Pian di Spagna nature reserve and Lago di Mezzola, a small paradise north of Lake Como
There Pian di Spagna nature reserve and the Mezzola lake are located in the northern part of Lake Como, a small paradise where nature shows all its splendour.
A plain of about 1600 hectares between the Valtellina and the Valchiavenna located about 200 meters above sea level extending between the provinces of Sondrio and Como and including five municipalities: Sorico, Gera Lario, Dubino, Verceia and Novate Mezzola.
The reserve has a great naturalistic value, because it is the landing point of migratory routes of different species and is characterized by an interesting biological variety.
What to do and see at the Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve
There is a lot to see in this place, the landforms of Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve gives the opportunity to know many of the historical and environmental aspects that characterize it.
In fact there are several itineraries and walks that can be done mainly in the perimeter area of the protected area, some of them only accompanied by a Guide of the Reserve.
If you feel like making one quiet family walk this is a place that's right for you, simple routes articulated on dirt roads and mule tracks immersed in nature.
The most suitable place to start the visit at Plan of Spain it is the locality called “Ponte sull'Adda”, where it is possible to leave the car along the road, taking care not to hinder the passage.
Itineraries and Walks Lake Mezzola
If you love trekking in the Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve and around Lake Mezzola it is possible to organize excursions. Among the main practicable paths and trails there are:
- the one that starts from Dascio to reach the Temple of San Fedelino in Sorico, accessible to all and lasting approximately 3 hours.
- a ring route with arrival and departure from locality of Beletron, which winds its way inside the Reserve.
- the one that from Ponte del Passo to Sasso di Dascio allows you to observe a large number of aquatic birds and that allows you to enjoy a view of the Mezzola lake.
- what it gives Trivium of Fuentes, near the Ponte sull'Adda, also allows you to reach the city by bicycle Cascina Lodoletta, and which gives way to see the fort of Fuentes.
But the real charm of Mezzola lake it is right on its banks, where you can stop and admire the placid turquoise waters that reflect the sun's rays in a thousand different colors.
If you want to take home some suggestive and nuanced shots, this is the place for you.
The vegetal landscape of this reserve is quite complex, where we can find areas of reeds, wet meadows and agricultural surfaces that are still cultivated today.
In the area north of the Plan of Spain (Poncetta stables) there is the largest and most significant cane thicket, where the most dominant plant is the marsh reed sometimes accompanied by the greater cattail.
In the best preserved areas, such as the southern shore of the Mezzola lake, behind the reed bed, a suitable habitat for wild birds, are i sedges. Sedges are hard, narrow-leaved plants grouped in dense clumps.
The species encountered are:
- common reed (Phragmites australis)
- the greater cattail (Typha latifolia) in much lower quantities together with the marsh reed
- water lilies (Nymphaea alba)
- the nannuferous (Nuphar lutea)
- the sedges, behind the reeds
The large area then continues with groves of alder, willow, English oak, poplar and meadows rich in clover used for grazing cattle and beaten, especially in autumn and spring, by strong winds that make the area even more spectacular.
There are various environments that characterize the Pian di Spagna Nature Reserve, we can find lakes, rivers, streams, drainage channels, canals, ponds, puddles, beaches, urban areas, actively cultivated areas, little cultivated areas, woods, groves, hedges and uncultivated areas.
In each environment it is possible to find and observe very different species of birds.
On the lakes it is generally possible to observe various species of diving ducks (Moretta, Moriglione, Moretta Tabaccata, Quattrocchi) or dabbling ducks (Mallard, Teal, Garganey, Wigeon), Swans, Rails (Coot), some rare sea ducks (Orcus Marino), Grebes, Loons, Cormorants, Merganser, Seagulls and Mignattini; on the rivers it is easy to observe dabbling and diving ducks, swans, coots, grebes, cormorants, seagulls and mygnattini.
The dipper, the common kingfisher and the yellow wagtail are common on the streams, while on the drainage ditches surface ducks, rails (coots, moorhens, flying birds, water rails, crakes) and some waders such as the sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Herons, Bittern, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe); in the canals you can find Gray Heron, Snipe and Ballerine.
The beaches are frequented by waders, Charadridae (Snipes, Plovers, Plovers) and Scolopacidae (Curlocks, Godwits, Lapwings, Sandpipers), Gulls and Cormorants.
The reeds are the suitable habitat for rails, bitterns, some birds of prey, warblers, blue tits, starlings, pendulums, swallows, mice and dabbling ducks.
Rows and hedges
Rows and hedges offer food to Shrikes, Thrushes, Finches, Crows, Titmice, Woodpeckers and Blackcaps.
The goal of the protected area of \u200b\u200bthe nature reserve
Pian di Spagna is one of the most important areas in Italy and in Europe for the wintering of hundreds of ducks that can be observed on the Mezzola lake, on the Mera and on the north face of the Lake Como.
The main role of the protected area is to give thousands of birds the opportunity to rest and feed during both spring and autumn migration.
It frequently happens that, in the months of March and April, adverse meteorological conditions are created in the Alps with winds, fog, rain or snowfall and this forces the migratory birds to stop on the plains below, waiting for the good weather.
It is possible to notice, precisely in these periods, very numerous birds of various species which, already tired from having passed in some cases the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea, waiting to be able to cross the Alps to finally reach their nesting areas.
Conversely, in autumn, after having passed the Alpine arch, many tired and hungry birds descend on the Pian di Spagna to recover and recover their energy.
Not all birds migrate: the Woodpeckers and Titmice, for example, make short journeys, the Sordone descends from the mountainous areas to the lower altitudes of the valley, the Dipper descends along the watercourse with the progressive advancement of the frost.
Some birds perform medium-range migrations, such as the Thrushes and the Finches, which, although they reach the African continent, never descend below the Sahara, others instead perform very long migrations, of 8000-9000 km, for example the Storks, the Swallows, the Wheatears and the Warbler.
The mountains surrounding the reserve are home to some birds of prey, such as: black kite, eagle owl, owl, goshawk and buzzard.
We have tried to tell you about this magical place, now you just have to go and visit it.