This visit spans the vast mountain range at the far east of Galicia, which is dominated by Pena Trevinca, Galicia's highest peak (2124 m). There is a selection of birds that are rare in other parts of Galicia that can be seen here between April and September. Enjoy the mountain birds!

The birds at the roof of Galicia

The Serra do Eixe is the extreme west of the mountains of León, which are in turn a branch of the Cantabrian Mountains. It is separated from Orense's Macizo Central by the Bibei river, which draws a sharp relief profile. During the winter months, heavy snowfall is common.

The routes
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Route by car: A Veiga - Vilanova - Prados

BEST TIME

Spring, late summer

DISTANCE

41 Km

DURATION

5 a 6 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

A Veiga

PATH

A Veiga - Vilanova - Prados

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Key points on the route:

  1. The route starts from the village of A Veiga (1) where common house martins and spotless starlings can be spotted. From there ascend to the villages of Prados and San Lourenzo Prados traversing the Matabois creek (2) where grey wagtails and white-throated dippers can be seen.
  2. After crossing some scrubland with montagu's harrier and dartford warbler, descend towards Requeixo (3), where we come across an interesting rural mosaic in which tree pipits and red-backed shrikes can be seen.
  3. After passing Xares (4), ascend the valley of the river of the same name and keep eyes peeled on the way for iberian chiffchaff and rock buntings. Upon reaching A Ponte (5) it is possible to see yellowhammers and ortolan buntings.
  4. A few kilometres away is Vilanova (6), the main access to the O Maluro range, an excellent location for sightings of golden eagles and grey partridges.
  5. Meandering from Vilanova to the north and then to the west we reach Meixide (7). Western bonelli's warblers and melodious warblers can be seen here. After passing through forest areas in the western spurs of the Serra do Eixe, and once past Lamalonga, we reach Espiño (8), to link to the road to Prados and A Veiga. Along the way look out for tree pipits and eurasian bullfinches.

Route on foot: Pico Maluro

BEST TIME

June and July

DURATION

4-5 hours on foot (one way)

DIFFICULTY

High

COUNCILS

A Veiga

PATH

Pico Maluro

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Key points on the route:

  1. From Vilanova (1) (starts are often made from 'O Trisquel') the route starts off to O Maluro. On the first part of the journey there are copses of birch (2)  in which iberian chiffchaffs and eurasian bullfinches can be found.
  2. Further on, in the scrubland, the dartford warbler and rock bunting breed.
  3. Before arriving at the ruins of an old mining town, there is an excellent view over the Xares valley and, with some luck, a golden eagle may be spotted.
  4. The path becomes rough and winding as it arrives at the western foot of the Maluro (3). In this area there are often red-legged partridges and melodious warblers, although the first spurs on the ascent to the peak (1931 m) provide opportunity for watching grey partridges, water pipits, red-billed choughs and ortolan buntings. There is also the possibility of seeing an isolated pair of whinchats, northern wheatears and even rufous-tailed rock thrushes.
  5. Finally, on reaching the summit of Maluro (4), there is a singular perspective of the Casaio and Xares valleys. red-billed chough may be seen and, in spring and summer, there are griffon vultures and occasionally cinereous vultures.

Route on foot: Pena Trevinca

BEST TIME

June and July

DURATION

5-6 hours (one way)

DIFFICULTY

High

COUNCILS

A Veiga

PATH

Pena Trevinca (from A Ponte, A Veiga)

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Key points on the route:

  1. This exceptional route across the roof of Galicia begins in A Ponte (1), climbing the road to Lagoa de Ocelo and Lagoa da Serpe through the Xares valley (2). In this section be on the lookout for eurasian bullfinch, red-backed shrike and yellowhammer.
  2. In the surroundings around Serpe (3), note the presence of water pipit and ortolan bunting.
  3. Continuing up to the Xares highpoint, the whinchat nests in the meadows of the western foot of Trevinca, where flocks of grey partridge may also be found.
  4. The climb to the summit of Trevinca (4) becomes harder after the 1800 m mark. This stage may take up to 2-3 hours. Along the way keep watch out for water pipits and rock buntings. An excellent view is had from there. The rocky summit hosts the only breeding population in Galicia of the alpine accentor.
The birds

This is home to grey partridges and, today, the only breeding populations in Galicia of the alpine accentor and whinchat. In the Serra do Eixe foothills in spring, the veritable jewels of the Galician avifauna, such as the spectacled warbler, the ortolan bunting, the rufous-tailed rock thrush and an increasing number of griffon vultures can be seen. The golden eagle may make an appearance at almost any time of year, as may groups of red-billed choughs.

Tips and resources
  • Do not disturb the groups of grey partridge in mountain areas or disclose their exact location.

  • Respect private property in the rural mosaics of Casaio and Requeixo.

  • Do not enter the mines without permission. There is fine bird watching from the outside.

  • This is a mountain area where conditions are harsh: heavy snow and frost in winter and substantial sun and heat in summer. Accordingly, remain cautious in spring and summer (when the routes are recommended) and bring sunscreen, water, etc.
     

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