The first migratory species from Africa are now coming here to breed. It's time to go out to the fields to find them.

With the first sunny days of March the majority of birds begin their courtship

With the first sunny days of March the majority of birds begin their courtship. Singing is the best weapon that birds use to this end. They sing everywhere. As such, it is the ideal time to listen to them, enjoy them and learn, since (as the indigenous trees have not yet sprouted leaves) it is very easy to see and, at the same time, listen to many species in virtually any forest or countryside.

To do so, there is nothing better than going to the forests of Os Ancares e Montes de Cervantes, the O Courel forests or Fragas do Eume, for instance. In a small space and within minutes watchers can easily see several species such as the great tit, eurasian blue tit, long-tailed tit, treecreepers, robins and chaffinches. It is also a good month to locate the ever spectacular bullfinch in the cooler areas of forests and meadows. 

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis)

In areas open to the sea and dunes, as well as in mountain areas, listen for the song of the larks flying overhead. The Costa da Morte or Corrubedo Natural Park and the Serra do Suído, Calvos de Randín and Baltar or Serra do Candán and Brañas de Xestoso are some examples of places to be visited to watch this show.

From late February but in March most of all, the first migratory birds that spent the winter in Africa make their arrival to Galicia

As the month progresses, the swallow is more and more abundant in the countryside areas. In large river valleys and canyons such as the Canóns do Sil or the Ribeira Sacra Norte, as well as A Limia and A Terra Chá black kites can be seen scanning the ground in search of food. In the coastal wetlands and meadows western yellow wagtail can easily be found. And, into the latter part of the month, the first montagu's harriers can again be seen in fields and scrub areas. A Limia, Calvos de Randín e Baltar, Terra das Frieiras and A Terra Chá are recommended places to see them. The first cuckoos also sing in the countryside areas.

Migrating birds

The migrating birds could not be absent either, although they are only present for a few days in their passage through our community. An example is the northern wheatear, which can be seen both in mountain and coastal areas.

Also in March and April, with a little luck, bird watchers can see the garganey, an Anatidae, in inland wetlands such as A Terra Chá or the Abegondo-Cecebre reservoir. At any point along the coast or even inland large groups of lesser black-backed gull can be seen heading north. In large coastal wetlands -and depending on the wind, it being more favourable if it blows from the north or northwest- large concentrations of waders travelling to the far north can gather. A Guarda, O Grove, the Lagoa de Valdoviño in Ferrolterra and the Ría de Ortigueira are some of the best places to see them.

Not to be missed