Flora & Fauna – Picos de Europa

Sarah Barr

June 2, 2015

The summer season in the Picos is in full swing and with snow melting, warm temperatures and blue skies guests have been treated to perfect walking conditions and a great opportunity for flower and wildlife enthusiasts to explore what the area has to offer.

David Charlton, who has joined the team for the first 3 weeks of the season, has been leading daily flower walks allowing guests and staff alike to enjoy the unique mix of mediterranean and alpine flowers that can be found. A popular walk this week was to the lower Fuente Dé meadows, this walk proved to be perfect for spotting a whole host of different orchids. The first sighting came shortly after leaving the car park with an Early Purple Orchid, from here on there were enthusiastic shouts coming from all directions as Man Orchids, Pyramidal Orchids, Butterfly Orchids and the magnificent Sawfly Orchids were spotted. With a backdrop of soaring limestone cliffs and snowcapped peaks the meadows were a photographers dream – a Collett’s group on a flower walk can be easily identified by the enthusiastic flower hunter lying on the floor trying to snap the perfect photograph!

The following day, a trip up the Fuente Dé cable car was on the cards. An initially cloudy start gave way to another beautiful day as the cable car ascended and emerged above the clouds. Here on the high meadows orchids are replaced by alpine plants such as Gentians, Pasque flowers and the Asturian daffodil. Once again, thanks to David’s knowledge and contagious enthusiasm, everyone had a brilliant day!

For a brief break from flower spotting it pays have a look around for some of the wildlife that can be found. Looking skywards, Griffon Vultures are spotted soaring overhead on an almost daily basis and with their 2.7 metre wing spans the vultures are a magnificent sight. This week guests have also sighted nesting Griffon Vultures near to the remote village of Tresviso, now we just need to wait for the first sighting of some Griffon Vulture chicks. Egyption vultures, kites, kestrels and buzzards have also been seen on a number of occasions so far this season. We have also been lucky enough to spot the elusive Chamois, or Rebeco as they are known as in Spain, which favour rocky alpine environments such as those found near the Fuente Dé cable car.

After such a successful start to the season everyone is excited about what the rest of the summer will bring!

Thanks to Sarah Barr, one of our hosts from the Picos team, for these superb photos and blog piece!

The summer season in the Picos is in full swing and with snow melting, warm temperatures and blue skies guests have been treated to perfect walking conditions and a great opportunity for flower and wildlife enthusiasts to explore what the area has to offer.

David Charlton, who has joined the team for the first 3 weeks of the season, has been leading daily flower walks allowing guests and staff alike to enjoy the unique mix of mediterranean and alpine flowers that can be found. A popular walk this week was to the lower Fuente Dé meadows, this walk proved to be perfect for spotting a whole host of different orchids. The first sighting came shortly after leaving the car park with an Early Purple Orchid, from here on there were enthusiastic shouts coming from all directions as Man Orchids, Pyramidal Orchids, Butterfly Orchids and the magnificent Sawfly Orchids were spotted. With a backdrop of soaring limestone cliffs and snowcapped peaks the meadows were a photographers dream – a Collett’s group on a flower walk can be easily identified by the enthusiastic flower hunter lying on the floor trying to snap the perfect photograph!

The following day, a trip up the Fuente Dé cable car was on the cards. An initially cloudy start gave way to another beautiful day as the cable car ascended and emerged above the clouds. Here on the high meadows orchids are replaced by alpine plants such as Gentians, Pasque flowers and the Asturian daffodil. Once again, thanks to David’s knowledge and contagious enthusiasm, everyone had a brilliant day!

For a brief break from flower spotting it pays have a look around for some of the wildlife that can be found. Looking skywards, Griffon Vultures are spotted soaring overhead on an almost daily basis and with their 2.7 metre wing spans the vultures are a magnificent sight. This week guests have also sighted nesting Griffon Vultures near to the remote village of Tresviso, now we just need to wait for the first sighting of some Griffon Vulture chicks. Egyption vultures, kites, kestrels and buzzards have also been seen on a number of occasions so far this season. We have also been lucky enough to spot the elusive Chamois, or Rebeco as they are known as in Spain, which favour rocky alpine environments such as those found near the Fuente Dé cable car.

After such a successful start to the season everyone is excited about what the rest of the summer will bring!

Thanks to Sarah Barr, one of our hosts from the Picos team, for these superb photos and blog piece!