Large artificial marshland, created to cool of the water used by the nuclear power plant before flowing back into the Tagus. The water is surrounded by bulrush vegetation and the warm water supports a rich feeding ground for many sought after and truly magnificent species, most notably, the area holds Extremadura' s only population of Purple Swamphen. Apart from this emblematic species, many others can be found, as well as a fine range of amphibians, reptiles and mammals (most notably Egyptian Mongoose).
At the Southern edge of the village of Saucedilla, near the football pitch, there is a small visitor' s center where you can get the keys to the 4 hides overlooking the marshland, be advised though, the center has rather strange opening hours, so check the internet carefully. The trail towards the hides starts just next to the Visitor' s centre.
Terrain and HabitatWetland, Scattered trees and bushes, Grassland, River, Reedbeds, Mud flats
ConditionsFlat, Swampy, No shadow, Open landscape
Is a telescope useful?Can be useful
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring, Winter, Autumn
Difficulty walking trailEasy
Accessible byFoot, Car, Bicycle, Wheelchair
Birdwatching hide / platformYes
The best spot for Purple Swamphen is the corner of the first birdwatching hide (near the visitor' s centre, see the map). In fact, in 1 evening in summer we saw Purple Swamphen Purple Heron , Black-crowned Night-Heron , Little Bittern , Hoopoe , Squacco Heron , Little Egret , Marsh Harrier and Short-toed Snake Eagle , all at the first hide.
The nearby Monfrague National park is excellent for nearly all emblematic species of the Iberian peninsular (for example: Black Vulture, Spanish Eagle and Black Stork)