Picos de Europa

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We drove down the road opposite the hotel to look for bears.   Three bears had been seen in the area, but we had no luck spotting them or signs of  their presence.   We also kept a look out for wild cats, but  did not see them either.

This is the nearest I got to taking a photograph of the Griffon Vultures.

Yesterday we saw a possible nest with trails of lime down the cliff and on many days we have seen them circling around, but never near enough for my lenses.

http://www.shutterstock.com/    has many wonderful pictures of the vultures

Silybum marianum

This looks like a bear's cave

Picture taken from the back seat of the mini bus - note the cowherds' umbrellas.   The cows are casinas

We went on to an environmental museum and saw an excellent film on the wildlife of the region.

See through floor at the museum

Golden-striped Salamander


Black Woodpecker

Traditional interiors and exteriors

Corridor in the museum

Next we visited a Power Station gorge;  the water was pounding down  over the rocks and streams were coming out of the stone walls.   Water, water everywhere...the plants were dripping. 

There was a party of school children giving their teacher a lot to worry about;  obviously not so hidebound by health and safety regs.

River that powers the Power Station

Power Station

Oats again this time dripping

Maidenhair fern


Drenched figs


Hieracium mixtum

Gyas titanus - The biggest spider in Europe

Orchis tenthredinifera - Sawfly Ophrys

Latticed heath moth

Female Adonis Blue - Polyommatus bellargus

Speckled Yellow Moth

Martagon lily

Pope's bodyguard bugs mating

Melampyrum pratense

Large White Helleborine - Cephalanthera damasonium

Phyteuma spicatum


Bracket fungus

Birdsnest Orchid    (one on the right with flash gives better colour )


Mosses and Lichens

Spanish moss

10cm slug

Hybrid between Ophrys tenthredinifera and O. sphegodes

Orchis tenthredinifera - Sawfly Ophrys

Early Spider Orchid - Ophrys sphegodes