Andujar or Somiedo, That is the Question!
Thanks again everyone for all the amazing information on my last request for information for our upcoming wildlife trip to Europe. The planning is coming along well and we are making definite progress. As usual, I am thinking I am being a bit too ambitious (sometimes that actually works out! But….), so I would like to ask your valuable opinions on one more thing: We are definitely planning on going to Sierra de Andujar for the Iberian Lynx, so that is set on the itinerary, but I keep seeing cool reports for northern Spain too – Somiedo and Sierra de la Culebra (bears and wolves…). As of now I can get about 3-4 days in the Andujar/Sierra Nevada NP region and about 2-3 days in the northern section for Somiedo/Culebra. Is this too much to think about? Should I cut Somiedo/Culebra in favor of more time down south?
If we were to keep Somiedo/Culebra, what are the odds we’d make a good spotting of the bear and wolf subspecies?
Again, thanks for all of your information thus far. This is our first wildlife expedition to Europe (outside of Scandinavia), and we’re pretty stoked to see some cool critters!
Thanks Jan! I think this is very helpful information. I was assuming pretty much the same so I think I am going to head south for more time with hopes of spotting the species there. Again – thanks!
Hi Coke, In august 2011 I visited the wolf vantage points in sierra de culebra (locals said (early?) spring was better) and some bear watching locations in the somiedo area. Missed both animals. Somiedo is a rather long drive if you only visit it for a day, the landscape is great (only saw the local Chamois species). The agricultural ‘steppes’ near Villafafila (nice heritage) are worth a visit if you decide to go the wolf sites (birds, Iberian Hare).
Julian Sykes (you can find him on facebook) is a tour guide in Spain and knows where and when to look for wolves (and lynx), maybe he has some advice.
Coto Donana is a brilliant area in the south. We also enjoyed the dolphin watching trips with Turmares from Tarifa, We saw killer whales too (august).
Have a great trip!
typo: Julian also knows the bear area. I didn’t use him btw, it is easy to find your way on your own in Spain
I would definitely consider Abruzzo NP in Italy for Bears and Wolves. Now is an excellent time and into the last week of May, particularly for Bears (Marsican). Some video on link: https://vimeo.com/42758037 – Regarding Iberian Lynx, if you are prepared to focus your time at La Lancha every day, you should be fine giving yourself 4-5 days.
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According my personal experience: July – to avoid for spotting Cantabrian brown bears in Somiedo. in general they avoid coming out of the dens forest patches ’cause of the heath and no berries (lower down in the valleys) yet to eat on. 15th of August ok again. Or go there right now. Wolves during July last year in Culebra: just a few brief obs from people patiently waiting for days near the well known vintage points. I had the luck 2c a pack of three hunting a red deer. Also earlier in April this year saw them again; 6th time in a row now there with always prolonged views. Marvelous animals they are! Andujar and Iberian lynx: it’s all about spotting (during dusk and dawn) individuals coming in to drink before the heath and/or haze appears. Good luck!