In the southeast of the province of Cáceres we find the Sierra Brava reservoir.
SIERRA BRAVA RESERVOIR
We are in a flat area only altered by the Peña mountain or the Cabeza del Águila mountain. It belongs to the Trujillo-Cáceres plateau and we move between a pseudo-steppe landscape and a wetland area that give personality to this space, which was designated in 2003 as ZEPA LLanos de Zorita and Sierra Brava Reservoir.
The reservoir is fed by the Pizarroso stream and we can cross it by the road that passes over the dam. Built in 1996 and with 223 hm3, it is a very popular place for fishing enthusiasts with very important populations of black bass, carp and pike.
The plains, wetlands and pasture areas guarantee a biodiversity of extraordinary ornithological value. Different viewpoints at the foot of the reservoir facilitate the sighting of waterfowl.
The Sierra Brava reservoir is considered one of the most outstanding wetlands in the region, but its waterfowl populations are also important on a national and international scale. After Doñana and the Ebro Delta, it is the most important wetland in our country.
In winter, the populations of aquatic species exceed an average of 55,000 birds, mainly due to the concentrations of shoveler duck, teal, mallard, greylag goose, gadwall, wigeon, pintail, pochard and coot.
Its banks host an important common crane roost. However, during the breeding season, other species stand out, being crucial the existence of islands where birds can establish their colonies. The most outstanding species are the Black-billed Tern, the Black-winged Stilt, the Little Tern and the Black-bellied Sandpiper.
But the importance of Sierra Brava at ornithological level could not be understood without taking into account its strategic location, since it is located in the dividing line of two radically different habitats: the irrigated lands of the high fertile plains of the Guadiana and the pastures and crops of the Llanos de Zorita.
In the steppe areas you can observe the most representative species, such as the great bustard, little bustard, lesser kestrel, caracara or Montagu’s harrier. It is also worth visiting other interesting wetlands for bird watching, such as the irrigated lands of Madrigalejo and Logrosán or the reservoirs of Cubilar, Ruecas and La Copa.