The Serra do Suído, not far from the cities of Vigo and Pontevedra, is nearby, albeit secluded from the noise of the city where both rugged landscapes and birdsong can be enjoyed. An opportunity to enjoy nature in general and birds in particular. Many raptors scan the skies and the scrubland and rocky outcrops bustle in spring and summer with the activity of many species. An enthralling walk along the roof of the Rías Baixas.

The roof of the Rías Baixas

Mid-mountain area west of the Miño river, with a maximum altitude of 1151 m at O Faro de Avión. It is the birthplace of the Tea and Oitavén rivers, which feed on the abundant rains on the mountains' west face. The highest part retains "braña" areas, heather and gorse, while the slopes are populated by oak groves, birch thickets and pine plantations. Connected to the streams and rivers, highly interesting riparian forests thrive and around the villages there are sections of traditional crops.

The routes
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Route by car. Gaxate - Beariz

BEST TIME

From March to September

DISTANCE

37 Km

DURATION

4 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

A Lama, Avión, Beariz

PATH

Gaxate - Pigarzos - Beariz

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Key points on the route:

  1. The route starts at the PO-255 in Gaxate (1). There we will see spotless starlings and finches. Continuing towards Xende and the Nosa Señora das Ermidas hermitage (2), the road brings with it black redstarts and sardinian warblers. When accessing the hermitage there are dartford warblers and short-toed snake eagles.
  2. Turn right towards Xesta and climb a relatively high area (Pozo de Fiadal, 779 m) (3), with the recorded presence of red-legged partridge and montagu's harrier. On the descent to Xesta melodious warblers and rock buntings can be spotted.
  3. Turn left onto the turnoff to Liñares and the San Lourenzo chapel (4). On the way look out for tawny owls and eurasian nuthatches. Continuing through Xesta eastwards, the road passes through the Os Prados hermitage (5) (where eurasian wrynecks and red-backed shrikes can be seen) and Pigarzos (6) (to watch melodious warblers and iberian chiffchaffs).
  4. On the climb to the wind farm (7) european honey buzzards and short-toed snake eagles can be seen. In the same farm montagu's harriers are common. Next to the roaming livestock, between August and October, keep eyes open for western yellow wagtail. tawny pipits and rufous-tailed rock thrushes can be seen on the rocks (8).
  5. The route ends by descending to Beariz (9) (keep eyes open for common house martins and white-throated dippers) through Doade (note the woodlark and tree pipit).

Route by car: Santiago do Covelo - O Suído (south) wind farm

BEST TIME

From February to October

DISTANCE

25 km

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

A Cañiza, Avión, O Covelo

PATH

Santiago do Covelo - Alto de A Fontefría - O Suído (south) wind farm

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Key points on the route:

  1. The route begins in Santiago do Covelo (1), where iberian chiffchaff and starling can be seen. On arrival to A Lamosa there are firecrest and eurasian bullfinch. The route links here with the N-120 and winds up the Alto da Fontefría (2) and its exceptional formations of wild pine, a fitting place to watch the fieldfare, goldcrest and, in winter, red crossbill.
  2. Continuing east, we reach O Carballal (4) where there is eurasian nuthatch and short-toed treecreeper. After passing Portela de Deva (and seeing montagu's harrier and dartford warbler), the route comes to A Bugariña (5), where melodious warblers and iberian chiffchaff can be seen.
  3. On the way to Coveliño (6), in a rural mosaic area, sightings may be had of red-backed shrike and yellowhammer. At the top of the village of Prado the tree pipit breeds and at the top of the mountains, before Camposancos, the tawny pipit and even the rufous-tailed rock thrush also nest.
  4. In Camposancos, take a track to the left to the wind farm. Cross the farm to its highest end in A Cabreira (1056 m) to see short-toed snake eagle, montagu's harrier and, in certain years, northern harrier.

Route on foot or by bike: Graña (O Covelo)

BEST TIME

From March to September

DURATION

2-3 hours on foot and 1-2 hours by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

Low

COUNCILS

O Covelo

PATH

Graña (O Covelo)

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Key points on the route:

  1. A simple trip to the Porto da Anca substation. In the oak woods around A Graña (1) tawny owls and eurasian nuthatches nest and long-eared owls may be seen.
  2. On the access road to the substation there is scrubland (2) in which red-legged partridges, melodious warblers and dartford warblers are present. On reaching the highest point, montagu's harrier and tawny pipit can be seen at the electricity substation.

Route on foot or by bike: From Seixido to Portela da Cruz (A Lama)

BEST TIME

From March to September

DURATION

3-4 hours on foot and 2 hours by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

Low

COUNCILS

A Lama

PATH

Seixido - Portela da Cruz (A Lama)

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Key points on the route:

  1. The trail begins in the village of Seixido (1), where iberian chiffchaffs and spotless starlings can be seen.
  2. Follow the track towards O Campo (2) while looking out for red-legged partridges and red-backed shrikes along the way.
  3. On arriving at O Eido da Tendeira, connect with the PO-235 road that leads to Cernedo (3) (where there is rock bunting) and Portela da Cruz (4), a step towards the province of Ourense. short-toed snake eagles can be seen here as well as northern harrier and merlin in the winter.
The birds

Of equal or even greater bird watching interest than the mountains further north, the Serra do Suído serves to a certain extent as a bioclimatic boundary, since clearly 'Atlantic' birds converge there (such as the tree pipit, eurasian bullfinch and yellowhammer) with more Mediterranean birds (such as the tawny pipit, rufous-tailed rock thrush and sardinian warbler). This is further enriched by a broad range of birds of prey (such as the griffon vulture, short-toed snake eagle, european honey buzzard and montagu's harrier) and smaller birds (such as the red crossbill, which is linked to high elevation pine forests).

Tips and resources
  • Avoid walking around the wind farm on icy days, since there is a risk of falling ice from the blades.

  • Pay special attention to high muddy areas in April and May since ring ouzel can be seen and in August and September there are Eurasian dotterel and western yellow wagtail in areas with horses.

Arriba