Thursday, 21 June 2012

Newsletter June 2012

Male Great Bustard
Hello to you all,

"Sharp-shooter Ottway is employed by a refinery in Alaska to shoot the wolves that sometimes target the rednecks as they carry out their exhausting work.  After a gruelling five-week shift, Ottway boards the plane home only  for a brutal storm to wrench the craft apart, depositing the widower and 7 other men into the Alaskan tundra.  The men huddle together...but the local wildlife quickly encroaches on the crash site, attacking one of them.  With the howls of the wolves chilling the survivors even more than the icy blasts of wind, Ottway tries to galvanise his co-workers into action."

Stirring stuff, aimed to entice punters into the cinema to watch "The Grey";  what a combination! Wild animals intent on human kill...and Liam Neeson. We fool ourselves sometimes that we have progressed beyond the Grimm Brothers but it seems the Big Bad Wolf is still an easy target. This misnomer can hopefully be counteracted with education and responsible wildlife filming/tourism.

Dartford Warbler

 Our philosophy here at Wild Wolf Experience is that we aim to observe and study animals in the wild and try to learn about them respecting their own parameters. Our sightings may not always be the closest or the longest therefore, but they are truly thrilling when the hours of responsible tracking and waiting come to fruition, and for John and me it is made even more thrilling when we can show and share these moments with you too.

Wolf Country!
We have just returned from the Sierra de la Culebra where John and I spent our time walking new routes, discovering  new viewpoints and gleaning information to further ensure that you as our clients get the best chance of success during your time in the area. It was not all rushing around and research of course...much of this has to be taken by necessity over a cerveza or cafe con leche! The atmosphere in the local bar was electric during the recent Spain/Italy football match and  we are to be there again in time for the final on July 1st.  It seems highly unlikely to be a match  between Spain and England, and that is probably for the best in our case.

Traffic jam...Northern Portugal style.

This was not specifically a wildlife watching tour so I was relieved not to be constantly writing the trip report, but habits die hard, so I did list the species seen  (including Wolf!) and these are at the end of this newsletter.  We missed seeing two wolves by ten minutes on the first night of our arrival but gained a view of a single Wolf walking then loping across the heather at a later date on a clear, beautiful evening at La Piste, where there have been several reliable sightings reported. 

The majestic castle at Puebla de Sanabria.

It is a busy summer ahead  and John and I are looking forward to sharing our  wildlife experiences with all of you via this blog, or even better on one of our tours.

 Even Liam Neeson is invited!  

All best wishes,


Species spotted during our visit were:-

Rock Thrush
Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Red Kite, Black Kite, Common Buzzard, Goshawk, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Hen Harrier, Montague's Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel.

Spanish Sparrow, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Sandmartin, Housemartin, Cragmartin, Swift, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Spotless Starling, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Woodlark,  Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Crested Tit, Tawny Pipit, Black Redstart, Serin, Dunnock, Bee-eater, Collared Dove, Turtle Dove, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Jay, Raven, Magpie,Wren, Red-backed Shrike, Southern Grey Shrike, Nightjar, Bluethroat, Golden Oriole, Northern Wheatear, Stonechat, Blackbird, Rockthrush,  Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Dartford Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Whitethroat, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Linnet, Mistle Thrush, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Cuckoo, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Robin, Great Bustard, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Lapwing, Grey Heron, White Stork.
Rock Sparrow
Red Deer, Roe Deer, Wild Boar, Oscillated Lizard,  Iberian Wall Lizard,
Iberian Water Frog.
Wild Boar track

Clouded Yellow Butterfly, Dark Green Fritillary, Common Blue Butterfly, Demoiselles, Water Vole, possible Wildcat....and WOLF!


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