Just 20 minutes from A Coruña there is a wide stretch of water with a surprising diversity of birds: the Abegondo-Cecebre reservoir, a protected space that is highly recommended for watching ducks, herons, waders and grebes in autumn and winter.

A unique ornithological oasis

Completed in 1976, this dam regulates the flow of the Mero and Barcés rivers and ensures a constant supply to A Coruña and its metropolitan area.

Although the construction of the dam and eventual flooding gave rise to the disappearance of fertile river valleys, the shallowness of the reservoir (maximum of 15 m and average of 6 m) allows it to accommodate a large cross section of water birds, especially those wintering and in migration. The walk can also be supplemented by continuing further a few kilometres towards the village of Cecebre and neighbouring Peiraio mill to see birds linked to riparian forest and the river itself.

The routes

Route by car: The surroundings of the Cecebre reservoir

BEST TIME

From autumn to spring

DISTANCE

14 Km

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

Any difficult

COUNCILS

Abegondo, Betanzos, Cambre

PATH

The surroundings of the Cecebre reservoir

Key points on the route:

  1. The journey begins at the village of Crendes (1), where it is possible to see northern goshawk and eurasian tree sparrow, and makes a stop at the bird observatory of the same name (2) where there are the best views of the 'tail' of the Mero river: various Anatidae, great egrets, ospreys, black kites and waders can be seen there.
  2. In the adjoining meadows, in some springs it is possible to hear the common quail and the corn bunting.
  3. Towards Orto de Arriba (3) black kites and groups of spotless starlings can be seen.
  4. When arriving at the 'tail' of the Barcés river (4) it is common to see great crested grebe and groups of eurasian teal and great cormorant.
  5. From the Cecebre dam (5) black kites and grey wagtails can be seen.
  6. Next, take a detour to the right where eurasian spoonbills can be seen. The walk ends further southeast at the Piadela observatory, where great egret and green sandpipers can be seen.

Route on foot or by bike: Río Mero in Cela (Cambre)

BEST TIME

Spring

DURATION

3-4 hours by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

Any difficult

COUNCILS

Cambre

PATH

A Ponte de Cela - Mero riverside promenade - Peiraio - A Ponte de Cela

Key points on the route:

  1. From the bridge of the CP-1706 (Cambre-Carral road) in the parish of Cela (A Ponte de Cela) (1), a trail begins adjacent to the Palencia-A Coruña railway line, on the north bank of the Mero river, which passes through nearby O Rueiro (2). Tawny owl and iberian chiffchaff can be seen here.
  2. Next, there are european honey buzzards and white-throated dipper near the Cela mill.
  3. The trail reaches the vicinity of the village of Canal (3) and the return is made after crossing the adjoining Peiraio mill bridge (4), where white-throated dipper and eurasian bullfinch can be seen. Next, cross the village of Peiraio west towards the Cela bridge.
The birds

The Abegondo-Cecebre reservoir attracts such interesting birds such as the western osprey, great crested grebe, great egret, green sandpiper and iberian chiffchaff. Various Anatidae, gulls of different species and cormorants complete the list. The Piadela and Crendes bird observatories provide excellent opportunities for bird watching and photography.

Tips and resources
  • Bring suitable footwear (rubber boots or waterproof shoes) in autumn and winter.

  • Use of a telescope is recommended for watching water birds.

  • Only travel on trails and do not trespass on farm land.

Arriba