Bird´s route: River Mandeo in Chelo

The banks of the River Mandeo in Chelo, Coirós, are conveniently lined with paths that are ideal for observing the numerous river and forest birds that inhabit this area. To spot them, look carefully among the branches of Ashes, Oaks, Chestnuts, Alders, Hazels and Holly bushes, and many other autochthonous trees. Indeed, the woods cover most os the steep slopes that line the narrow river.

Ornithological interest

This is probably one of the finest sites in the area for spotting the White-throated Dipper. A great spot is from the bridge that crosses the river at the start of the route, next to the car park. The Grey Wagtail and Common Kingfisher are also a frequent sight, perched on the riverbanks or rocks jutting out from the water, especially in spring. As you make your way through the wood, listen out for the calls of the Common Chaffinch, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Blackcap, Eurasian Blue Tit, Treecreeper, European Robin, Firecrest, Eurasian Jay and Finch. Peering above the treetops, you may well catch a glimpse of a Common Buzzard or Sparrowhawk. And in summer, the European Honey Buzzard can also be seen. If you stay till dusk, you may also be lucky and spot a Hawk-owl.

Phenology

This is a perfect place to visit at any time of year. In winter the trees are bare, which makes spotting some bird species easier. However, in summer, the area is filled with the melodious calls of the majority of species.

What to see

  • Before setting off, discover the biodiversity this area boasts at the Chelo Nature Interpretation Centre, situated close to the car park and the starting point for our route.
  • • Walking upriver on the left bank of the river, which occasionally requires climbing over small rocks, will bring you to the Zarzo mini hydroelectric power plant, where you a suspension bridge will take you across the river.
  • Make your way back along the opposite bank, past the ruins of O Bocelo Spa, as far as the bridge, which, after crossing the river, will take you back to the car park. In all, a 6.3 km route of average difficulty.

Getting there, accessibility and recommendations

In Queirís, at km 570, there is a turn off from the N-VI road for Betanzos. Just past the crossroads, and almost hidden among the houses on the right-hand side, is a local road. Take this until you come to a fork in the road where you should keep to the right in order to drive down to Chelo, where you will find a small car park.

Resources

Nearby sites of ornithological interest

You can combine this route with the birding route of Betanzos’ historic quarter and our suggestions for exploring the ria in order to obtain a full idea of the landscapes forged by the River Mandeo before it flows into the sea. As well as spotting the birds that live there!

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:

Viewpoint and Romanesque Church of Santa Eulalia de Espenuca (12th century).

Pena Furada petroglyphs.

Useful telephone numbers and addresses:

Emergency services: 112
Coirós Town Hall: 981 796 414
Coirós Tourist Information: http://www.coiros.es/turismo-en-coiros.html