Guided butterfly, botanical & birdwatching holidays
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Catalonia in Spring

 

Dates & Prices

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Dates: 2 – 9 April 2017 Almost full!

Price: £1,245

Single Room Supplement: £100

Deposit: £150 per person


Price Includes: All meals, accommodation with private facilities, ground transport, services of the guides, printed & bound holiday report & a donation to Butterfly Conservation

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, drinks and any other personal items

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to Butterfly Conservation

Leader: Tristan Lafranchis

Group Size & Travel: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 1-2 leaders. Comfortable vehicles will be used for all travel

Grade: Gentle pace. Ideally suited to photography

Holiday Highlights


  • A rare opportunity to spend time with Tristan Lafranchis, one of the best guides in Europe – in his local patch!
  • Relaxing week of wildlife watching; all sites we’ll visit are less than 2 hours drive and most are only 30 mins to 1 hour away
  • Habitats include Olive Grove, dry scrub & hillsides & coastal meadows on either side of the border with France
  • Regular moth trapping sessions at hotel and further afield; dry limestone hillside, sand dunes, reed bed etc
  • Butterflies to see include Provençal Hairstreak, Black-eyed and Panoptes Blues, Provence Orange-tip, Southern Small White, Spanish Festoon, Nettle-tree Butterfly & Weaver’s Fritillary
  • Enjoy the rich bird life of the area during migration. Sites include Aiguamolls Natural Park
  • Contribute to Butterfly Conservation

An exclusive opportunity to share a week of wildlife watching with Tristan Lafranchis on his local patch in northern Spain!

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Holiday Guide

Tristan Lafranchis is a celebrated expert and author. His published works include the highly acclaimed field guide “Butterflies of Europe” and the wonderfully illustrated two-volumed work “Flora of Greece” in 2009. Find out about Tristan’s latest books here. Tristan’s knowledge of the wilder parts of France, Greece and Spain, particularly their butterflies, moths and plants, is almost second to none. This and his friendly and easy-going manner make him an invaluable and much sought after leader.

Tristan was the 2011 winner of the Marsh European Lepidoptera Award, which recognises the efforts of those whose work has had a major and positive impact on butterfly and moth conservation within Europe. In summarising some of Tristan’s special qualities they said,  “Those who have accompanied him in the field are constantly amazed how the combination of botanical and butterfly knowledge produce an insight into a butterfly fauna that is shared by very few. If the food plant is there he will find the egg or the caterpillar. This sort of knowledge is the product of a field season that starts in February and ends in November”.


This is a special holiday with one of our most popular guides, Tristan Lafranchis, in his very own local patch! We offer you a rare opportunity to spend a week in the field with Tristan, enjoying a whole host of wildlife but focusing especially on moths, birds, butterflies and flowers.

Our hotel is located in a perfect place for early birdwatching walks, at the junction of Ter River, the sea and a nature reserve with reed beds and sandy grasslands. We will also make at least two visits to the Natural Park of Aiguamolls del Emporda. Most migrating birds travelling through western Europe are possible there. Permanent resident birds in the area include several Ducks, White Stork, Flamingo, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Bonelli’s Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Goshawk, Red Partridge, Purple Gallinule, Hoopoe, Thekla Lark, Sardinian Warbler and so on.

Every night we’ll aim to use a powerful actinic bulb at the hotel and to go moth hunting with a blacklight on a portable battery several times during the week, to explore other habitats including dry limestone hillside, sand dunes and reed bed. We can expect to see approximately 70 moth species during the week. On daily excursions we should encounter some interesting butterflies (approximately 30 species in total) are on the wing in April.

A selection of sites will be visited during the holiday and here are some of them and a few potential highlights at each:

La Fenollera: the area around the hotel with many possible migrating birds and nesting Hoopoe.  Butterflies include Western Dappled White, Bath White, Spanish Swallowtail and Cleopatra. It is also a good site for Ophrys arachnitiformis and O. tenthredinifera.

La Pletera: A protected  area of coastal marshes and meadows under restoration. A fine colony of Ophrys arachnitiformis and O. fusca (lupercalis), nesting Kentish Plover and other waders on migration.

Montgri: A large limestone hillside extending between the sea and a cultivated plain. We will visit several areas looking for butterflies (Provençal Hairstreak, Black-eyed and Panoptes Blues, Provence Orange-tip, Southern Small White etc). There are also various Orchids to see (no less than 9 different Ophrys), Dwarf Iris, small yellow-flowered Narcissus assoanus, together with a wide range of peas and flowers of other Mediterranean plants. Two pairs of Bonelli Eagle nest on the hillside and they can be seen regularly. Crested Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Firecrest and Woodlark are also common birds here.

Jaffre: A former large island on the edge of river Ter with many different habitats, ranging from dry grassland to ponds and riparian woodland. It is home for many species of plants including some scarce ones. Here grow 2 species or Birthworts, which feed a healthy population of the beautiful Spanish Festoon.

Aiguamolls bird sanctuary: A famous area for birdwatching. White Storks and Black-winged Stilts nesting, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Red-crested Pochard, Gull-billed Tern amongst many others. A dry hillside nearby is a good spot for butterflies including Spanish Swallowtail.

Hillsides towards the Pyrenees: we will look along a nice stream for Spanish Festoon, Nettle-tree Butterfly, Weaver’s Fritillary, whilst keeping an eye to the sky for migrating raptors.

Garriga de Figueras: a limestone hillside with dry grassland, pine woodlands and olive-grove which is home to many butterflies and flowers.

What we promise you is a relaxing and rewarding week of wildlife in this beautiful corner of Spain, with one of the best wildlife guides one can share their time with!

   

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2 – 7: Exploration of local area

Day 8: Transfer to the airport for return flights to the UK.

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Telephone: 01473 254658 (Mon - Sat 9am - 6pm)

Email: enquiries@greenwings.co.uk

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