Do you like birdwatching? Have you ever been to Lisbon? Would you like to combine both and visit a city that is full of birds as well as the most accessible birdwatching sanctuary in Europe, the Tagus Birdwatching estuary?
Yes, this site is located just across the Vasco da Gama bridge, a beautifully arched bridge which links Lisbon and the south margin of the Tagus river. This is Portugal’s largest wetland area and one of the most important ones in Europe. It occupies an area of approx. 14.000 he, specifically created to protect populations of aquatic birds (though there are many non-wetland birds too). In winter, one can find many hundreds of waders, waterfowl and other aquatic species. During the summer, the estuary is alive with breeding species usually associated with the Mediterranean such as the Little Bittern, Cattle Egret, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, the Purple Heron and many others. Put together, the greater Tagus estuary includes more than 250 species including the Greater Flamingos. But if you would like to combine tourism with birdwatching, then you should explore Lisbon, its attractions and parks.
First of all, book yourself a room at Browns Boutique Hotel & Apartments, a trendy hotel in the heart of old Lisbon. The next day walk till Cais do Sodré (15 minute walk) and start looking for Common Startlings, Pallid Swifts and Black-headed Gulls. At Cais do Sodré train station, pick the train that runs along the so-called Portuguese Riviera, which ends in Cascais. Explore its seafront and have lunch at any restaurant facing its incredibly blue bay and marina. On your way back, stop at Alcântara. Get yourself a taxi and ask to be taken to Tapada da Ajuda, one of Lisbon’s largest green areas, which is home to birds such as the Kestrel, Red-Legged Partridge, Collared Dove, Barn Swallo, Zitting Cisticola, Great Tit or the Jay. The next day, see what is on at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, check its lovely shop, and wander in its stylish and peaceful garden. This is Lisbon’s best spot to look for Mallards, Moorhens, Ring-necked Parakeets, White Wagtails, Wrens, Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Serins and Greenfinches.
The Expo area as well as the Monteiro Mor Botanical Park, next to Lisbon’s Museu do Traje (historical clothing museum), are other sites worth visiting for tourism and also to observe specific birds such as the House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Song Thrush, Firecrest, Blue Tit and Spotless Starling.
Come check this amazing place for birdwatching in Lisbon! 😉