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Bioria Nature Reserve near Estarreja

Coast central Portugal  >  Portugal

Bioria is the best place in Europe to see Purple Heron. The reserve is located at the fringes of the Aveiro lagoon in the central coast of Portugal.

Added by John Morecroft

Description

Bioria Nature Reserve is located at the fringes of the Aveiro lagoon in the central coastline of Portugal. Very well hidden behind the town of Estarreja. An endlessly connected series of wetlands with large reed fields and small-scale wet farmers' fields. Hundreds of White Stork and thousands of water birds live here. And more than 200 pairs of Purple Heron. It is the largest colony of Purple Heron in Portugal. Nowhere else in Europe you can see and photograph these birds from this close and this easy. Even outside the birdwatching hides. Cycling and hiking trails have been laid out and there is a visitor center. Yet the area is still hardly known because it has only been a protected area for a few years. More than 180 different bird species have been seen already. The Purple Heron are really everywhere you look in the small rice fields and other wet fields. They seem less shy than in Western Europe. Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Spoonbill and countless other waders can also be found here during migration. And Red-rumped Swallow, European Bee-eater, Hoopoe and Black-winged Kite make it a typical southern European bird mecca.

Details

Access

Best way to see the Purple Heron, is to walk or cycle the "Salreu" path.  This is the route you see in the Birdingplace-map. Path Salreu is circular, and starts and ends near the Environmental Interpretation Center of BioRia. It has a length of about 8 kilometers and can be accomplished on foot or by bicycle. It is a route that crosses paddy fields, marshes, reed beds and rushes. By foot the duration of the tour is about two and a half hours.

Terrain and Habitat

Wetland, Sea, Reedbeds, Agriculture, Mud flats

Conditions

Flat, Swampy, Open landscape, No shadow

Circular trail

Yes

Is a telescope useful?

Can be useful

Good birding season

All year round

Best time to visit

Spring

Route

Unpaved road, Wide path

Difficulty walking trail

Average walk

Accessible by

Foot, Bicycle, Wheelchair

Birdwatching hide / platform

Yes

Extra info

There are also three other birdwalks you can do in the area. For more information see the Bioria-website: www.bioria.com

A telescope can be very useful, because you also pass the lagoon where the birds are very far away. But the Salreu is a rather long walk, so maybe you should think twice :-)

Birdingplaces Near

Path Rio Jardim ( 2 km), Path Bocage (3,6 km) and Path Rio Antuã (5,7 km). For more information see the Bioria-website: www.bioria.com

View birdingplaces in the area that are published on Birdingplaces.eu

Map

Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here

Comments

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