The privileged position of the city of Pontevedra opens a small area up to many habitats which together are home to an impressive list of easily seen birds. 

City of birds records

Pontevedra and the neighbouring municipality of Poio stand at the edge of the estuary where the Lérez and Gafos rivers (the second being smaller) flow, giving rise to interesting estuarine habitats where large mud and intertidal sand areas stand out with numerous waders and other water birds and seabirds.

Upstream, the estuary becomes a river. It may be a surprise to find a river at the gates of a city with wooded surroundings in a fine state of conservation, where forest birds can be watched without difficulty. Lastly, Xunqueira de Alba is a small wetland that has survived to this day to offer a taste of nature in a suburban environment, which has earned it the title as a "protected natural area of local interest".

The routes
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Route on foot: Lérez river

BEST TIME

Year-round, especially spring

DISTANCE

4 km, one way

DURATION

1.5 hours on foot and a half-hour by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Pontevedra

PATH

Lérez river

Maybe some resources are not geo-referenced and they are not being displayed.

Key points on the route:

  1. At the start of the route (1) there is a large wooded growth, which is perfect for viewing eurasian bullfinch and short-toed treecreeper.
  2. From the pedestrian bridge (2) across the river, western yellow wagtail can be seen, among other species.
  3. Throughout the section, remain vigilant for eurasian bullfinch, european crested tit and firecrest. In the winter they are also joined by goldcrest.

Route on foot or by bicycle: A Gándara river - Xunqueira de Alba

BEST TIME

Year-round, especially spring

DISTANCE

3.6 km, one way

DURATION

1.5 hours on foot (one way) and a half-hour by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Pontevedra

PATH

A Gándara river - Xunqueira de Alba

Maybe some resources are not geo-referenced and they are not being displayed.

Key points on the route:

  1. The trail begins at the point where the small A Gándara river flows into the estuary. Depending on the time of year and the tides, a large group of yellow-legged gulls, black-headed gulls and, frequently, little egrets can be seen there.
  2. In Xunqueira de Alba (2), where there are bird observatories, it is possible to see western yellow wagtail, mallard, grey heron and common waxbill and listen to water rail.
  3. At the end of the route, there is small pond (3) right next to the road in which little grebe and common moorhen can be seen. In winter common chiffchaffs are very common at this point.

Route on foot or by bike: Las Esculturas island - Ría

BEST TIME

Year-round, especially winter

DISTANCE

5.5 km

DURATION

2 hours on foot, 1 hour by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Pontevedra

PATH

Las Esculturas island - As Corbaceiras wharf - Ría

Maybe some resources are not geo-referenced and they are not being displayed.

Key points on the route:

  1. On the island of Esculturas (1), look out for mallards and gulls since, in addition to the ubiquitous yellow-legged gull, various species such as the lesser black-backed gull, black-headed gull and great black-backed gull can be seen. In the estuary (2) common kingfishers are common 
  2. Along the river (3) great cormorants and, again, different species of gull can be seen.
  3. The wharf in As Corbaceiras (4) is also a good place to watch grey herons.
  4. Up to the end of the route mallards, gulls, great cormorants, grey herons and little egret, among others, are common.

 

Route by car or by bicycle: Besada wharf - Campelo

BEST TIME

year-round, especially winter

DURATION

Half-hour by car, 1 hour by bicycle.

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Poio

PATH

Besada wharf - Lourido - Campelo

Maybe some resources are not geo-referenced and they are not being displayed.

Key points on the route:

  1. From the wharf in Besada (1) numerous gulls of various species can be seen, as well as grey herons, little egrets, great cormorants and waders such as the eurasian curlew and dunlin, depending on the time of year.
  2. In the inlet (2) and beach of Lourido (3) different species of gulls can also be seen.
  3. The route takes us to a small inlet where there is an islet called Illote dos Ratos (4). This is a good resting place for grey herons, little egrets, gulls of different species, including the rare iceland gull, and the occasional eurasian spoonbill.
The birds

Water birds and seabirds that can be seen in Pontevedra form a long list: from the ubiquitous yellow-legged gull (accompanied by its relatives the lesser black-backed gull and the black-headed gull) to the grey heron, the great cormorant, the mallard and the kingfisher. In forest areas great spotted woodpeckers can be heard while the grey wagtail looks over the river in search of food. At the same time, in the city centre, the peregrine falcon monitors the movements of roosting spotless starlings.

Tips and resources
  • You are in an urban area so pay attention to traffic.

  • Urban birds are an excellent educational resource that is easy to observe and available to everyone.

Arriba