Hundreds of wintering ducks, reedbeds that are home to the last western Iberian reed buntings and beaches with hundreds of dunlins all framed within a spectacular landscape.

In winter visit this corner where the Costa da Morte and Rías Baixas meet!

An estuary open to the sea...and birds

This elongated and relatively narrow open estuary that has no islands at its entrance hosts numerous water birds in winter, which are concentrated mainly in the intertidal zones of Serres (Muros) and Noia, as well as on the beaches and coves. In the breeding season the reedbeds of A Serra de Outes and A Ponte Nafonso take on greater importance.

The routes
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Route by car: Noia - Baroña

BEST TIME

Between October and January

DISTANCE

19 Km

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Noia, Porto do Son

PATH

Noia - Baroña

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Key points on the route:

  1. The journey begins at the Noia bus station (1) and passes beside the A Trabe river estuary (2) to see eurasian spoonbills and gulls.
  2. Continue towards Ribeira until reaching O Testal beach (3). From there nesting kentish plovers and sanderlings can be seen.
  3. The route then reaches Portosín (4), where there are european herring gulls and sandwich terns A few kilometres west the route takes a turn to the right towards A Aguieira beach, where great northern loons and common gulls are a common sight.
  4. Returning to the main road, continue through Quintáns to Porto do Son (6) to see razorbill and common tern in migration.
  5. The route continues to the famous Baroña castro (7), where watchers should look out for seabirds such as the northern gannet and balearic shearwater.

Route on foot: A Toxeira - Tambre river bend

BEST TIME

From autumn to spring

DISTANCE

2 Km

DURATION

2-3 hours on foot

DIFFICULTY

Low

COUNCILS

Outes

PATH

A Toxeira - A Corga - San Tirso de Cando - Meán island - Tambre river bend and return

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Key points on the route:

  1. This route is a journey through the reedbeds of the lower Tambre. Start at A Toxeira (near A Ponte Nafonso) (1), where eurasian tree sparrow and cirl bunting can be seen.
  2. Continue southeastward through San Tirso de Cando taking any of the paths leading to the river through a farm area with riverside tree groves (2). In this section look out for iberian chiffchaff and eurasian bullfinch while approaching the island of Meán, where water rail and common reed bunting can be seen.
  3. On the walk upriver on the edge of the reeds (3) sightings can be had of eurasian reed warblers and bluethroat and sedge warbler in migration.
  4. At the bend of the Tambre (3) (where the river turns from the south towards the north) there are common kingfisher and black kite in the surroundings.
  5. An optional extension of the route towards the Tambre power plant could afford the opportunity to also see the white-throated dipper.
The birds

This is a place of ornithological importance due to the reeds inside the estuary, where several dozen pairs of the threatened western Iberian reed bunting nest, and also to the beaches of O Testal (Noia) and Area Longa, thanks to the regular breeding of the rare kentish plover. The wintering of the great northern loon, black-throated loon, sanderling and sandwich tern is substantial on the south bank of the river, while waders, herons and eurasian spoonbills are predominant in Noia. At the mouth of the estuary Balearic and cory's shearwaters are common. In the Tambre river downstream from the Barrié de la Maza dam, the white-throated dipper and common kingfisher breed, while the oak groves of Outes host eurasian nuthatches.

Tips and resources
  • Use waterproof boots to walk along the banks of the A Serra de Outes and lower Tambre reedbeds.

  • Use a telescope to watch seabirds from San Francisco beach and the Baroña castro.

  • Visit the ports (Porto do Son, Portosín, O Freixo, Muros) early in the morning in winter to watch gulls.

  • Respect the archaeological site at the Baroña castro. It is forbidden to climb over the walls.

Arriba