Birding in Álava - Tourism in Vitoria-Gasteiz
The province of Álava has six observation areas with first-rate tourist services characterised by their facilities for use by the public - bird observatories, interpretation centres, sign posted routes...
Recommendations for observation.
Valderejo - Natura 2000 network - Natural Park
Valderejo Natural Park Information Centre, Lalastra ( Araba/ Álava)
The Purón River runs through Valderejo Natural Park, carving through a stunning deep gorge. This area is home to one of the most complete lists of rock-breeding bird in the Basque Country. Here will have the chance to see the griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, alpine swift and both the yellow-bellied and red-billed chough.
- San Lorenzo route (7 kilometres).
- Purón Gorge (5,9 kilometres).
Salburua -Ramsar Wetland - Natura 2000 Network - Periurban Park
Salburua is a wetland made up of several lakes surrounded by wet grassland, poplar woods and a small oak grove. Easy access is a major draw. A series of trails and observatories make it easy for visitors to view the native birdlife. It is not usual to see a variety of aquatic bird, waterfowl, shorebird and long-legged waders living alongside a community of deer kept in semi-captivity to help maintain the vegetation around the lakes.
- Arkaute Pond (5,4 kilometres).
- Betoño Pond (3,1 kilometres).
Ullibarri-Ganboa Reservoir - Ramsar Wetland - Red Natura 2000 - Biding Park
The Ullibarri-Gamboa reservoir lies just a few kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz. Numerous points of access make birdwatching easy along the shoreline and, a 45 km-long green route circles the reservoir. The shoreline in the southern part of the reservoir is more abrupt. Here, abundant vegetation grows around a series of shallows-water inlets, and serves as the breeding site for several pairs of coots, great crested grebes, little grebes and mallards. Also sighted here, although less common to this area, are the purple heron, the gadwell and the northern shovelled. During migration and in winter this wetland provides shelter and food for large groups of waterfowls and waders.
- Mendixur Ornithological Park (3,5 kilometres). Mendixur (Álava).
- Ullibarri-Gamboa reservoir walk (44 kilometres). Starting point: Garaio country Park (Álava). Tel. 695 782 498.
Izki - Red natura 2000 - Natural Park
Izki is a densely forested area with one of the largest extensions of Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica) in Europe.
The most highly-prized bird in the Izki park is the middle spotted woodpecker. This rare species poses a challenge to birders and to the park's natural resources team, whose job it is to safeguard the woodpecker's nesting areas. And if you haven't been lucky enough to spot a woodpecker, the rock-breeding species that live in the forest here, such as the griffon vulture and the golden eagle, are much easier to come across.
- Ravines of Izki (5,5 kilometres) and Route of the Pyrenean Oak (14,1 kilometres). Starting point: Izki Natural Park Information Centre, Korres (Álava). Tel. 945 41 05 02.
- The Ponds of Izki (6,1 kilometres). Starting point: Urturi (Álava).
Southern Sierras of Álava - Red Natura 2000 -
The Toloño, Cantabria, Codes and Lokiz mountains ranges extend from east to west in southern Álava, forming a barrier that separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins.
The shady side is covered with dense beech and gall oak woods, marking the most southerly distribution in the Basque Country of species such as the European honey-buzzard and the marsh tit. Here the most outstanding species are raptors, the griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Eurasian eagle-owl and golden eagle, as well as other rock-breeding species including the alpine swift and the rufous-tailed rock thrust. The red-billed chough is also common in this park
- Ravines of Kontrasta (8,8 kilometres). Starting point: Kontrasta (Álava).
- Ioar trail (13,4 kilometres). Starting point: Santa Cruz de Campezo (Álava).
- Toro Pass (11,1 kilometres). Starting point: Lagrán (Álava).
- Lobera Path (5 kilometres). Starting point: Salinillas de Buradón (Álava).
Wetlands of Laguardia - Ramsar Wetland - Red Natura 2000 - Protected Biotope
The wetlands of Laguardia are the nesting place for mallards, coots, little grebes, great crested grebes, water rails and western marsh harriers. A colony of night herons, grey herons and pusple herons also make their home in the reeds surrounding these lakes.
The lakes are surrounded by characteristic Rioja Alavesa landscape-vineyards, almond orchard and patches of Mediterranean scrubland, in witch birds with a Mediterranean distribution make their nests. Examples include the black-eared wheatear, the European bee-eater.
- Wetlands of Laguardia (8,7 kilometres).
- Prao de la Paul loop (3,7 kilometres).
If the information on the page does not match your information requirements, please apply via the Citizens' mailbox.