Saturday 30 June 2018

Botanical tour in the Julian Alps

Another successful trip with Naturetrek has just concluded a few days ago. This time we co-lead a group of naturalists on a botanical exploration of the Julian Alps (Triglav National Park) in northwestern Slovenia. Our base was in Bohinj from where we explored the surrounding mountains, forests and valleys, including: Soriška planina, the Pokljuka plateau, the Mostnica gorge & Voje valley, the Bled area, the Vrata valley and last but not least, mount Mangart. We visited a vast array of habitats and gathered a large list of plants, some of which are either endemic or typical for the Julian Alps. Although the season was quite early for some high-altitude gems such as Zois' Bellflower Campanula zoysii, Julian Poppy Papaver alpinum ssp. ernesti-mayeri and Sternberg's Pink Dianthus sternbergii, we nevertheless managed to see them in flower, along with several other sub-alpine plants, on the dry riverbed on the bottom of the Vrata valley. Some high-altitude plants  (such as those in the first pictures of the below selection) are frequently washed down from the mountains and can be found growing quite well ond dry riverbeds, shingle banks or screes on the valley's bottom. 
On the the bird front the most exciting encounter was with a female Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus in the middle of a forest road on the Pokljuka plateau. On mount Mangart we also heard a calling Ptarmigan Lagopus muta, while in Bohinj we had singing Western Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli. Among other wildlife we had several species of interesting butterflies (see pictures below) as well as Alpine Salamander Salamandra atra, Alpine Marmot Marmota marmota and Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra.
The photo selection is quite long this time... Enjoy!

Zois' Bellflower Campanula zoysii, Vrata valley.

Julian Poppy Papaver alpinum ssp. ernesti-mayeri, Vrata valley.

Alpine Toadflax Linaria alpina & Yellow Saxifrage Saxifraga aizoides, Vrata valley.

Sternberg's Pink Dianthus sternbergii, Vrata valley.

Einsele's Columbine Aquilegia einseleana, Vrata valley.

Tufted Horned Rampion Physoplexis comosa, Mt. Mangart.

Pink Cinquefoil Potentilla nitida, Mt. Mangart.

King of the Alps Eritrichum nanum, Mt. Mangart.

Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum, Mt. Mangart.

Trumpet Gentian Gentiana clusii, Mt. Mangart.

Bear's Ear Primula auricula & Roseroot Rhodiola rosea, Mt. Mangart.

Dwarf Alpenrose Rhodothamnus chamaecistus, Mt. Mangart.

Hairy Alpenrose Rhododendron hirsutum, Mt. Mangart.

Sieber's Rampion Phyteuma sieberi, Mt. Mangart.

Yellow Paederota Paederota lutea, Mt. Mangart.

Alpine Snowbell Soldanella alpina, Mt. Mangart.

Purple Saxifrage Saxifraga oppositifolia & Yellow Whitlow-grass Draba aizoides, Mt. Mangart.

Burser's Saxifrage Saxifraga burseriana, Mt. Mangart.

Livelong Saxifrage Saxifraga paniculata, Mt. Mangart.

Cushion Saxifrage Saxifraga squarrosa, Vrata valley.

Haller's Primrose Primula halleri, Mt. Mangart.

Oxslip Primula elatior, Mt. Mangart.

Traunfellner's Buttercup Ranunculus traunfellneri, Mt. Mangart.

Net-leaved Willow Salix reticulata, Mt. Mangart.

Mossy Cyphel Minuartia sedoides, Mt. Mangart.

Carpathian Cat's-foot Antennaria carpatica, Mt. Mangart.

Thorny Thistle Cirsium spinosissimum, Mt. Mangart.

Beaked Lousewort Pedicularis rostratocapitata & Edelweiss Leontopodium alpinum, Mt. Mangart.

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris, Mt. Mangart.

Sub-alpine meadows on mount Mangart.

