Wildflowers, Birds, & Butterflies of Northern Spain

A Natural History Tour Offered by The New York Botanical Garden

June 12-22, 2004

NYBG Leaders: Scott Mori & Carol Gracie

Our 2002 tour to southern France was so delightful that we immediately began planning a similar tour to another European destination known for its scenic beauty and profusion of wildflowers. The Picos de Europa in northern Spain are composed primarily of glacially-sculpted limestone, resulting in spectacular topography that provides habitat for numerous lime-loving species.

Our trip begins in Madrid Barajas Airport where we will meet at noon on June 12th. Please make your own flight arrangements to allow plenty of time to meet us at noon. Our guides will transport us northward by minivans, allowing time for a few scenic stops and a picnic lunch. Our first destination is the province of Cantabria where we can enjoy the colorful Potes market the next morning.

From our bases in Potes and Valdeón, we will take daily field trips to sites of natural history interest on mountain slopes, in hay meadows, and in valley forests. The many quaint villages of the Picos abound with picturesque vernacular architecture, and we shall also visit some attractive pre-Romanesque churches.

Our guides are skilled all-around naturalists with special interest in the flora and fauna of Spain. British by birth, Teresa Farino fell in love with the Picos 17 years ago and decided to make the area her home. Teresa's knowledge of both flora and fauna is most impressive. She is the author of several books on natural history topics including Sunflower Publisher's Landscapes of the Picos de Europa and Spain: Travellers' Nature Guide soon to be published by Oxford University Press. John Muddeman, also British, has lived in the Madrid area and is an avid birder. He is the author of A Birdwatcher's Guide to Extremadura and is currently working on a birding guide to the Balearic Islands.

Among plant species that we hope to see are "bee orchids" in the genus Ophrys, along with many other of the 40 local species of orchids; pasque-flowers; Martagon lilies; gentians; and saxifrages. Interesting birds should include griffon vultures, short-toed eagles, alpine choughs, snow finches, and perhaps the hard-to-find wall-creeper. Butterflies are numerous with over 145 species found in the Picos. Wild chamois are the most abundant large mammal that we are likely to see.

Dr. Scott Mori and his wife, Carol Gracie, have extensive research and guiding experience in the tropics and have led 30 previous tours for The New York Botanical Garden.  They are the authors of A Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central French Guiana, among other publications.

Please join us for a different view of Spain. Limited to 12 people.

For additional information, call (718) 817-8647, e-mail to Carol Gracie at cgracie@nybg.org, or send this form to: Carol Gracie, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458.

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Fee: $2450 including all meals (except as noted on tour information sheet), accommodations (double occupancy), and field trips. A limited number of single accommodations are available at an additional cost of $210.

[ ] I have enclosed a check in the amount of $400 per person payable to The New York Botanical Garden as a non-refundable deposit. Please send reservation materials and reserve a space for me. (Send to attention of Carol Gracie)

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