Bird´s route: Area surrounding Ponte Aranga

From Ponte Aranga, historically a major crossroads nestling on the bank of the River Mandeo, a number of routes take us upriver, providing a perfect combination of hiking and birdwatching. They are generally easy to follow, although the level of difficulty increase slightly in some sections, they run through well-conserved riverside woods that form part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 Network, as they belong to the Betanzos-Mandeo Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Ornithological interest

Exploring this stretch of the River Mandeo, one of the most important watercourses in the Biosphere Reserve, is a magnificent opportunity to observe a large number of bird species. They include Great and Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Treecreepers, European Robins, Eurasian Blackcaps, Firecrests, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, European Green Woodpeckers, Common Chaffinches, Common Chiffchaffs (in winter) and Iberian Chiffchaffs (in summer), and Cirl Buntings. Among the branches and flying across the valley, Common Buzzards, Goshawks, Sparrowhawks, Common Wood Pigeons and Eurasian Jays… and in summer, European Honey Buzzards. Look along the riverbank for the odd Grey Wagtail, especially in springtime. After dark, the Hawk-owl comes out, and in spring and summer, the Grey Nightjar.

Phenology

This route is suitable at any time of year.

What to see

Starting from the Ponte Aranga recreation area, head off downriver along the path with your binoculars. It won’t be long before you spot the first species. We recommend taking the left bank of the River Mandeo for a few kilometres as far as a suspension bridge. As you walk, remember to look out for other species in the nearby farmland.

Getting there, accessibility and recommendations

There are several well signposted routes from Ponte Aranga.

Resources

Details of this route are available on the Wikiloc page of the Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo Biosphere Reserve:
https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-senderismo/sm-05-ruta-veiga-do-mandeo-9297993
On reaching the suspension bridge, you can opt to complete the full route (9.15 km) or make your way back along the same path.

Nearby sites of ornithological interest

The other routes starting from this point are also of interest to birdwatchers. Details are available on the Aranga Town Hall website: http://www.aranga.es/guia-local?showall=&start=7

Birds of the Mariñas

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Andarríos chico
Scolopacidae
It is a small bird with fairly short legs and dark yellow feet.
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Common coalman
Paridae
It has yellow breast in contrast to the bluish tail and wings.
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Back common stone
Scolopacidae
It has a compact body, with its short legs, neck and beak. The legs have an intense orange coloration.
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Common correlimos
Scolopacidae
It is a medium-sized bird with a dark bill and legs.
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Martin common fisherman
Alcedinidae
Bright bluish green above, orange brown underneath.
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Curruca capirotada
Sylviidae
Curruca de tamaño medio, de aspecto robusto y de una tonalidad grisácea en general.
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European Robin
Turdidae
The plumage of the chest and face are orange.
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European aquatic mirlo
Cinclidae
Aquatic blackbirds are medium-sized plump birds, short tails and rather small wings.
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Common Zampullin
Podicipedidae
In the breeding season it has a bridal plumage in which the throat and neck stand out red, with a yellow spot on the membranous part of the base of the bill.
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Real Zarapito
Scolopacidae
The head of the Royal Zarapito is quite uniform in color.

Other places to visit:

12th century Romanesque Church of Muniferral

Barbudas Wood and the River Cambás Valley.

Useful telephone numbers and addresses:

Emergency services: 112
Aranga Town Hall: 981 793 541