In the middle of the province of Ourense a powerful mountain range rises up, providing mountain birds one of their best shelters

Mountain bird sanctuary

The apparent soft relief of the Macizo Central contrasts sharply with the surroundings. Less travelled deep valleys open up to host notable habitats in which stark scrubland, forests and cliffs stand out. Its climatic contrasts are striking, from the harshness of the peaks to the softness of the lower areas, which all offer a wide variety of environments.

Chestnut groves, with ancient trees, are some of the most interesting forest formations in Galicia as regards both nature and culture.

The routes
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Route by car: A Cabeza Grande - Paradela

BEST TIME

From April to September

DISTANCE

22 Km

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

A Pobra de Trives, Manzaneda

PATH

A Cabeza Grande - Paradela

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Key points on the route:

  1. On the road from A Pobra de Trives turn towards the winter resort (1). The beginning of the route is an excellent place to see, among others, montagu's harrier and eurasian skylark.
  2. In the pine forests (2) there are a good number of forest birds such as firecrest, european crested tit and great spotted woodpecker. Along the edges there are mountain birds such as the mistle thrush.
  3. Next, climb to surroundings of the winter resort (3), where there are common kestrel, montagu's harrier, northern harrier and, with some luck, bluethroat.
  4. On the way to Paradela (4) remain attentive to the appearance of northern harrier, short-toed snake eagle and european honey buzzard, among others.

Route on foot: the area surrounding Cabeza de Manzaneda

BEST TIME

From April to September

DISTANCE

5,2 Km

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

Medium

COUNCILS

Chandrexa de Queixa, Manzaneda

PATH

The area surrounding Cabeza de Manzaneda

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Key points on the route:

  1. At the beginning of the route (1) look out for bluethroat, eurasian skylark and common kestrel.
  2. In the scrub habitats (2) european stonechat, water pipit and eurasian skylark are frequent.
  3. The influx of raptors in the area is remarkable. At any time (but especially from mid-summer) it is possible to see griffon vultures, cinereous vultures, golden eagles, short-toed snake eagles, northern harriers and common kestrels, among others.

Route on foot: Chaguazoso - A Cenza

BEST TIME

From April to September

DISTANCE

10 Km

DURATION

4 hours

DIFFICULTY

Medium

COUNCILS

Vilariño de Conso

PATH

Chaguazoso - A Cenza

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Key points on the route:

  1. The route starts in Chaguazoso (1) where swalloes and house martins can be seen.
  2. In nearby crop fields (2) look for red-backed shrikes
  3. In the highest parts (3) look out for short-toed snake eagle, red-billed chough, eurasian skylark, rufous-tailed rock thrush and the scarce whinchat.
  4. Do not leave without having a look at the reservoir (4), since there may be some interesting water birds.
The birds

Large expanses of scrub are used by endangered species such as the northern harrier, golden eagle and elusive grey partridge. In certain bushes the last bluethroats sing. The skies are streaked with griffon vultures and the scarcer cinereous vulture. Chestnut groves provide a favourable space for eurasian wryneck and common redstart.

Tips and resources
  • We are in a mountain area and, as such, in winter the roads may not be passable due to the snow: it is essential to pay attention to the weather forecast. 

  • In summer wear sunscreen and bring water.

  • It is important to always stay within the marked paths. 

  • It is common on trips to find cattle, since it is the livelihood of many people. Do not bother it and give it the right-of-way. 

Arriba