Hidden by low-lying hills but only 8kms south-east of Pamplona
Location of Balsa de Zolina
For the second year running (1/2015) we broke our journey from central France to Murcia with an overnight stop at a hotel near Pamplona. On checking maps before departure, I discovered a large body of water quite close to where the hotel is situated, near the airport. At first this was difficult to find, and we only had a couple of hours to spare. Eventually I discovered a footpath that lead to a pumping station at the dam end of this large reservoir. The site is completely hidden by low hills on all sides, and there is no direct vehicular access. Visited again briefly 12/2017.
Access and viewing details. P = parking (below Zolina village).
From the airport area, or junction 1 on motorway PA-30, take the road NA-2310 south-east towards Tajonar. Continue on the NA-2310, by-passing Tajonar, then take the next exit for Zolina. After 200 metres bear left, parking on the grass verge opposite an information board. From here, it is about 1km on foot to the viewing position above the dam, along a gravel footpath/cycle track.
The reservoir must be quite deep, obviously good habitat for wildfowl (see list); in fact it looks the sort of place that could turn up almost anything.
NR Noain Hotel
Reasonably priced hotel that is 'pet-friendly'.
Subsequent online research showed that, unsurprisingly, the site is well-known to at least one
local birder (see blog below), and probably several more from nearby Pamplona.
Balsa de Zolina blog
Birdwatching in Navarre
BIRDS - 42 species
Cygnus olor c8 1/2015. 4 12/2017
Tadorna tadorna 1 1/2015
Anas penelope 50+ 1/2015. 70+ 12/2017
Anas strepera 30+ 1/2015. 2 12/2017
Anas clypeata 4 1/2015
Aythya ferina c70 1/2015. c200 12/2017
Aythya fuligula 2 males 12/2017
Podiceps nigricollis c20 12/2017
Circus cyaneus 1 male 12/2017
Buteo buteo 1 12/2017
Larus ridibundus c50 1/2015
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Larus fuscus 1 adult 1/2015
Larus michahellis c20 12/2017
Eurasian Collared Dove
Cettia cetti 1 12/2017
Sylvia undata 2+ 1/2015
Sylvia atricapilla 2 12/2017
Eurasian Blue Tit
Emberiza calandra 4 12/2017