Thousands of Pink Flamingoes Flock to the Albufera in Valencia in 2023
When we think of flamingoes, we are normally taken back to nature documentaries filmed in some exotic location in darkest Africa.
But did you know that the Albufera Nature Reserve in Valencia provides a winter home for thousands of the pink, long-legged birds?
In a 2012 census the number of winter flamingoes counted in the Albufera was 309. The recent 2017 census counted an amazing 4000-plus! – more than ten times the amount in just five years. And by 2023 the number has again increased by thousands.
According to www.albufera.valencia.es, the reason for this increase can be put down to the abundance of food available. The paddy fields are in constant operation and provide everything a flamingo needs to be kept fed throughout the winter. This, coupled with a warm, sheltered environment, creates the ideal winter habitat for the birds.
|A flamboyance of pink flamingoes in the rice fields outside Valencia|
The largest concentration of the flamingoes are not on the lake itself but in the flooded rice fields. They also take to the air and are an amazing sight in flight. The months with the highest concentration of flamingoes are January, February and March, so grab your bike and ride the beautiful 17 or so kilometres to the Albufera to spot flamingoes, eagles, herons and a host of other water fowl.
BikeAlao Bike Rental runs regular guided bike tours to the Albufera which includes flamingo-spotting in winter followed by a packed lunch. We also visit the Mirador with spectacular views of the lake and here you may opt to take a boat ride on the lake or enjoy your lunch on the jetty.