Jalon juniper woods at Chaorna

Location and access: Southern province. Soria from the A-15 will be taken to Medinaceli, taking here the A-2 Zaragoza to Arcos de Jalón. From there the SO-P-3008 to be taken Chaorna. The road continues to Judes and Iruecha. From Chaorna we can also go to Sagides by a road in good condition.

Status: ZEC "Sabinares of the Jalón" (ES4170057) with 19.068 Has. Within the ZEC is the Laguna de Judes, included in the list of wetlands of special interest in the province of Soria with the number SO-31.

Terrain: Juniperus thuryfera masses on slopes, limestone valleys and gorges.

Means of access: The only way to approach these two peoples is by our own means, since there is no public transport.

Difficulty: The juniper is an open forest, but here it has the characteristic that there are many feet per hectare. Coupled limestone nature makes, off road, the march can be difficult

Visit duration: The main proposed itinerary can be done in a 3-4 hours with stops for bird watching. Require a longer itinerary 5-6 hours.

Timing: Unlike other areas, the most interesting time to visit this area is going to be the winter. All because the sabinares can accommodate very interesting and significant amounts of thrushes and other birds. The summer will be the weakest point.

Comments: Except the bad signs of the GR- and poor state of the roads supposed to be inadvisable off the road and main roads.

Proposed itineraries

where to see birds

This southeastern corner of the province of Soria appears covered by a very interesting mass of Juniperus thuryfera characterized by their good condition and the presence of numerous feet portly. Some fires and land reclamation have destroyed in recent years some important parts of this juniper forest that develops much of the slopes of these valleys, forming in several interesting little spots for wildlife canyons.

Chaorna village deserves a must for its location and its architecture, water is an important element in its development. The karst nature of this whole northern part of the Sierra de Solorio makes the ground is full of streams, rivers and fountains, very voluble logically, depending on the precipitation receiving.

Within this context the lagoon appears Judes, the only karstic lake in the province of Soria. Located in a ravine to the west of the town of Judes it is normal that is empty and only in very rainy periods, which usually coincide in this area from January to March, we could see it with water. The water supply comes from the subsoil, so it can be filled in one day. It also be dried quickly due to evaporation and to the lowering of the water table.

1 The proposed route leads from the sabinar go and know the surroundings of laguna de Judes, crossing the creek for it Valhondillo. We would come out from Chaorna southwest on the road to Sagides but would leave it to take a path that is internal, between small farms growing, in juniper wood. Without leave at any time, we arrive, after approximately five kilometers route, the laguna de Judes. Turn could make it along the way or if we want to walk more, follow eastbound, along the road that would take us to Judes, thence along the road to Chaorna. This would take the route to the 13 kilometers.

Downloads of tracks and routes

Family tours

where to see birds

A Arroyo Almuguera / Cabeza Negra. Chaorna the stream in low quiet between small farms, no outstanding just. In the spring we will see more scarce birds in the rest of the space as Nightingales, Winter wren, warblers and Golden orioles. But two kilometers from the village, the stream plunges amid a very beautiful and chromatic ravine that ends in a distant crag is called Cabeza Negra. The latter sector has lost a lot of charm, then there goes the AVE Madrid-Barcelona.

This first installment can be seen without much problem, because we can leave the car in the vicinity of a sheep flocks they found roadside and carefully approach the edge of the ravine. Red-billed chough, Ravens, Carrion crows, Eurasian jay... here the juniper wood gives way more to the oak forest. Hopefully we will see the flight of the Golden Eagle having these valleys still constant presence.

B El Algondrón. The village and the gorge is situated Algondrón 5 kilometers to the northwest of Iruecha and is reached by a marked path and in good condition, although it is recommended not to lower the final stretch with the car, and in the valley. The house remains in ruins in the middle of the valley must serve for the monks of the Monasterio de Huerta, fleeing the summer heat, they came to this cool valley to rest.

Birds present here are all of the juniper wood, except for the Azure-winged magpie and the Crested tit, which curiously do not appear in these forests. The visit will complete with an observation of the Common redstart, common species in all sabinares of the center of Soria and that also appears here.

Seasons of the year

to see the birds

November. In areas close they are emptying the fields and forests. In the oak forests that are at levels lower but immediate, there is usually a lot of movement, even if it's a good year for acorns. However in juniper wood we can see and hear the thrushs, although only Mistle thrush breeding these sabinares.

But now they receive thousands of Song thrush, Redwing -the most abundant- and Fieldfare. As that year maturation berries of junipers, so shall the period of stay of thrushes. As well Hawfinch and Chaffinches they may appear in a number. Some Ring ouzel also in areas of contact with rock faces. These observations have secured until the February, when these birds undertake way back south.

March it can be an unattractive month as, the altitude at which these lands are summer birds causes they arrive slowly. Nor are nothing rare snowfall late March or April. In the rock walls of Somaén, the Crag martins they will be the first to arrive along with couple Egyptian vulture. The population of vultures the region is fluctuating, but it is always constant presence. The Wood larks are the most common birds in the juniper forest right now and their songs fill every corner.

In April they will arrive the Bonelli's warbler, the Subalpine warbler and the Western orphean warbler, But not forgetting Hoopoes, Eurasian wryneck in wooded areas, Tawny pipit and Black-eared wheatear more open areas or Rufous-tailed rock thrush and Blue rock thrush in the gorges. Booted eagles and Short-toed eagle they show themselves midmorning, and when the sun heats.

If the pond has water Judes, it will depend on the time of year when that happens. If in March-April, we can see some Grey heron and Purple heron, anatidae as Mallards , Garganey or some wader as Green sandpiper , Common redshank. As birds are breeding we only consist of grebes and the Mallards, although there is little information to respect.

Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus)


most representative

Breeders: Egyptian vulture, Griffon vulture, Short-toed eagle, Eurasian sparrowhawk, Golden Eagle, Booted eagle, Eurasian eagle owl, Eurasian wryneck, Crag martin, Common redstart, Mistle thrush, Rufous-tailed rock thrush, Blue rock thrush, Spectacled warbler, Western orphean warbler, Golden oriole, Red-billed chough, Hawfinch, Ortolan bunting.

Winterers: Meadow pipit, Fieldfare, Redwing, Eurasian siskin.

Migrants: Ring ouzel.


Bird watching Soria, It is coordinated by the Department of Development and Tourism of the project Excma. Diputación. Provincial de Soria.


Ricotí Skylark conservation and habitat in Soria (Spain). LIFE15 NAT / ES / 000802

Project funded by the European Union.

© Bird watching Soria - 2024

With elprincipiokiss