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Peneda Geres National Park - BirdForum Opus


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Portugal

Overview

Portugal's only national park covering a mountainous and upland area in the far north of the country northeast of the town of Braga.

Much of the habitat is forested hillsides and deep wooded valleys consisting of Oak and Maritime Pine with some Ash, Scots Pine and Birch. There are also granitic escarpments, lakes and reservoirs, rushing torrents and high peaks, reaching 1545m on Mt Nerosa.

At higher altitudes the habitat is mainly low scrub but the highest peaks are bare of vegetation.

Birds

Notable Species

Breeding birds of the area include Common Quail and Eurasian Hoopoe, European Nightjar, Eurasian Scops Owl and numerous passerines including many more northerly species at the southern limits of their range such as Whinchat and Common Bullfinch.

Typical mountain species like Rock Bunting, Red-billed Chough, Eurasian Crag Martin and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush are common in the higher parts of the park and raptors present include Black Kite, Montagu's Harrier and Golden Eagle among others.

Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Booted Eagle, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Common Quail, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Eurasian Scops Owl, European Nightjar, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Crested Lark, Wood Lark, Eurasian Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Spanish Wagtail, Common Dipper, Alpine Accentor, Black Redstart, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Western Black-eared Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Zitting Cisticola, Dartford Warbler, Western Subalpine Warbler, Garden Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Iberian Chiffchaff, Common Firecrest, Crested Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Iberian Grey Shrike, Red-billed Chough, Northern Raven, Rock Sparrow, European Serin, Common Crossbill, Common Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Ortolan Bunting

Other Wildlife

Mammals present in the park include Red Deer and Roe Deer, Wild Boar and a population of feral ponies, and the carnivores include Beech Marten, Badger, Otter, Wild Cat and the very rare Iberian Wolf.

One of the many reptiles found here is Schreiber's Green Lizard Lacerta schreiberi, confined to northwest Iberia. Due to its location and high rainfall this area has a great diversity of plants and includes some major rarities such as Iris boissieri and the fern Woodwardia radicans.

Site Information

The park is best visited in summer when the range of birds present is much greater.

In addition to the wildlife there are mediaeval castles, Roman remains and prehistoric sites within the park.

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

To do

Access and Facilities

Accommodation is plentiful with campsites, hotels and a youth hostel at Geres village or there are mountain cabins at various locations in the park, but these need to be booked well in advance. The park has marked hiking trails and bridle paths and boats and horses can be hired, the information centre for the park is in Braga.

Contact Details

To do

External Links

Portugal Tourist Information, Peneda Geres National Park

Content and images originally posted by Steve

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