The French Pyrenees
This is our flagship overseas residential course. As a family we fell in love with the Hautes Pyrenees over a series of previous trips. Whats not to love about the scenery and the food! But its also somewhere that is teeming with wildlife of all types that can be seen in a relatively small area and without scaling mountains.
This trip focuses on butterflies and birds. In previous trips we’ve easily seen over 80 species of butterfly, including stunning Apollos, Swallowatil and Scarce Swallowtail, Berers and Mountain Clouded Yellows, 8 species of Fritillary, the rare and local Gavarnie and Glandon Blues, a bewildering array of Erebia ringlet species (including the endemic Pyrenees Brassy ringlet) and Pyrgus skippers (think Grizzled Skipper, but as many as 8 species!). These wonderful butterflies are flying through meadows full of flowers including Martagon Lilly, English Lilly, orchids such as helleborines, Creeping Lady’s Tresses and overhead vultures and eagles soar by, including Lammergeyer which nest locally and are seen most days, not to mention Alpine Chough and a good chance of Snowfinch and Alpine Accentor. If we get really lucky we may find everyone’s target, the Wallcreeper.
The walks are designed to be slow and easy to maximise enjoyment of the wildlife and scenery, so you can enjoy your lunch sitting in a meadow watching the Alpine Marmots or an array of puddling butterflies as you paddle in a cool stream. In the evenings we’ll go through the days sightings, identifying species and discussing what’s been seen as well as having short briefings on the plans for the following days trips to locations such as the Cirques of Gavarnie, Estaube and Tromouse, the high mountains of the Port de Boucharoo and the jewel of them all, the Val d’Oussoue.