Pink Cinquefoil Potentilla nitida & Mt. Mangart.

Mountain views from the Mangart saddle.

Red Vanilla Orchid Nigritella rubra (N. miniata), Pokljuka plateau.

Heart-leaved Globularia Globularia cordifolia, Pokljuka plateau.

Arnica Arnica montana, Pokljuka plateau.

Pannonian Gentian Gentiana pannonica, Pokljuka plateau.

Yellow Wood Violet Viola biflora, Pokljuka plateau.

Fairy's Thimble Campanula cochleariifolia, Vrata valley.

Scheuchzer's Bellflower Campanula scheuchzeri, Pokljuka plateau.

Small-white Orchid Pseudorchis albida, Pokljuka plateau.

Pyramidal Bugle Ajuga pyramidalis, Pokljuka plateau.

Dark Stonecrop Sedum atratum, Pokljuka plateau.

Sweet William Dianthus barbatus, Soriška planina.

Yellow Bellflower Campanula thyrsoides, Soriška planina.

 Carniolan Lily Lilium carniolicum & Rayed Broom Genista radiata, Soriška planina.

Pink Viper's-grass Scorzonera rosea, Soriška planina.

Julian Lousewort Pedicularis elongata ssp. julica, Soriška planina.

Martagon Lily Lilium martagon, Soriška planina.

Alpine Leek Allium victorialis, Soriška planina.

"Dark Vanilla Orchid" Nigritella rhellicani, Soriška planina.

White False Helleborine Veratrum album, Pokljuka plateau.

Encrusted Saxifrage Saxifraga crustata, Soriška planina.

Mountain Everlasting Antennaria dioica, Soriška planina.

Purple-edged Copper Lycaena hippothoe, Soriška planina.

Blind Ringlet Erebia pharte, Soriška planina.

Bright-eyed Ringlet Erebia oeme, Soriška planina.

Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia, Soriška planina.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis, Soriška planina.

Lush mountain meadows on Soriška planina. with Alpine Leek, Carniolan Lily & many others.

South-facing mounatin slopes above Soriška planina.

View to the "Lower Bohinj Alps", including mounts Črna prst & Rodica.

The perfect alpine pic-nic.

Scarce Copper Lycaena virgaureae on Great Masterwort Astrantia major, Voje valley.

Marsh Helleborine Epipactis palustris, Voje valley.

Hay meadows in the Voje valley.

Lesser Marbled Fritillary Brenthis ino, Voje valley.

Red Helleborine Cephalanthera rubra, Vrata valley.

Short-spurred Fragrant Orchid Gymnadenia odoratissima, Vrata valley.

Dark Red Helleborine Epipactis atrorubens, Vrata valley.

Round-leaved Wintergreen Pyrola rotundifolia, Vrata valley.

Peričnik waterfall in the Vrata valley.

Yellow Broomrape Orobanche lutea, Voje valley.

Intermediate Wintergreen Pyrola media, Mostnica gorge.

Carniolan Masterwort Astrantia carniolica, Mostnica gorge.

Yellow Bird's-nest Monotropa hypopitys, Mostnica gorge.

Beech Fern Phegopteris connectilis, Pokljuka plateau.

Alpine Salamander Salamandra atra, Pokljuka plateau.

Lesser Twayblade Listera (Neottia) cordata, Pokljuka plateau.

Twayblade photographers.

Coralroot Orchid Corallorhiza trifida, Pokljuka plateau.

Bearded Bellflower Campanula barbata, Pokljuka plateau.

Round-leaved Sundew Drosera rotundifolia, Pokljuka plateau.

Great Sundew Drosera anglica, Bled.

False Heath Fritillary Melitaea diamina, Pokljuka plateau.

White Admiral Limenitis camilla, Mostnica gorge.

Crested Tit Lophophanes cristatus, Pokljuka plateau.

Mount Triglav's northern cliff seen from the Vrata valley.

Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra, Vrata valley.

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