Idõ  4 óra 37 perc

Koordináták 1073

Uploaded 2015. május 25.

Recorded május 2015

32 m
-20 m
8,99 km

Megtekintve 3432 alkalommal, letöltve 88 alkalommal

közel Empuriabrava, Catalunya (España)

Hike through the beautiful Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l’Emporada in the breeding season. In the breeding season (April 1-June 30), part of the park is off-limits and you cannot make a full tour around the park. This easy walk offers you excellent views of the wetlands though, and you do not have to be a seasoned birdwatcher to observe a wide variety of birds, such as storks, flamingoes, black ibis, cattle egret, purple heron, bee-eaters, whiskered tern and a range of ducks, reed birds as well as other animals such as fallow deer, and pond turtles. You walk on well-maintained footpaths, and there are several bird observatories on the way. You start at the visitor center in El Cortalet, where you can get a map (like the one on a photo attached to this track; see also the website of the park for free downloads of maps ). Parking costs 5 euros; the proceeds go towards the protection of the park. In the visitor center you can buy drinks and food from a vending machine. The observatories are numbered on the map as well as marked as waypoints with this track.
You first walk to the observatory 1 (Quim Franch) which gives you a good view of the ‘Estany del Cortalet’ lake. You walk back to the visitor center and then proceed south towards the cattle viewpoint (see waypoint), where I saw cattle egrets. You go on towards observatory 3 (Daines) which gives you a good view of a meadow with a lot of stork nests around it (the bill-clattering of the storks can be heard from the parking lot), and storks and fallow deer in the meadow. You continue south past observatory 4 (Bomba) towards observatory 5 (Pallejà). The path from the visitor center is largely in the shade and next to water until halfway observatory 4 and 5. The rest of the walk is largely unshaded. Soon after observatory 5 you come to large former rice fields (Estanys del Matà) where I observed flamingoes, black-winged stilts, egrets, herons and black ibis, among others. The track takes you to observatory Senillosa. This is a large rice silo which has been converted to an observation tower which gives you a marvelous view across the park, the sea, the Catalan countryside and the mountains towards the north. There is another observatory (Matà) here, and a sheltered picnic place. You then walk further around the Estanys del Matà. At the waypoint marked ‘camping access road’ you join the asphalt road from the GIV-6216 to the camping site (open only in summer). There were quite a few cars on this road despite the camping site being closed, so watch out for traffic. You walk for almost 1 km along this road and then turn left before the camp site and continue towards the beach. You pass observatory 12 (Les Arpelles) on the way. On the beach (see waypoint) there is an observation tower giving you a view of the beach inside the park which is closed-off in the breeding season. After taking a refreshing swim, you return towards El Cortalet, but now keep to the east side of the Estany del Matà. On the way, you can also have a look at bird observatories 10 (Bruel), 9 (Gall Marí) and 2 (Gantes). Especially Gantes is worth the visit: I saw a gull eating a freshwater crayfish, a red-crested pochard, and fallow deer on a small island, among others.
Only at the visitor center you can find something to eat and drink, but it is advisable to take something yourself. Perhaps in summer you can also get something at the campsite/near the beach. We did not have any trouble with mosquitos despite the wetlands, but this could be worse in the early morning and the evening, although there will be better observation of wildlife then as well.
From the visitor center you can also walk in the direction of Empuriabrava towards observation hut 14 (Roncaires) where you also have a view of Estany del Cortalet. Just before hut 14, there is a dirt bank on the left in which bee-eaters breed.
Do not forget your binoculars, and your swimwear…
You can get to the beach and go south towards the mouth of the river Riu Fluvià, but during the breeding season you cannot go north towards Empuriabrava/the river mouth of La Muga. The park boundaries are marked with signs and pickets with ropes. There is an observation tower which gives you a view into the park. It is a nice sandy beach, and a good idea to take a swim. Outside the summer season there are no facilities.
Quim Franch observatory (a hut) gives you a good view of Estany del Cortalet.
Observatory Bruel. This is a hut looking out on a lake.
Les Arpelles observatory. This is a little hill with a screen close to the beach.
Observatory Gantes on Estany del Cortalet. This is a hut with a magnificent view on the lake.
Observatory Daines. This is an elevated platform close to a stork nest with a view of a meadow surrounded by stork nests. On the meadow you might see fallow deer.
Observatory Bomba is a small hut with a little pond.
Observatory Pallejà is an elevated hut above the marshes with a good view of a lake.
Observatory Gall Marí has a view of a lake. On the other side of the path are the Estanys del Matà. Here, horses graze.
Here the path connects with the access asphalt road to the camp site on the sea.
Here you can observe cattle, with cattle egrets sometimes present.
One rice silo has been converted to an observation tower. From the tower you can observe the other silos and their transporting screws. Also, there is a magnificent view of the park and the surrounding countryside, the sea, and the mountains in the distance.


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