The Laguna de la Mata is administered as a Nature Reserve, the Visitor Centre being readily accesible from the N332 road just north of Torrevieja. Here information and leaflets are usually available, and a well-marked trail starts.
The lagoon is some way away, and a pleasant walk down to it through fields can be rewarding at migration times. A hide overlooks an island where terns both nest and rest, and many waders may be seen. Walking around the lagoon to the south, a good wooded area is often host to flycatchers, orioles and warblers at passage times, whilst adjoining shores are often worth scouring for more waders.
In winter the numbers of Black-necked Grebes on the lagoon can be impressive. Another hide is close to the reedbed at the far, Montesinos end of the lagoon, approached from a small parking area, where car-theft is endemic, as in this whole area! This part of the lake is the best spot for waders and terns, and a pair of Montagu’s Harriers is often to be seen.
The area between the two salt-lakes used to be excellent for Stone Curlew and larks, and they are still to be found where ever there is no housing development. The very saline Torrevieja lagoon has a small breeding population of Audouin’s Gulls on its margins, and is visited by large numbers outside the breeding season. A reedbed at the inland end can also be worth checking out.
SAT NAV CO-ORDINATES – N38 01.479 W0 39.480