Ria de Aveiro (Aveiro Lagoon), with its striking geographical features, keeps attracting the attention of tourists year after year. Apart from passersby going from Lisbon to Porto or vice versa, there are those coming specifically to explore various natural wonders of the area, enjoy close contact with nature and bird watching opportunities.
White Stork, Kentish Plover, Common Scoter, Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Little Egret, black-winged Stilt, Grey and Golden Plover, Northern Lapwing, Common Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail are just some of the dozens of species of birds living in the area of Aveiro Lagoon. However, the highlight of the Lagoon and its loveliest inhabitants are certainly flamingos, looking like they came out straight from a cartoon. One of the best ways to observe birds, in general, is from a boat, but to see flamingos, it is enough, to simply go for a walk near the salt pans. Most of the time, by the end of the day, you will find them looking for food, fighting with each other, or just walking around.
It seems there are more and more of these cute birds in the Aveiro Lagoon every year, where they have found their ideal living conditions. Some of them spend the whole year in Portugal, and some come from Spain, France, Italy, but also Turkey or Algeria. Their origin can be detected by their color. Experts say that those recently arrived in Portugal are more intensively pink. It shows that they ate more of the shrimp that makes them intensively pink, which is not their main food in Aveiro. The more whitish ones are the juvenile flamingos, which spend the entire year in Portugal.
Some of the locations where flamingos usually can be found are "Marinha da Troncalhada" (Troncalhada marine), right next to the A25 road, and near the "Troncalhada" Ecomuseum of salt, by the canal of S. Roque, and a marine that belongs to the University of Aveiro - "Marinha de Santiago da Fonte". Out of the city they can be seen in the area of a nearby town Murtosa, again in the Lagoon. To guarantee a successful observation, you should be patient and quiet. Flamingos are afraid of people, and even noise that is not too loud might scare them off. Seeing a flamboyance of flamingos flying away is interesting, but watching them moving around the lagoon, eating and spreading their pinkish wings is more fun.
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