Tomorrow I’m going to Guadarrama to birdwatching. It’s the first time and I really fancy to disconnect from screens and connect with nature, to walk for the sake of walking and just listen to the sounds of the mountains.
The truth is that in the Community of Madrid we find examples of very different natural areas and we can contemplate different landscapes without having to make long trips.
—Yes, it’s ideal for outdoor activities, almost 40% of its surface is protected—says Paloma with the security that gives her to be always well informed.
—And more than 200 species of birds live here in Madrid —she adds thoughtfully
—Like us, who also live here… we just lack the wings! —says Almudena, adding a bittersweet touch.
—But we do have the desire to fly —admits Palo soñadora.
—You know that some important birds like the Imperial Eagle and the Black Vulture live in the Madrid region —says Almu who can’t avoid smiling at the image of her friend wearing wings.
The favorable ecosystems for birdwatching in Madrid are:
1. The Mediterranean Forest in the Sierra Oeste, Monte del Pardo and Soto de Viñuelas
—Where one of the best populations of the imperial eagle in the world lives
—Which, by the way, happens to be one of the most endangered species on the planet
—In addition, other species can be observed such as the black stork, the booted eagle, the eagle owl
—And etc., etc.
2. The Mountain in the Sierra de Guadarrama, the Sierra Norte or the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares.
—Bear in mind that to get here you have to be in very good shape because some peaks are over 2000 meters.
—The star of the birds is the blue-breasted nightingale. I’ve been told that it’s quite a show during spring time when males are singing
—Also, you can observe in these areas, among many other birds, the oriole, the black vulture, the griffon vulture and the golden eagle…
3. Steppes in the countryside of the rivers Jarama and Henares, the Middle Course of the river Guadarrama or the Alcarria in Madrid.
—Be aware, we have the best steppe bird populations in Western Europe
—Like the bustards and their nuptial parade which is one of the great ornithological shows
—In the open areas, we can see the Montagu’s Harrier, the Lesser Kestrel…
—And in areas covered by low shrubs or small rocks are a good place to look for the yellowtail or the curious black wheatear.
4. Wetlands and riverbeds in the Sea of Ontígola near Aranjuez, the San Juan lagoon near Chinchón, and the gravel pits along the Jarama, Manzanares and Henares rivers.
—Among the vegetation of lagoons and gravel pits, we may see the calamon.
—In the thickets that surround the rivers and lagoons, it’s common to see the moscone bird, among an endless number of small birds.
—The lagoons are frequented by the little bittern, the marsh harrier and many others
—And also, ducks like the European spoon duck, the red duck and the brown duck.
5. Urban parks such as those of the Casa de Campo, the Dehesa de la Villa, the Retiro or the green areas of the municipalities of the Community of Madrid, highlighting the historical parks of Aranjuez and El Escorial.
—We’ll see wild birds such as the European short-toed treecreeper, daytime birds of prey such as the goshawk and the sparrowhawk and, also, nocturnal birds of prey such as the owl and the scops owl.
—And in those parks that have lagoons in its interior, we can observe diverse anatidae like the great cormorant and other aquatic birds.
Finally, some practical information to find all these locations easily if you’d like to initiate in the world of birdwatching:
At SEO-Birdlife you’ll find several ornithological routes near Madrid and much more information. It’s the Spanish Ornithological Society, founded in 1954, whose mission is to conserve biodiversity with the participation and involvement of society.
So you no longer have an excuse, take advantage of this time of social isolation to get to know the green areas of our region.
—You only need a pair of binoculars and a cell phone to take pictures and not to get lost —Simplifies Palo
—Or you can elevate yourself to the next level with a camera and a super lens —Almu starts to complicate the issue
—And the desire to learn! Because I’m realizing that I don’t know anything…
—Once again —Almu cracks up listening to Palo, or maybe to herself?
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