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Hidden among the pinewoods in the western limit of the Ria
Formosa Natural Park, Garrão lagoon is a small wetland that has
survived, as if by miracle, the pressure of urban development that
has taken over in the surrounding areas. This is an interesting place
to look for waterbirds.
To get the best view over the lagoon, one should approach it from the eastern side. It is necessary to walk
through an area of pine forest, where Azure-winged Magpies are usually plentiful. The Green Woodpecker can
sometimes be seen here and in April and one might hear the song of the Wryneck. Other common birds of
the Pines include Goldfinch, Serin and Greenfinch.
The lagoon itself is a quiet place, as it lies some distance away from any roads. Additionally, the birds are
usually tame and so conditions are met for excellent observations to be made. Species that can usually be
seen here include Little Grebe, Moorhen, Eurasian Coot and a few pairs of Gadwall. Cetti’s Warbler, although
difficult to see, can be heard very often.
It should be noted that this lagoon can dry out during the summer - when this happens, the water birds leave
Best season: all year, but summer weekends should be avoided, as the nearby beach tends to be crowded
Where it is: this lagoon lies at the western tip of the Ria Formosa, next to the Ancão beach. Access is made
from the town of Almancil (on the N125 road), following signs to Vale de Lobo and then taking the road to the
Ancão beach. The lagoon is located in a valley, on the right side of this road, just before the beach and can be
approached on foot from the eastern side.
If you want to know other places to watch birds in this region, we suggest:
|The central part of the Garrão Lagoon. Birds here include Gadwall, Eurasian Coot and Little Grebe, among other species
Most interesting species:
Pallid Swift, Wryneck, Azure-winged Magpie
Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Gadwall, Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Green
Woodpecker, Cetti’s Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Serin