Monday, 19 May 2014

What a week of Wolves and Bears!

The week augured well as the light was good, clear with no haze and there had been reports of some bear sightings on previous days. But our days in Asturias reaped even better results than we had hoped for, with 9 individuals seen on one particular morning.

The large dark male and his lighter female mate were enjoying the lush spring grass on several occasions and sightings of these two were rewardingly close as we enjoyed watching their activities during morning and evening sessions.

Up on a sheer cliff, we watched as a mother bear emerged accompanied by two tiny cubs who kept close by their mum as she aimed to get to grassy ledges for much needed nourishment while still keeping her charges safe by remaining on the cliff side ,away from other ursine attention.To see these two cubs,freshly out of the den, clambering, playing and copying mum, was a joy in itself, and the mother bear was proving to be a watchful mum to her charges. The photo is of the cliff face...zoom in to see the bears which feature merely as tiny dots! 

One morning we saw a large, dark bear obviously searching in the area of the base of this cliff, and at first glance it was considered to be the mum looking for her cubs. But we were soon reassured that they were safe as the three appeared higher up the mountain, and the wandering dark bear could later be seen with a much smaller bear,possibly a cub from the previous year.  The interplay between these two upon meeting each other after an absence, was fascinating to watch, as they nudged, mouthed, and rolled each other over in sheer joy at being reunited.

Sightings this week were close, reliable and we were even still watching the mother and cubs at 13:30!

Upon our return to Sierra de la Culebra  John had a fantastic encounter with a wolf early one morning.

At a distance of no more than 10 metres, this magnificent creature stood looking at John as he raised his camera to try to get that shot so many of us long for.  Remaining motionless for some 2 minutes, enough time for these photographs, it then calmly turned and loped off into the heather,silhouetted against the pink dawn sky.

 Breathtaking moments and we could only marvel at the sights we have been granted this week.  We are delighted to share these with you.

   "No-one can deceive the eyes of a wolf. They always know." 

R.D.Lawrence  "In Praise of Wolves."




  1. Wow what an amazing encounter, and beautiful photos, how very lucky.

    1. Hello Dave, Yes it was an amazing time! We are very lucky to be in such beautiful places so often. Hope you and Dominique are both well,and perhaps we'll see you again in the Sierra de la Culebra sometime when you are en route to mum? Thanks for your interest. Margaret.