A step away from the cities of A Coruña and Ferrol in the surroundings of a well-known summer destination, where we can enjoy bird watching outside the beach and sun season. Indeed, the Ría de Ares e Betanzos provide watchers the opportunity to enjoy western osprey hunting, hundreds of common scoters wintering and countless corners inhabited by dozens of bird species. Join us!

A paradise for water birds

"Double" estuary formed by the Eume, Mandeo and Lambre rivers with generally soft reliefs and several medium-sized towns on its banks: Ares, Pontedeume, Miño, Betanzos and Sada.

In certain areas marshes and intertidal zones of great interest for bird watchers still remain, particularly between September and February: Ares beach and reedbed, O Areal in Pontedeume, the Baxoi marsh and A Ponte do Porco in Miño, the extensive reedbeds of the Mandeo estuary near Betanzos and Sada beach and "brañas" are important points not to be missed.

The routes

Route by car: Betanzos - Mariñán country house (bird observatory) - Betanzos

BEST TIME

Between January and April

DISTANCE

16 Km

DURATION

2 hours

DIFFICULTY

None

COUNCILS

Bergondo, Betanzos, Paderne

PATH

Betanzos - Mariñán country house (bird observatory) - Betanzos

Key points on the route:

  1. The route begins by watching common house martins in the centre of Betanzos (1).
  2. From there travel northwards on the right bank of the river until you reach the village of Souto (2) and its fields near the estuary to find water rail, eurasian bullfinch and common reed buntings.
  3. Across the fields to the west the route comes to the magnificent Souto bird observatory (3), perhaps the best place in the estuary to locate the western osprey and the western marsh harrier and, at the right time, the eurasian spoonbill and spotted redshank.
  4. Further north, after crossing O Porto de Abaixo, turn left on the road towards the O Pedrido bridge (4). At this point black kites and crag martins can be seen.
  5. On reaching the western shore of the estuary, take a detour to the left to reach the Mariñán country house (5) and its observatory, where there are fine views over the Ría de Betanzos and western osprey, western marsh harrier and water rail can be seen.
  6. Further south, in Miodelo (7), eurasian spoonbills, grey plovers and common greenshanks can be seen in the intertidal zone. The route ends back in Betanzos (8).

Route on foot or by bike: Centroña - Nogueirosa

DURATION

2-3 hours on foot and 1-2 hours by bicycle

DIFFICULTY

Low

COUNCILS

Pontedeume

PATH

Centroña - Pontedeume - Nogueirosa and return

Key points on the route:

  1. This route runs along the southern shore of the Eume river estuary, starting from the coast of Centroña (1), where red-throated loons and mediterranean gulls can be seen.
  2. The route then reaches the town of Pontedeume (2), where the common house martin and, in the intertidal zone, the little egret, european herring gull and great black-backed gull can be seen.
  3. Continue to Nogueirosa (3), where several species of passerines can be seen on the banks of the Eume river, as well as the black kite, peregrine falcon and common kingfisher.
The birds

We propose bird watching along the banks and open waters of the Ría de Ares and Betanzos, including the Betanzos and Miño marshes, the outer half of the Eume river estuary reedbeds, Ares beach and reedbed, the Lambre estuary, the final stretch of the Mandeo, Sada 'brañas' and coastline of this town council. This is an important wintering area for herons, waders and Anatidae; notable among the latter is the main Galician wintering population of common. However, the most popular 'star' of this space is the western osprey, which can be seen with a little luck from the Souto bird observatory (Paderne) or the observatory at the Mariñán country house (Bergondo) in addition to the western marsh harrier, water rail and western yellow wagtail. Spoonbills increase in autumn, and even the newly protected Bañobre marsh (in Miño) hosts a growing number of waders such as common greenshank or raptors such as the black kite. Off the Grande de Miño beach black-necked grebes and northern gannets are common. red-rumped swallows are easily seen in A Ponte do Porco, and Anatidae number into the hundreds in the intertidal zone off the village of Sada in winter.

Tips and resources
  • Bring suitable footwear (rubber boots or waterproof shoes) in autumn and winter.

  • Use of a telescope is recommended for watching water birds.

  • Only travel on trails and do not trespass on farm land.

Arriba