Known as a World Heritage Site, it also has extensive parklands. Flanked by two small rivers and dotted with parks and gardens, Santiago de Compostela has numerous possibilities for birdwatching in a comfortable urban environment.

The city's winged heritage

The city occupies a large ridge running from the northeast to the southwest and bordered on both sides by two small rivers, the Sar and the Sarela, which retain a fine riparian forest in many places. In addition, inside it has numerous parks and gardens of great interest, since many of them date back many decades with large trees that can thus accommodate many different bird species.

Unlike other cities located next to an estuary, Santiago de Compostela has no large nearby wetland though some water birds can be seen in the small lake of one of its parks, the Música en Compostela, next to the Auditorio de Galicia. Birds are a hidden heritage for the city. 

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

Route on foot: Galeras park - La Música en Compostela park

BEST TIME

Year-round, especially winter

DISTANCE

1,5 km

DURATION

1 hour

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Santiago de Compostela

PATH

Galeras park - La Música en Compostela park

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

Key points on the route:

  1. At the start, in Galeras park pay attention to the river banks (1) to see white wagtails and even a grey heron
  2. In the Música en Compostela park next to the Auditorio de Galicia (2) the most interesting place is the small artificial lake. It is essential to forget about the domestic birds and pay attention to the wild birds: grey heron, great cormorant, common kingfisher, yellow-legged gull, the occasional lesser black-backed gull and the jackdaws in the surroundings.
  3. In winter, roosting birds (3) are impressive: common starlings, jackdaws and eurasian magpies crowd together in the trees.
  4. Remata o itinerario no pequeno parque de José "Zeca" Afonso (4), moi próximo, onde é doado observar pequenas aves forestais nas súas árbores vedrañas. The route ends at the small José Zeca Afonso park, where its ancient trees make it easy to see small forest birds up close.

 

Route on foot or by bike: Eugenio Granell park (O Paxonal) - Brañas do Sar

BEST TIME

Year-round, especially spring

DISTANCE

3.2 km, one way

DURATION

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

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Santiago de Compostela

PATH

Eugenio Granell park (O Paxonal) - Brañas do Sar

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

Key points on the route:

  1. The route begins at Eugenio Granell park (1), where species such as firecrest and short-toed treecreeper can be seen in the oak grove.
  2. In the Sar river (2) pay attention to the mallarrs.
  3. At the Sar brañas there are many small birds such as linnets, siskins, white wagtails and the occasional western yellow wagtail. In wet meadows (3) pay attention to see zitting cisticola and common snipe in winter.

 

Route on foot: Sarela river

BEST TIME

Year-round, especially winter

DISTANCE

2.7 km, one way

DURATION

1 hour on foot (one way)

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Santiago de Compostela

PATH

Sarela river

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

Key points on the route:

  1. In the Sarela river rapids (1) look for grey wagtails and, if there is enough water flowing, the white-throated dipper.
  2. In areas of dense riparian forest (2), the great tit and short-toed treecreeper are common.
  3. In the surroundings of small villages along the way spotless starlings can be seen.
  4. At the end of the route, in the O Carme neighbourhood (3), common swifts can be seen in abundance in spring.
The birds

In the parks and river environments a number of birds typical to the forest such as the great tit, coal tit, eurasian blue tit and short-toed treecreeper can be seen. In its rivers grey heron, great cormorant and kingfisher can be seen. Meadows and thickets host, for example, the zitting cisticola and dartford warbler, respectively. Their winter roosts are spectacular: common starlings and spotless starlings group together to spend the night with western jackdaws. In the skies, the peregrine falcon stalks overhead.

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.

  • From a bird's view, the cathedral is a large rocky outcrop. Western jackdaws and Eurasian crag martins can be seen there.

Arriba