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S'Albufera es Grau (S'Albufera des Grao) - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Keith Dickinson
Looking NW across the lake at Es Grau)

Menorca Balearic Islands


This reserve forms the core of the Es Grau Biosphere Reserve that stretches from Mao to Port Addia (approximately 15 kilometres North of Mao). The reserve was created in 1995 and expanded in 2003 to conserve the habitat, flora and fauna of the area. The lake is the largest body of fresh water on the island and plays host to large flocks of wintering waterfowl as well as waders on passage. There are 3 trails that can be followed across parts of the reserve.


Notable Species

Wintering birds on the lake include various duck species, Greylag Goose and Great Cormorant and during passage periods gulls, terns and waders such as Wood Sandpiper can be seen.

Raptors such as Red Kite, Booted Eagle and Osprey occur on passage and the wooded areas around the lake have Crossbill and Common Firecrest.

Sardinian Warbler and Thekla Lark are common in open areas and scrub in the area.


Birds you can see here include:

Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Mediterranean Shag, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Western Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Greylag Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Black Kite, Red Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Western Marsh Harrier, Booted Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Eleonora's Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Stone-curlew, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Whiskered Tern, Eurasian Scops Owl, Pallid Swift, European Bee-eater, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Greater Short-toed Lark, Thekla Lark, Tawny Pipit, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Dartford Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Common Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Balearic Crossbill

Other Wildlife

To do

Site Information

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

There are three way-marked trails that can be followed on the reserve, wandering away from the trails is strictly forbidden. The Santa Mondrona trail is the longest and can be reached from the Visitor Centre and follows the south bank of the lake in a Westerly direction. There are a couple of viewing screens and one hide overlooking the lake with more viewpoints as well. The other trail reached from the Visitor Centre is the Cala de Llimpa trail and this is the shortest following the southern shore to the East. The third trail is reached from the beach (easiest access) or from the road into the village of Es Grau (not as obvious to find), this crosses the scrub to a viewpoint overlooking the lake.

Access and Facilities

To reach S'Albufera es Grau take the PM710 out of Mao and after 1km turn off right on to the Es Grau road. After 3.5km the reserve entrance is signposted on the left. For the beach trail keep on the main road until you reach the village of Es Grau, there is car parking here and the beach trail can be reached by walking around the bay to reach the signposted start to the trail.

Trails are open all year round - all day.

Reserve Visitor Centre, open Daily 9.00am to 3.00pm year round, with later opening on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, to 5.00pm Nov-Mar and to 7.00pm Apr to Oct. There are toilets at the visitor centre.

If intending to walk the trails from the Visitor Centre, you can park closer to the start of the trails by passing the Visitor Centre and driving downhill to a dead-end just after a villa on the left. The entrances to the 2 trails are here and parking here cuts out the long drag uphill at the end of the walk.

Contact Details

To do

External Links

S'Albufera es Grau on Menorca website

Content and images updated by Keith Dickinson