NORTHERN SPAIN: Wildcats, Wolves & Wallcreepers

DATES & PRICES
DATES: Wednesday 21st – Sunday 25th August 2019 (Asturias airport to Asturias airport)
PRICE: £1,199 
per person plus flight
ESTIMATED FLIGHT PRICE:
London to Asturias direct approx. £150 return

CONSERVATION DONATION from Wise Birding: Approx. £125 – £175
DEPOSIT: £300 per person

MINIMUM NUMBER required for trip to run: 5 people
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE: 7 people
NIGHT ACCOMMODATION:
4 nights hotel full board

Target Species:
European Wildcat, Iberian Wolf, Chamois, Wild Boar, Wallcreeper, Yellow-billed Chough and other birds.

Conservation work that you will directly contribute to by joining this holiday: SEE HERE

TOUR SUMMARY & FULL ITINERARY
This tour is based in the beautiful Cantabrian Mountains and associated foothills of the Picos de Europa National Park. The purpose of this tour is solely to see both European Wildcat and Iberian Wolf, though during the daytime when mammal activity is low, we shall spend time looking for some of the speciality birds to be found in this area, in particular the beautiful Wallcreeper. See video below of one of the nine animals we saw during our 2015 tour:

For many years, seeing mammals like Wildcat and Wolf in Europe has always been one of the toughest challenges. However, in the last couple of years, thanks to the specialist knowledge and dedication of our local guides, it has become a lot easier! Late summer is the best time to find the European Wildcat, when newly cut meadows allow excellent hunting opportunities for Wildcats.wolf-600-wide

Likewise, this is also a good time to see Wolves as family groups can be located. This tour gives you the best chance of connecting with these two magnificent and exciting mammals. Asturias airport is no more than a couple of hours away from the key hotspot and we shall spend every morning and every evening trying to get good views of both of these animals. During late summer, we should wildcat-300enjoy perfect weather in the mountains, with pleasant temperatures throughout and at least some sunshine with good light conditions for observation and photography, both in the early hours of the morning and during the late afternoon / evening. This is prime time for both Wildcat and Wolf watching and with our local guide’s knowledge and access to Land Rovers to negotiate the tricky terrain, we shall spend every morning and evening searching for these two fascinating species.

It is a beautiful landscape in which to observe these mammals. At this time of year, groups of Iberian Wolves are busy feeding their young in the vicinity of the den and Wild Cats are actively hunting on the newly cut meadows. Viewing distances of Wildcats can be as close as 50M and therefore perfect for those keen on photography and it is not unusual to see a number of individuals in a single day at this time of year! Wolf viewing tends to be at a greater distance, but is still an exciting experience with animals usually in the region of 300-400M.

DAY 1
We shall transfer to our hotel in the afternoon following arrival into Asturias airport and dependent on the most recent information, we shall spend our first evening looking for Wildcats or Wolves! Overnight Boca de Huergano

DAYS 2 – 3Wallcreeper
The next two days shall take a similar format with the first and last parts of each day spent focused on trying to get good views of the two key mammal species (Wolf and Wildcat) and the rest of the day shall be spent birding around the local area where we shall look for species such as Honey Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Egyptian Vuture and more. Whilst we wait and scan for our target species, we will also have the opportunity to watch other interesting mammals such as the Chamois, Wild Boar, Red Deer and Roe Deer. Overnight Boca de Huergano

DAY 4
Today, we head in search of Alpine birds and take the cable car from Fuente De to the high tops. We shall spend the morning walking and exploring the area searching for the alpine specialities: Alpine Accentor, Alpine chough, Wallcreeper and Snowfinch. We shall spend the afternoon searching for Wildcats again, close to the hotel. Overnight Boca de Huergano

DAY 5
Dependent on flight times, we may be able to spend our last morning of Wildcat / Wolf observation before transferring to the airport.

 

IMPORTANT HOLIDAY DETAILS
Leaders: Chris Townend or Ryan Irvine & Local Leader
Included in cost: Accomm. in twin en-suite rooms, all meals, water, ground transport and services of leader
NOT Included in cost: International airfare, travel insurance, drinks other than water, any airport/visa fees and items of a personal nature
Accommodation: Small hotel very close to Wildcat and Wolf watching sites and within the Park
Single Supplement: £99
Max. Group Size: 7
Transport: Minibus & Landrover
Difficulty: Generally easy walking, though some undulating terrain when searching for Alpine birds on day 4.
Climate: Variable from quite cold in the mornings to pleasantly warm during the day with a chance of rain.
Meeting Point: Asturias airport, Spain
Tour End: Asturias airport on day 5
Suggested Airlines: Easyjet from London Stansted
Note: This is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted in relation to arrival and departure times, weather conditions and other related factors.