Moments in Nature
In the Sierra de Guara Natural Park and its canyons you can find amazing contrasts, from the maximum heights of the Tozal de Guara to the deepest chasms of the sierra, passing through its ravines and gorges.
Guara is a region full of contrasts and in some long-uninhabited spots its mystery is still waiting to be discovered.
The orography of the terrain, with its limestone rocks, is ideal for canyoning. Thanks to its uniqueness there are also exceptional areas for climbing, hiking and much more. The Mascún Canyon is a prime example of this.
We can also find striking contrasts in conglomeratic rocks such as the Huevo de Morrano, or the Huevo de Sancosme as well as all the formations of Vadiello.
You will also find fossil areas in Sevil and Abiego which are the result of the passage of time and water erosion.
As for the flora, Guara has a large number of exceptional trees such as the thousand-year-old holm oak of Lecina, the olive forest of Buera, the conifer of Castillo de los Santos and the holm oaks and gall oaks of Las Almunias.
A rewarding activity through which we can know birds habits.
Continuing with the uniqueness of the Sierra, on the walls of the Mascún Canyon you can find native flowers growing among the rocks, among which the Petrocoptis guarensis is particularly remarkable.
The greatest wealth of the wild animal world of Guara is to be found in its birds, especially birds of prey and scavengers. The Guara Natural Park is a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA refers to the Spanish acronym) and one of the few strongholds in Europe where you can see the bearded vulture, accompanied by Egyptian vultures, eagles and a good colony of griffon vultures. In addition to the birds of prey, the rock-nesting birds such as the wallcreeper, which are another of the stars of the Sierra, there are different ecosystems in which we can find different types of birds.
One of the dominant birds of the rocky ecosystem in Guara is the bearded vulture, which is also one of the rarest European birds of prey. The Guara Park protects 10 pairs, one of the highest densities known.
There is also a large colony of griffon vultures in the park.
The list of necrophagous birds is completed by the Egyptian Vulture, which appears in pairs in the first weeks of March.
On Route 5 you can consult the migratory routes through the Guara Natural Park.
All these birds feed at different points in the Sierra de Guara, such as the feeder in Bierge (about 500 metres from the hotel Hostería de Guara); Santa Cilia de Panzano, where special activities are organised for families; and in Alquézar. There are also other feeding points around the Sierra de Guara and the Pyrenees.
Our Birding Guara moment is the ideal time to get into the world of birds, especially with the family, as it allows us to get physically close to them with the Fondo de Amigos del Buitre (Friends of the Vulture Fund), with Manuel as a great connoisseur and friend of vultures and birds in general.
The Natural Park is home to red and black kites and different species of corvids (crows, red-billed choughs, birds of prey, etc.). The swift peregrine falcon shares rocks with the common kestrel.
Golden eagles breed on ledges and rock faces, as do eagle owls and colonies of eagle swifts and rock martins, which also frequent these environments. It is also worth mentioning the presence of the wallcreeper and the Alpine accentor, alpine birds that frequent the rocks and are much appreciated by nature lovers.
We can suggest different routes on which you are most likely to see these species of birds.
- Ornithological route of the Crestas del Balcés, in Bierge.
- Peña Falconera ornithological route, in Morrano.
- Dolmen de la Losa Mora Route, in Rodellar.
- Ruta Tozal de Mallata, in Colungo.
- Route Chimiachas Balcony, in Alquézar.
In the river ecosystem
Grey herons, kingfishers and blackbirds can be seen on river banks. All these birds are indicators of clean and unpolluted rivers.
Some of these species can be seen on the Vero riverbank route in Castillazuelo.
In the grassland ecosystem
In the Somontano area, where a landscape of open horizons dominates, there are important steppe ecosystems where several species of birds coexist. The stone curlew, the Iberian sandgrouse, the black-bellied sandgrouse or the little bustard are examples of birds that can be spotted here.
Owls nest in the earthy flat-topped mountains by rivers like the Alcanadre, and feed on the abundance of prey in the environment.
The Montagu’s harrier nests among the cereal fields, while another species of falconiform bird, the lesser kestrel, finds refuge in the hollows of roofs and walls of agricultural buildings.
The Sierra de Guara and the so-called Kingdom of the Mallos have become true paradises for the observation of rocky birds of prey. There you can find Egyptian vultures, griffon vultures, eagles, the aforementioned bearded vultures and black kites.
Nocturnal birds are always accompanied by the presence of bats that appear during periods of good weather.
Experience the nature of Sierra de Guara!