A hike in the woods can be a good idea, with this hot weather, to find a little refreshment, especially for your children. They will like it, also because they could meet some animal, like a small fox or a bird. So, why not combining your walks with bird watching?
In Liguria there are plenty of green spots where you can relax or do some outdoor activities. One of these spots is surely the Beigua Regional Natural Park, located in an area between Genova (the side to the west of the province), Rossiglione, Sassello and Varazze.
The park is renowned for its landscapes and its wealth of animal and plant species; in fact, many hikers and lovers of nature choose it for comfortable strolls or to try harder tracks. At the same time, it is a destination for many bird species during their migration; indeed, there are periods when bird experts organize bird watching sessions. The only thing you need is some binoculars. These are unique chances to admire hawks, harriers and storks that fly in huge flocks through the skies. Imagine the amazement and happiness of your children!
Bird watching in the Beigua Park
The Beigua Park is considered a hot spot for bird watching at European level. So, let’s see what we must do, so as not to miss the flight of those birds.
The best periods to watch them, are in spring and autumn, when diurnal birds of prey (like the harrier, the osprey, the marsh harrier, the black kite) and storks migrate in large numbers. You can also see many species of sparrows. Reach the southeastern sectors of the Park, on the hills of Arenzano, Cogoleto and Varazze, with your binoculars at hand’s reach and wait.
These are the recommended observation spots: Località Agueta e Curlo, Valle del Rio Lissolo, Passo della Gava, the high slopes of the Cerusa Creek, the Deiva Forest and the Val Gargassa.
To be sure not to miss the sighting, you can ask for information the experts of the Centro Ornitologico, situated in Località Vaccà in Arenzano. The structure has ornithologists and researchers in charge of the territory, who regularly study the birds’ behavior. To help people to become familiar with the local bird life, they have designed, right in this area of the park, a 2-km ornithological itinerary, along which you will find posters that describe the various birds and their habits.
Another solution to increase your chances to admire the birds is to take part in the bird watching events organized by the Park Management. The next event is scheduled on Saturday, September 2 and it will last the whole day (take your lunch with you); the group leaves at 9.30 a.m. from Località Curlo, in Arenzano at the discovery of the golden eagle and of the flora and fauna of the Park. At the end of the trip, you may visit the Centro Ornitologico and the photo exhibition “Sulla rotta dei bianconi”1. If you are interested, contact the center and book by Friday.
The next chance to watch the birds migrate will be in early October, when the EuroBirdwatch will be celebrated all over Europe, a bird watching day just when the birds’ migration to their winter resort in Africa begins. Usually, the event takes place on the first weekend of October, organized again by the experts of the Park’s Bird Center.
In any case, you can spot various species of birds – there are so many – all year round; to learn more, always contact the experts.
Still, some little advice to become experienced birdwatchers: always move respecting the surrounding environment, trying to be as silent as possible so as not to disturb the animals; if you meet a bird, do not approach it, and if you notice something strange, report it to the ornithologists or to the authorities competent.
Trekking in the Beigua Park
Woods, canyons, creeks, Neolithic remains, and many, many animals. That’s what you’re going to find if you decide to do some trekking in the Beigua Park.
There are many routes to choose from, also because the Park is crossed by three legs of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, an ancient trail that connects the entire region (we talk about it in this piece) and intersects the local tracks. Overall, there are about three hundred miles of tracks. You should choose also according to your skills: whether you feel like taking a more challenging track or prefer to take a walk in contact with nature, together with your children.
As for actual excursions, the Park Management has classified them according to their level of difficulty and their duration, which ranges from at least one hour and half hour to a maximum of four hours. There are about forty of them. To learn more, check the site.
We recommend the Val Gargassa canyon tack, where you will find ponds, canyons and suggestive rock formations.
If, instead, you want to take a relaxing trip, you could consider the “percorsi natura”2 designed by the Park to make the most of the environmental, historic and cultural heritage; in fact, you will find information posters and material. They are the Curlo – Passo della Gava track, the Pratorotondo –Torbiera del Laione track, the Deiva forest track, the Neolithic Alpicella track, the botanic track of the Eremo del Deserto3 track, and the Via Geoalpina track.