Tuesday 14 August 2018

Alpine gems on mount Vogel

Two days ago we took a wonderful daily hike to the Julian Alps and climbed mount Vogel (1922 m) in the southern part of the Triglav National Park. This mountain is primarily known by its ski resort, set on a high plateau above the lake of Bohinj that can be easily accessed by cable car. However the area around the resort is heavily transformed with ski-lifts, pists & gravel roads ruining the natural alpine landscape. Instead we chose to walk on Vogel from its more pleasant southern slopes, starting at Planina Kuk & Planina Razor above Tolmin. The photo selection is arranged in a chronological order, as we walked up the mountain from bottom to summit.
Planina Kuk with mount Zabiški Kuk (1844 m) in the front.

Willow Gentian Gentiana asclepiadea

Campanula cespitosa is the most typical bellflower of late summer in the mountains.

Large Ringlet Erebia euryale

Southern slopes of mount Vogel.

Woolly Thistle Cirsium eriophorum

Narrow-leaved Monk's-hood Aconitum angustifolium, an endemic of the southern Julian Alps, is very common on the alpine pastures of Vogel.
Pyrenean Dead-nettle Hormium pyrenaicum grows in large numbers on the mountain pastures of Planina Razor. In Slovenia is restricted to the southern Julian Alps of Bohinj and Tolmin.

Chalkhill Blue Polyommatus coridon is the commonest butterfly in the Alps at this time of year.

Stone Bramble Rubus saxatilis

Narrow-leaved Monk's-hood Aconitum angustifolium along the path to Vogel's saddle.

The first Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum along the path. This is one of the commonest flowers on Vogel. Never seen so many of these in one site!

At this time of year Campanula cespitosa has almost completely replaced Scheuchzer's Bellflower C. scheuchzeri & Fairy's-thimble C. cochleariifolia on the rocks along the paths.

Sub-alpine belt above the treeline on Vogel's southern slopes.

"Julian Columbine" Aquilegia iulia is an endemic of the Slovenian Alps and recently split from Bertoloni's Columbine A. bertolonii (growing in the western Alps). Common on limestone screes and in full bloom at this time of year.

Lorkovič's Brassy Ringlet Erebia calcaria sucking nectar from Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum. This small mountain butterfly is endemic to the Julian Alps & Karavanke of NW Slovenia and the Alps of NE Italy. It was first discovered in Slovenia in the 1950s.

Lorkovič's Brassy Ringlet Erebia calcaria
Clusius' Cinquefoil Potentilla clusiana

Zois' Bellflower (Crimped Bellflower) Campanula zoysii is common in the rocks close to Vogel's summit, but is now at the end of its bloom. It is perhaps the most interesting flower of the Slovenian Alps - an endemic species of the Julian, Carnic & Kamnik-Savinja Alps and Karavanke.

Aptly dressed for the occasion
(and some promotion for Alpine Botanical Garden Juliana)

Alpine Aster Aster alpinus

The "Lower Bohinj mountains" to the east of mount Vogel. The highest top on the right is Rodica (1966 m).

 A few steps to Vogel's summit.

On the top! The view north to the interior of the Julian Alps.

On the northern slopes of Vogel, some snow still persists into August.

Shepherd's Fritillary Boloria pales on the northern screes of Vogel.

Northern slopes of Vogel.

Lake Bohinj is just visible from the Globoko pass north-west of Vogel.

Alpine Thrift Armeria alpina is a common flower on limestone screes.

Yellow-spotted Ringlet Erebia manto

During our afternoon descend from Vogel, the southern grassy slopes were full of Lorkovič's Brassy Ringlets Erebia calcaria in feeding frenzy; either sucking minerals from cow's dung or sucking nectar from flowers.

A cosy bivouac on the southern slopes of Vogel.

"Julian Cornflower" Centaurea haynaldii ssp. julica

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis being mobbed by a Kestrel Falco tinnunculus. This was perhaps the most interesting encounter on the bird front. We also observed Alpine Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus, Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta, Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula and Willow Tit Poecile montanus.

Late afternoon view of the mountain pastures on the foothills of Zabiški Kuk.

 Find out more about the wildlife of the Slovenian mountains on our website: Mountains-Alps