Bird´s route: Costa da Égoa mills

Nestling in the stunning Barcia valley, this route follows a path that takes you past the Costa da Égoa Eco-Museum, featuring fourteen mills and a small hydroelectric power station, declared a Natural Space of Local Interest (ENIL in its Spanish initials) by the regional autonomous government (Xunta de Galicia), the result of an initiative launched by Carral local authority. On the banks of the fast-flowing River Abelleira, you will be able to watch the birds that form part of the region’s river ecosystems, who accompanied the sounds of the water wheels of these devices for several generations.

Ornithological interest

The species you will be able to hear and see during your stroll along the riverside stroll and past the River Abelleira water mills include the White-throated Dipper, the Grey Wagtail, paridae such as Long-tailed, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, as well as other species such as the Winter Wren, the Common Chiffchaff (in winter) and the Iberian Chiffchaff (in spring and summer), the Eurasian Bullfinch and the Song Thrush. Look above the treetops for a glimpse of the Common Buzzard, or, in spring and summer, the Black Kite and the European Honey Buzzard. At this time of year, albeit after dark, you can often hear the Grey Nightjar.

Phenology

This area can be visited at any time of year. In summer, the water level of the river will naturally be lower.

What to see

The best option is to take the path that starts at the Costa da Égoa Rural Tourism House, at follow it at a leisurely pace. You can extend your walk by leaving the riverside and making your way to the small village of Montemeán, where a panel provides details of the valley’s geological configuration.

Getting there, accessibility and recommendations

After driving to Herves, the route begins next to the Costa da Égoa Rural Tourism House. The first of the water mills are just 200 m away.

Resources

The Mariñas Coruñesas e Terras do Mandeo Biosphere Reserve’s Wikiloc channel includes details of this walking route and its extended versions: https://gl.wikiloc.com/rutas-sendeirismo/pr-g-101-roteiro-marinan-costa-da-egoa-9905731.

Nearby sites of ornithological interest

If you continue along the path, you will come to other types of habitat, particularly open fields, farmland and eucalyptus woods. This is a great opportunity to add new species to your list.

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:

Castro de As Travesas Iron Age fortified settlement.

Monument to the Carral martyrs.

The English Way to Santiago de Compostela.

Barcés riverside route.

Cañás wastewater treatment plant.

Useful telephone numbers and addresses:

For details of bus times, call A Coruña bus station on 981 184 335
Emergency services: 112
Carral Town Hall: 981 670 002