I'm just back from a trip on the Pride of Bilbao
, one of the last few before it's taken out of service on that route.
|Whalewatchers in the evening|
You can read the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme's official sightings list
, but here are a few personal highlights...
- Not-too-bad-considering views of Fin, Pilot and Sperm Whales, Bottle-nosed, Common, Striped and Risso's Dolphins, and Harbour Porpoise
- Little flock of Grey Phalaropes bobbing on the sea
- Storm Petrels across the bows
- Sabine's Gulls
- Melodious Warbler on the boat for a few hours, before flying off high towards the Channel Islands
- Swallows and Sand Martins heading south strongly
I opted to get the train into Bilbao city centre, where we did a circuit of the outside of the Guggenheim - well worth it! Breakfast (tortilla and cafe con leche) nearby was much needed
|Giant flowery puppy outside the museum (House Sparrows nest in it)|
|Mysterious mist and sculpture|
|Inside the station|
|Up the Channel on the way back into Portsmouth|
There seemed to be a lot of whalewatchers on board. I'm sure we must have looked strange to some onlookers, but I don't really understand the people who got off the boat and headed directly to the nearest bar in Santurtzi for a pint, then headed off to the shop to stock up on tobacco. Oh well. I still think that's weirder than we were.
photos taken with Canon Powershot A640
It's sad that Portsmouth-Bilbao is all coming to an end. Cramming birders and cetacean-watchers (cetters?)onto a big boat with non-birders was always part of the fun. I spent several hours at the back of the boat a couple of weeks back, variously surrounded by English housewives and French Students, who I'm sure thought it highly amusing that I kept shouting and pointing at things far out to sea but one by one they all came to talk and have a look at a bird or a dolphin. A great way for people to connect with nature and get to see how exciting it can all be.ReplyDelete