The Santoña marshes ( Marismas de Santoña), are in located in Cantabria, and are made up of constituting three coastal wetlands, with the first of these
being a typical estuary.
The Santoña marshes are a Ramsar Site. Ramsar notes:
The Las Marismas de Santoña, Victoria y Joyel complex constitutes the most important wetland of the
north of the Iberian penisula"] for waterbirds, with the greatest
number of species (up to 86) and individuals (greater than 20,000). The wetland meets the numerical criteria of
the Ramsar Convention for being considered of international interest.
The spoonbill Platalea leucorodia uses the wetland principally on passage during its pre- and post-nuptual
migrations. More than 50% of the spoonbill population of Holland pass through these saltmarshes on pre-nuptual
migration. Up to 90 individuals have been counted.
Censuses have been conducted in the wetland since 1969, reaching counts of more than 20,000 waterbirds.
Likewise the prescence of the black-necked grebe Pociceps nigricollis and the great cormorant Phalacrocorax
carbo, should be mentioned, with - respectively - up to 218 and 429 birds counted.
The eurasian wigeon Anas penelope is the most numerous wintering species on the complex (up to 6,500). On
migration, 2,221 individuals of the shoveler Anas clypeata have been censused. Occasionally the white-headed
duck Oxyura leucocephala has been observed (up to 5 individuals).
Regarding numerical criteria amongst the waders, up to 225 avocet Recurvirostra avosetta have been counted,
up to 1,389 grey plover Pluvialis squatarola have been counted wintering in the area, and up to 150"cigüeñuela" (Himantopus himantopus) have been censused.
It is necessary to emphasise that this saltmarsh complex is the only breeding site in the north of the penisula for:
purple heron, "avetorillo" (Ixobrychus minutus), red-crested pochard, and "cigüeñuela" (Himantopus
himantopus). . From here
Guided birds tours around the Santoña Estuary by boat
If you find yourself in Cantabria this looks well worth it. The tours are organised by the local SEO group, and are around the nature reserve at low tide and last 2h 15m. Svaroswki telescopes are provided. Cost: 30 euros/person. Maximum 6 persons. More here (or email@example.com / 687 434643) A study is also being carried out at the same time on the impact of the trips in birds in the esturary.
Cantabrian anchovies threatened with wipe-out The Cantabrian anchovy canning industry is centred around Santoña