The stopped-up water of the Xallas river forms a large reservoir in which waterbirds of different species have found a place to live, especially in winter, when it hosts birds from more northerly latitudes.

Waterbirds in the Xallas

Most of this space is occupied by the A Fervenza e Baíñas reservoir on the middle reaches of the Xallas river. Built in the 1970s, it is dedicated to water reserves and hydroelectric production.

Its depth, especially at the end, it is not great and, accordingly, it is a good place to watch species that feed on the bottom or dive to capture fish. A typical countryside, the area surrounding the reservoir is also home to a varied cast of birds.

The routes

Route by foot or by bicycle:A Fervenza e Baíñas reservoir circle


From December to March and from September to October


35 Km


3 hours by car, 5 hours by bicycle


Any difficult


Dumbría, Mazaricos, Vimianzo, Zas


A Fervenza e Baíñas reservoir circle

Key points on the route:

  1. In winter, the fields surrounding the reservoir (1) are a good place to watch the scarce brambling, as well as fieldfare and redwing.
  2. In the reservoir's open waters (2) great crested grebes are frequent all year, as are the common pochard and tufted duck in the winter.
  3. In spring and autumn other migrating species such as the lesser black-backed gull and black tern can be seen.
  4. In spring there are black kites and Eurasian hobbies.


The birds

Throughout the year the always elegant great crested grebe can be seen accompanied in winter by common pochard and tufted duck, great cormorant and grey heron. In spring it is easy to see black kite and Eurasian hobbies in the surroundings. The meadows surrounding the reservoir are home in winter to common chaffinch, redwing and fieldfare.

Tips and resources
  • The wetland birds are sensitive. Respect their well-being by watching from afar - use of a telescope is important.

  • The surrounding area is mainly agricultural and livestock-based, so travel only on the roads without going into the farms and pay attention to the cattle and agricultural machinery you cross along the way. 

  • In winter use of rubber or waterproof boots is necessary in short walks around the reservoir.