• Pets allowed
  • Suitable for children
  • Activity

Dozens of birds populate our aquatic and terrestrial territories

In the air, swimming, fishing, beside you while you rest on the long path, on the tree that gives you shade, in the bushes in front of you. In the most unbelievable places, there they are to be observed.

The special formation of the natural area of Manzanares El Real, its variety of meadows, wetlands, mountains, cliffs, and its varied vegetation and fauna offer all kinds of birds a magnificent place to live and proliferate.

Our birds, those that accompany us throughout the year, those that come and go, all of them are unique protected species. In few places can you see colonies of black storks like the ones here, kingfishers, eagle owls, black vultures, serins, shrikes, booted eagles or grey herons, all living together.

From north to south, from east to west of our natural and urban areas, birds coexist in Manzanares El Real and there are many places to observe and enjoy them, always with respect and admiration, with care and reverence for these fragile forms of life.

Three perfect landscapes and a key spot for observation

Manzanares El Real is so vast that it offers different areas where you can observe multitude of birds, each landscape with its specific characteristics, which provide the perfect habitat for their own species.

The Cañada Real Segoviana runs through Manzanares El Real, and not only borders the Santillana Reservoir but also connects us with nearby municipalities, such as El Boalo, Cerceda, Mataelpino, Soto del Real or Miraflores de la Sierra.

This glen, and the numerous cattle tracks that run from our village through the surrounding mountains, are exceptional places to observe medium-sized birds and birds of prey that hunt in open fields, such as booted eagles, red kites, black kites, short-toed eagles, magpies or carrion crows, as well as small birds that move among bushes, such as serins, robins, sparrows, great tits or shrikes.

The fact is that the cattle trails are not only the historical paths used to move livestock, but also journeys on foot that offer us another perspective of our avian biodiversity.

Foto acodeón 1 observa

Although originally an artificially constructed reservoir, over the decades it has become a special place that is home to a wonderful biodiversity of protected water birds. In fact, it is listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA).

Its conservation regulations are important, as its banks are both seasonal and stable nesting areas for birds. Here you can see families of mallards, grey herons, little egrets, great crested grebes, horned grebes, kingfishers, common coots, gadwalls, great cormorants, wagtails, black-headed gulls, lesser black-backed gull, black storks, white storks and Nile geese.

It is a privileged place that deserves all our respect and admiration, to ensure that our aquatic birds keep coming back year after year.

Foto acodeón 2 observa

These two immense parks can do nothing other than guarantee us a natural wealth, spaces so unique that hundreds of birds have declared them as their home. It is not in vain that the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park has been declared a Biosphere Reserve, the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park has important ‘Special Protection Areas for Birds’ (SPAs) and both parks have been declared Protected Natural Spaces.

In its foothills, or lower areas, we can find small and medium-sized birds such as wild partridges, great spotted woodpeckers, blackbirds, bluethroats, red-billed choughs, alpine accentor, dunnocks, carrion crows, crows, crested tits or coal tits. But it is when we climb to the summits that we find the large birds of prey soaring through the sky with their majestic wings: black vultures, griffon vultures, peregrine falcons, booted eagles, imperial eagles and eagle owls are some of the birds that we can admire with our lenses, binoculars or with the naked eye.

Foto acodeón 3 observa

Back in the 1960s, when he was not yet known and hadn’t started to collaborate with TVE, Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente built a small observatory in an old ash tree on the Santillana Reservoir, to study the birds of Manzanares El Real. From 6 o’clock in the morning until nightfall, Félix would remain hidden in the ash tree watching the birds of El Charcón at his feet.

Our neighbour Nino Peces knew him well, because this ash tree is located on his estate and he used to watch our most famous naturalist hide in the tree from 6 in the morning until nightfall, without leaving it. Thanks to Nino, who has been protecting it for decades in memory of Félix, we still have this important ash tree. It is also thanks to his encouragement that this Felix’s Tree Route was created.

On this route you can enjoy the aquatic birds of the Santillana Reservoir, many of them protected because they are in danger of extinction, as well as the enormous wealth of plants that make up the reservoir. The little ones will have fun doing the gymkhana we have prepared for them. Get your free template at the Tourist Office. So to start, first go to the Tourist Office, find the QR codes to answer the questions and come back at the end of the game to get the template stamped!

Félix route brochure
Félix route Gymkhana

Observa acordeón 4

In pictures

Imagen 1
Imagen 2
Imagen 3
Imagen 4
See more
1 / 15

Activities in Manzanares El Real

Treat yourself and give it to your five senses.