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Bird Watching in the Castello de Rugat area

The diverse terrain and the extensive areas of protected natural spaces and habitats makes this area a great place for bird watching. The mountains to the south of the village are covered with pine forests and from the top of Benicadell mountain we have enjoyed looking down on eagles flying way beneath us. We have been told these were probably Bonelli’s Eagles which nest on the side of the mountain, but we would love to have this confirmed by knowledgeable guests.

Whilst at the Ermita, which is on a hill and surrounded by protected land, we have been delighted to see Hoopoe birds. Last year there was one that would frequently sit on a tv aerial above the patio at El Buen Ocio, appearing to be watching my husband renovate the house. Unfortunately, our phones were not good enough to take a great photo, but hopefully you can capture a better one of our visitor.

We have also spotted an owl that sits up on the church in the evening, but we have not been able to identify which type. As you can tell, we are complete novices at identifying the birds here.

The pictures shown below were all taken locally (within 30 minutes of Castello) by someone far more knowledgeable. Credit to Andrew Bertram for the photos. See more of Andrew’s wildlife photos on his website: ABS Images

For more information about the birds of Valencia, download this guide

A visiting Hoopoe bird sitting on an aerial
Bluethroat sat on a reed
Bluethroat bird in the reeds
Hoopoe bird on rough ground
Black Redstart perched on a rock
Male black Redstart sat on a rock
Young owl sat on a post

Parc Natural de la Marjal

The Parc Natural de la Marjal Pego-Oliva (located between Oliva and Pego) is a 40 minute drive from Castello. This wetland reserve of 1248 hectares consists of swamp and surrounding rice fields and a habitat perfect for a number of internationally endangered marsh birds.

Purple Swamphen, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Greater Flamingo , Gull-billed Tern, Cattle Egret, Moustached Warbler, Black-winged Stilt , Iberian Grey Shrike , European Bee-eater, Collared Pratincole, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Great Reed Warbler, Audouin’s Gull, Whiskered Tern can all be observed in the area.

Follow these links for further information on birdwatching in the Marjal Wetland Natural Park:

The reserve is ideal for walking, cycling and swimming as the Font Salada natural thermal pool is located on the edge of this park.

Boardwalk in the Parc Natural de la Marjal Pego-Oliva
View across the reeds at the Parc Natural de la Marjal Pego-Oliva
Dogs walking in the Parc Natural de la Marjal Pego-Oliva