Birdwatching route Embalse del Ebro

Birdwatching route Embalse del Ebro

The Ebro reservoir is one of the most important wetlands for waterfowl in Castilla y León.

With 6,250 hectares and up to 20 km. in length, it is located at 900 -1,100 meters of altitude. It is a reservoir with open banks and little depth.

It is located halfway between the Burgos region of Las Merindades and the Cantabrian region of Campoo.

In its perimeter there is a light band of aquatic vegetation and some woods of riparian woody vegetation, highlighting the willow trees, and sandy and herbaceous shores.

Since 1987, it is the National Waterfowl Refuge. Different species, many of them unique, have found here the ideal place to spend their summer and recover from their long migrations.

This route includes almost all the Burgos area of ​​the reservoir and its surroundings, between pastures, peat bogs, scrub areas and some well-developed forests (oaks, beech and pine trees).

Those who come to this place will enjoy walks through the environment, dips in the water and the sunsets for the most romantic.

Beyond the waters there are beech, pine, or ash and maples.


Main habitat


The reservoir is characterized by its wide sheet of open water, with shallow bays that allow the existence of a rich underwater vegetation with large areas of seasonal flooding.

Secondary habitats


Well developed forests (oak groves, beech forests and pine forests).


Pastures and peat bogs.



Recommended time


Nesting of various anatidae, coots and grebes. Time of passage of waders. The breeding presence of Little Bittern (2 pairs), White Stork, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Kingfisher and Red-billed Chough stands out.

Other breeding species are the European Nightjar, the Tawny Pipit and the Common Starling, the latter with very few nesting populations at the regional level. There are several colonies of Sand Martin


They follow the nesting of some species, we can see concentrations of white storks among the grasslands, some species initiate the migration.


Step of Spoonbills and other waders and anatidaes that take advantage of the area to regain strength and continue the long migratory journey.


Various species of anatidae and some waders winter in the reservoir.



Distance: 19 km.

Recommended way of travel: car or bicycle and on foot between Arija and Alfoz de Santa Gadea, Arija and Herbosa, and Turbera de San Roque.

1. Náutico de Arija (nautical club of Arija)

Spectacular general views of the Ebro Reservoir, the large sheet of water and some birds resting on the surface create the sensation of facing an inner sea.

2. Puente de Arija (Arija bridge)

We are located on the river Nava, a shallow water aquatic peninsula. Leaving the bridge that takes us to Arija, we will be able to admire the aquatic environment between beautiful pastures with borders of scrub and small islands.

3. Puente Rutón (Rutón bridge)

In front of the crossing, on the right, we take the forest track that brings us to the bridge. Excellent place for bird watching. Its waters are ideal for the anatidae and the muds of its shores for the waders.

4. Ermita de Santa Águeda (Santa Águeda hermitage)

From the bridge to Santa Gadea de Alfoz, following the forest track, we will be surrounded by mowing meadows between scrubland borders with island forests and their associated birds.

5. Turbera de San Roque (San Roque peat bog)

Peat bog filled with vegetation that the birds take advantage of to nest. The grasslands that surround it and the nearby presence of the Otero hill complete the possibilities of the place.

6. Turbera de Arnedo (Arnedo peat bog)

In the town of Arnedo we have a peat bog full of vegetation that many birds use as shelter. In these peat bogs the trills will betray the presence of the birds.

7. Turbera Margarita (Margarita peat bog)

Former exploitation of peat extraction, recovered through an intervention project. A small sheet of water has been created in a large expanse of heaths and meadows, and tree species have been planted that give new opportunities for life in the area.

8. Ermita Rio Cavado (Rio Cavado hermitage)

Halfway to the forest track that connects Herbosa and Arija, we find the hermitage of Ro Cavado.

Surrounded by meadows, peat bogs, scrubland, cereal crops and island forests that take advantage of some birds to raise and feed.



Little Grebe – Zampullín chico (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Black-necked Grebe – Zampullín cuellinegro (Podiceps nigricollis)

Great Crested Grebe – Somormujo lavanco ( Podiceps cristatus)

Mallard – Ánade real o azulón (Anas platyhynchos)

Gadwall – Ánade friso (Anas strepera)

Hen Harrier – Aguilucho pálido (Circus cyaneus)

Northern Goshawk – Azor común (Accipiter gentilis)

Water Rall – Rascón europeo (Rallus aquaticus)

Common Moorhen – Gallineta común o Polla de agua (Gallinula chloropus)

Euroasian Coot – Focha común (Fulica atra)

Yelow-legged Gull – Gaviota patiamarilla (Larus cachinnans pallas)

Long-eared Owl – Búho chico (Asio otus)

Common Kingfisher – Martín pescador (Alcedo atthis)

European Green Woodpecker – Pito real (Picus viridis)



Euroasian Spoonbill – Espátula (Platalea leucorodia)

Greylag Goose – Ansar común (Anser anser)

Garganey – Cerceta Carretona (Anas querquedula)

Marsh Harrier – Aguilucho lagunero (Circus aeruginosus)

Osprey – Aguila pescadora (Pandion haliaetus)

Dunlin – Correlimos comun (Calidris alpina)

Bluethroat – Ruiseñor Pechiazul (luscinia svecica)


Little Bittern – Avetorillo común (Ixabrychus minutus)

White Stork – Cigüeña blanca (Ciconia ciconia)

Short-toed Eagle – Culebrera europea (Circaetus gallicus)

Montagu´s Harrier – Aguilucho cenizo (Circus pygargus)

Black Kite – Milano Negro (Mivus migrans)

Honey Buzzard – Halcón Abejero (Pernis apivorus)

Little Ringed Plover – Chorlitejo chico (Charadrius dubius)

Common Sandpiper – Andarrios chico (Tringa hypoleucos)

Sand Martin – Avión zapator (Riparia riparia)

Tawny Pipit – Bisbita campestre (Anthus campestris)

Tree Pipit – Bisbita arbóreo (Anthus trivalis)

Yellow Wagtail – Lavandera boyera (Motacilla flava)

Whinchat – Tarabilla norteña (Saxicola rubetra)

Northem Wheatear – Collalba gris (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Great Reed Warbler – Carricero tordal (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)

Red-backed Shrike – Alcaudón dorsirrojo (Lanius collurio)

Woodchat Shrike – Alcaudón común (Lanius senator)


Great Cormorant – Cormorán grande (Phalocrorax carbo)

Northern Pintall – Ánade rabudo (Anas acuta)

Eurasian Wigeon – Ánade silbón (Anas penelope)

Red-cresled Pochard – Pato colorado (Netta Rufina)

Common Pochard – Porrón común (Aythya ferina)

Tufted Duck – Porrón moñudo (Aythya furgua)

Northem Lapwing – Avefría europea (Vanellus vanellus)

Common Snipe – Agachadiza común (Gallinago gallinago)

Black-headed Gull – Gaviota reidora (Larus ridibundus)