The chapel at Saint-Marcellin
Les Gourniers, is a characteristic mountain hamlet, that marks the entrance to Chargès valley and to the Ecrins National Park. Next, a succession of cascades adds to the enchanting atmosphere of the path as well as the verdant flora of the valley. Chabrières peak reminds us of the reality of the mountains.
This funny red bird with a red helmet and a long light coloured beak is the biggest woodpecker in the Alps. It is difficult to see because it is very solitary and distrustful. However, thanks to numerous clues that reveal its presence, it is possible to place its song and its very typical and sonorous. It taps endlessly to defend its territory and to find bark beetles or carpenter ants.
Long Tailed Tit
This Tit is easily recognizable thanks to its ball of feathers coloured white, black, brown and pink, extended by a very long tail. Not very selective, it adapts to all kinds of forest environments as long as they are dense. Although it is more common on the plain, it is also present in the mountains up to an altitude of 2 000 m in the Alps. Unlike other tits, the Long Tailed Tit nests in a spherical and flexible nest which grows little by little as the young birds develop.
The Rock Bunting is mainly a Southern mountain species. In the cold season, it migrates towards the valleys or the plains. In Spring, from the top of a bush, sings his song, agreeable but not very remarkable or loud. As long as you are discreet and attentive, it is possible to sometimes hear his little "tsip", high-pitched brief cries.
Discreetly hanging onto the cliff thanks to its long clawed feet, the Wallcreeper is on a search for insects and spiders that it’s long, narrow, curved beak enables it to extract. The unique representative of the Tichodroma family, the Wallcreeper dominates the vertical mountain wall where it finds its home and safety. Not a shy species, it is emblematic of the mountain region, the Wallcreeper sometimes moves closer to the villages in Winter.
Short Toed Snake Eagle
Spring has only just returned when you can hear cries as loud as the church bells. You have to lift your head up to admire two large birds flying together, alternating aerobatics and hovering in the sky like two silver coloured kites playing with the wind.. Their light stocky silhouette and their darker head enable you to identify the Short-toed Snake Eagle. It mainly feeds on reptiles (lizards and snakes) which it captures by the head, which it can then regurgitate in order to feed its young.
From the carpark at Gourniers, cross the hamlet to go up the valley along the torrent at Chargès. Follow the path until Saint-Marcellin chapel. Go back following the same itinerary.
Maison du Parc de l'Embrunais
Place de l’Église, 05380 Châteauroux-les-Alpes
04 92 43 23 31
Information, documentation, exhibition, screenings, products and books of the Park. Accessible to people with reduced mobility. Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.
Access and parking
From Savines-le-lac, just after the bridge, take the road to Réallon. Follow the signs marked "Parc national des Ecrins", until the hamlet at Gourniers at the bottom of the valley.
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