Birding Around Huelva
The Marismas del Odiel (the Odiel marshes)
This Ramsar site, covering 7185 hectares, comprises an extensive area of tidal salt marshes and creeks just outside the city of Huelva. It is important as a wintering area for wildfowl and as a breeding area for a variety of waterbirds. Large numbers of shorebirds use the site on passage.
Species to be expected, depending on season, include Eurasian Spoonbills, Greater Flamingos, any of the common wader species, Audouin’s, Slender-billed and Mediterranean Gulls, Caspian, Little and Sandwich Terns. We can sometimes find Red-knobbed Coot here.
A causeway stretches beyond the marshes and this can be a good place for seawatching with various skuas, terns and shearwaters passing. Bulwer’s Petrel, Lesser Crested Tern, Sabine’s Gull and Leach’s Storm Petrel are amongst the rarities that have been recorded in recent years.
The Marismas de Isla Cristina
This is the Spanish side of the estuary of the River Guadiana, comprising saltmarsh, disused salinas and sand dunes. It is attractive all year round to waders, gulls and terns but visits in winter and during passage periods are likely to be most productive. Species to be found are similar to those that we see at the Marismas del Odiel.
Laguna del Portil
This large, reed-fringed, freshwater lagoon is always worth looking at when in the Huelva area. Winter and passage periods are best, with Purple Swamp-hen, Ferruginous Duck and Black-necked Grebe all possible; Little Bitterns sometimes breed.