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Fishing ports (1 Viewer)

Joseph Bouvier

"No, that was a pigeon, not an eagle".
I love sea-watching, and my favourite locations for it have always been fishing ports. I find that they have a very nice variety of birds, which are often very tame. Also they usually have good spots to set up one's equipment. Just today I went to one in Roquetas de Mar, ALM, Spain. I saw 15 species in total. The highlight of the day was a sandwich tern which kept flying from one side of the port to the other and back again.

What other locations would you suggest that are good for sea-watching?

Full list of species:

Feral Pigeon
Collared dove
Black headed gull
Lesser black backed gull
Sandwinch tern
Great cormorant
Little egret
Eurasian Kestrel
Common chiffchaff
Sardinian warbler
Spotless starling
House sparrow
White wagtail
European serin




Well-known member
United States
I normally do my sea-watches on a mid sized bluff on a peninsula that sticks out into the ocean during the winter when the swells are to big for our boat. I could see the advantage as a harbor that would be directly on the sea, as when sea-watching I often see fulmar and even the occasional albatross following a fishing boat that passes close to shore.
Thank you for the reminder about sea-port bird watching. I took some photos a few years ago in California that turned out nice and I will be heading to the Oregon/USA coast in a month. It will be fun to see what species are there.


Well-known member
I think most birders would define 'sea-watching' as taking place from the sort of place connorco describes - a headland sticking out into the ocean where in the right weather conditions truly pelagic birds can be seen closer to shore. From your location you might find a headland which would give you the chance of seeing Scopoli's or Balearic shearwater, but the best locations in Spain are out on the Atlantic coast of Galicia, where there is a much wider range of seabirds to see, and anything can potentially turn up.
I agree with you though that fishing harbours are great places for birding - up here in NE England we can sometimes see birds such as Iceland gulls. The best harbours I've visited though have been in Hokkaido, Japan, where you can get great close-up views of sea duck such as Black Scoter, and gulls such as Slaty-backed and Glaucous.
Best of all though for me is pelagic birding - autumn trips from Sagres in Portugal are great for storm-petrels and shearwaters. Ferries can be good too, provided you can get out on deck - perhaps you could try the Melilla ferry crossing?

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