Vercors Wildlife Watching
Sunday 12th – Sunday 19th June 2016
Between Grenoble and Valence the Vercors is an area of mountainous limestone. Deep gorges cut by rivers over millions of years are topped by a plateau rising to over 2,300m. The cliff scenery is dramatic. It is an area little known outside France, and our tours over the past few years have proved that the area can provide a superb week of wildlife in its own right.
Scenic and accessible, this jumble of limestone mountains provides a rich range of flowers, birds, mammals and butterflies, all adding their own magic to a stunningly beautiful part of France. And then, of course, you add in excellent wine and food (but not necessarily in that order!) and you know this is another typically good Travelling Naturalist destination.
The high tops here have a good range of mountain birds, including Alpine Chough, Golden Eagle and Citril Finch. Below the plateau, the forests show a decidedly Central and Eastern European influence, with the odd breeding Nutcracker and Tengmalm’s Owl amongst the beeches and firs.
The mammals here are also fascinating, with Chamois quite widespread, while Alpine Ibex are the subject of a reintroduction scheme. We also visit a colony of Alpine Marmot close to where Alpine Choughs nest in a cave.
If the frequent mention of ‘Alpine’ makes you nervous, don’t worry. This is always a gently paced tour with the vehicle taking the strain of reaching higher locations; and once you have visited the Vercors, if you are anything like our leaders, you will want to return time and again.
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