Birdwatching at Serra da Estrela Natural Reserve

Last weekend, on 20 and 21 February, took place the workshop on wintering birds at the Serra da Estrela Natural Park (Portugal). The training course was organized by CISE and CERVAS/ALDEIA associations. The event was presented by José Conde (CISE), Ricardo Brandão (CERVAS), and Antonio Luís (Aveiro University), at the Centro de Interpretação da Serra da Estrela (Seia), where all the participants gathered.

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The weekend in a spirit of birdwatching started at the agricultural areas and wetlands of the lower Rio Seia. After an interesting birding of fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) and other species, we headed to the agricultural areas of Vale do Mondego to continue the observation of birds. In that wonderful place we could find more species such as redwing (Turdus iliacus), great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) and others.


In the afternoon we came back to CISE and there the organizers gave lectures on wintering birds at Serra da Estrela region; interesting habitats to watch birds at Serra da Estrela during winter; adaptations birds to cold; and their migrations in autumn and winter.

The second day we went to CERVAS (Gouveia), where Antonio Luís explained the bird ringing techniques and then we got a pleasant surprise: the release of a beautiful red kite (Milvus milvus) into the wild! It was a really great emotion!

Ricardo Brandão with the red kite

Next stop was the marvelous Vale do Rossim where we could watch again the Great cormorants and some Passeriformes such as Eurasian siskin (Spinus spinus).

Finally we stopped off at the agricultural areas of lower Covilhã to observe other interesting species: northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), and a lot of white storks  (Ciconia ciconia).

All of us enjoyed this weekend! Thanks to this occurrence I discovered new and amazing portuguese landscapes, but mostly I realized the incredible birds biodiversity that winter at the Serra da Estrela region. It was a great experience for me, because I could admire these beautiful creatures in their natural environment…See you next event!


List of observed species

  • Phalacrocorax carbo
  • Egretta garzetta
  • Bubulcus ibis
  • Ardea cinerea
  • Ciconia ciconia
  • Accipiter nisus
  • Buteo buteo
  • Vanellus vanellus
  • Gallinago gallinago
  • Tringa ochropus
  • Athene noctua
  • Lullula arborea
  • Anthus pratensis
  • Cinclus cinclus
  • Saxicola torquata
  • Turdus pilaris
  • Turdus philomelus
  • Turdus iliacus
  • Turdus viscivorus
  • Phylloscopus collybita
  • Parus caeruleus
  • Lanius meridionalis
  • Pica pica
  • Fringilla coelebs
  • Serinus serinus
  • Spinus spinus  
  • Emberiza cia
  • Emberiza calandra
  • Erithacus rubecula