio Sandoval Rey, Alfonso Valderas, Ricardo Hevia, Antonio Martínez Pernas, David Martínez Lago, Pablo Pita, Roberto Bao, Kees Camphuysen, Martin Heubeck, Sherri L. Cox, David Calleja, Pablo Lado, Javier Cantil, Marcus, Cristoph & Others.
Very nice days at Estaca de Bares again, with strong NW winds most days, a few showers and good friends visiting us.
The main sightings were:
Sept 12th (6,25 h):
417 Sooty Shearwaters
19 Arctic Skuas
25 Pomarine Skuas
28 Great Skuas
Sept 13th (6,45 h):
694 Sooty Shearwaters
43 Great Shearwaters
77 Arctic Skuas
67 Pomarine Skuas
8 Long-Tailed Skuas
46 Great Skuas
219 "Commic" Terns
165 Sandwich Terns
Sept 14th (5,45 h; raining hard):
2 Roseate Terns
23 Arctic Skuas
219 "Commic" Terns
173 Sandwich Terns
Sept 15th (9,15 h):
2 Sabine's Gulls
1,091 Sooty Shearwaters
68 Great Shearwaters
1,913 "Commic" Terns
764 Sandwich Terns
140 Arctic Skuas
18 Pomarine Skuas
1 Long-Tailed Skua
150 Great Skuas
Sept 16th (11 h):
1 Fea's / Zino's Petrel
1 Northern Fulmar
464 Sooty Shearwaters
29 Great Shearwaters
595 Manx Shearwaters
450 Sandwich Terns
207 Arctic Skuas
8 Pomarine Skuas
6 Long-Tailed Skua
196 Great Skuas
Sept 17th (6,15 h):
404 Manx Shearwaters
716 Cory's Shearwaters
812 Sooty Shearwaters
81 Arctic Skuas
1 Pomarine Skua
6 Long-Tailed Skua
90 Great Skuas
310 Sandwich Terns
Sept 18th (3 h; NE Winds):
2 Great Shearwaters
13 Arctic Skuas
1 Pomarine Skua
20 Great Skuas
92 Sandwich Terns
Who we are
The main birders at Estaca de Bares cape, in alphabetical order: