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Stories

An Immersion With Rémuzat Griffon Vultures / Tour Report May 2017

Picking up our 2 participants in Geneva early in the morning, we arrived at our accommodation soon after lunch to drop our luggage. The place is absolutely incredible. A real gem hidden at the end of a small road, lost in nature, with the most breathtaking view you can wish for.

Right when we started to walk to Rocher du Caire in St May, we spotted a female Montagu's Harrier, and a Short-toed Snake-eagle soon after. The entire afternoon was dedicated to watch and photograph Griffon Vultures at eye level. 

 Griffon Vulture.

Griffon Vulture.

Back to our accommodation for sunset, we enjoyed a nice apero and a delicious dinner before going to bed under a sky full of stars.

The next morning we met with one of the responsible of the vultures reintroduction program. For a couple of hours our participants got the chance to learn more about the birds, their habitat and their reintroduction. We also watched several Griffon Vultures nests from a reasonable distance, which was extremely interesting as we could see the chicks too.

There are now about 200 couples of Griffon Vultures in the area. Knowing that the first one was reintroduced in 1996, this is a pretty impressive success. In addition to Griffon Vultures, we had other great observations including a Cinereous Vulture and a Bearded Vulture!

Stopping in the village of Rémuzat for a short walk and a nice lunch, we could still watch the vultures soaring above the mountain, as well as Northern House Martins flying right above us.

In the afternoon we headed to another beautiful spot nearby where a couple of Bearded Vultures is being reintroduced. We explored this magnificent area for a while, before going back to St May for sunset. Watching the silhouettes of Griffon Vultures soaring around us with the sun setting right behind them was mesmerizing. In the evening, the magic of our place worked again. Diner was fabulous and the sky was even prettier than the day before.

On Sunday morning we woke up even earlier to watch the sunrise from Rocher du Caire. We were all alone to watch the first Griffon Vultures of the day. It felt surreal. At some point, about 20 of them were circling right in front of us. Sightings of Short-toed Snake-eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Alpine Swifts, Common Kestrel AND MORE completed this fantastic morning.

Finally, after a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, we stopped in a small village to look for European Bee-eater, and we found them in 2 different spots.

This tour was absolutely wonderful on every level. Wildlife, landscapes, food, people... everything was amazing. Here you will find the complete list of the bird species we have seen and heard during this fabulous wildlife tour:

Alpine Swift, Barn Swallow, Bearded Vulture, Black Kite, Black Redstart, Cinereous Vulture, Common Chaffinch, Common Cuckoo, Common Hoopoe, Common Kestrel, Common Linnet, Common Raven, Common Stonechat, Common Swift, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Blackbird, Eurasian Buzzard, Eurasian Collared-dove, Eurasian Crag Martin, Eurasian Green Woodpecker, Eurasian Jackdaw, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, European Bee-eater, European Serin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Grey Wagtail, Griffon Vulture, Montagu's Harrier, Northern House Martin, Ortolan Bunting, Red-backed Shrike, Short-toed Snake-eagle, Subalpine Warbler, Tawny Pipit, Wallcreeper, Western Orphean Warbler.

On the last morning we also spotted a small group of Wild Boars :)
We cannot wait to share that experience with more participants. If you are interested, please contact us!

Salva Fauna