Birdwatching at the Alviano Lake WWF Oasis
Take a break and come to the Alviano Oasis: 900 hectares wide, it's one of the biggest WWF Oasis.
If you are travelling and following the Sun Highway (Autostrada del Sole), we advise you to take the exit for Orvieto: enjoy art, loose yourself in the underground city, visit the fascinating Well of Saint Patrick, let be lighted by the splendid mosaic decorating the Cathedral's façade, and then follow directions for the Oasis.
Instead, if you are on the highway, take the E45, take the exit to Todi, after a walk in the centre and after having admired the Santa Maria della Consolazione Renaissance masterpiece, follow the Tiber river flow until reaching the area of Alviano district, where this authentic paradise of migratory birds is kept.
The history of the Alviano Oasis started in the ninety-seventies, when, following the building of the Alviano's barrier on the Tiber, aimed at producing electrical energy, an artificial lake was born. In a very short time the area started to attract thousands and thousands of migratory water birds. To protect them, in 1977, a hunting ban was imposed on all the area that today represents one of the biggest WWF Oasis.
The typical marsh vegetation with that is sedges, rush and cannas, and the hydrophilic woods of willow trees, poplar trees and black alders make it an ideal habitat for rest or wintering: pochards, shovelers, widgeons, teals and gadwalls populate the marsh.
During the spring you can admire grebes, herons and passerines, but also woodpeckers and cuckoos. With the warm season's arrival the small ones fly: tens of red kites sail on the oasis and the pullets leave their nests.
More than 190 species have been counted, among sedentary birds, mallards, Eurasian coots, white and grey herons, little egrets that, by following one of the main migratory route, encounter the Alviano's lake.
Through a ring-shaped 1.5 km path, accessible also to disabled people, you can study the marshland life: six observation hides, an educational room and a tower of sighting to see unforgettable impressions, as if you were inside a splendid documentary.
If the weather allows it and if you are provided with the right equipment, you can venture into the "old path": along the Tiber river and crossing an embankment you can complete a fairly 7 km, almost totally flat path.
If you want to deepen the knowledge of this chest of biodiversity, the Oasis hosts one of the Umbria Region's centers of environmental education and sustainability: the educational laboratory is provided with microscopes and stereoscopes allowing anyone, young and adult, to live a surprising educational experience in order to discover the "life in a water drop".
Don't leave your Reflex at home of course: the Oasis offers a lot of privileged points of view for the nature photography.
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