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Butterfly photography in Macedonia

Butterfly photography in Macedonia


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New for 2018! Join our exciting butterfly photography tour of Macedonia, visiting Pletvar, Pelister NP and Galichicha NP with Adrian Hoskins, wildlife photographer and author of “Butterflies of the World” and “1000 Butterflies”. Adrian has led over 50 butterfly photography tours across South America, Africa, Europe & Asia.

Macedonia is a sunny, safe and welcoming country with 202 recorded butterfly species. Its pleasant habitats range from sub-alpine meadows to limestone gorges, river valleys and extensive grassland/scrub mosaics.

About 150 of Macedonia’s butterflies have been recorded at the sites we visit on this tour, but it’s important to note that this holiday is not designed for those whose main aim is to build large species lists or seek out rarities. It is a slow paced trip designed specifically for butterfly photographers who like to have plenty of time at each site to get the best possible photographs of each species.

Travelling distances are relatively short so on most days we expect to be able to spend around 6 hours in the field. We will stay at good quality hotels or resorts, chosen for their proximity to the butterfly habitats.

The group will be limited to a maximum of 6, and the pace will be very relaxed. Guests will be encouraged to split into pairs or work alone, as this will maximise their photographic opportunities. Adrian will not be carrying out field IDs, but will happily assist in identifying butterflies from photographs on your laptops in the evenings. For those who wish, there will also be ample opportunities to quiz him about photography techniques.

After being met at Tirana airport in Albania at midday, we have a scenic drive of about 3 hours to our hotel on the peaceful shores of beautiful Lake Ohrid in Macedonia, arriving late afternoon.

Based at Lake Ohrid, we have almost 3 full days to explore the open grassy peaks, forested valleys and flower-filled meadows of Galichicha NP, which lies immediately to the south-east. We will take packed lunches to maximise our time in the habitats. Among the species that occur here, we hope to see Apollo, Scarce Swallowtail, Swallowtail, Southern White Admiral, Cardinal, Niobe Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Silver-washed Fritillary, Spotted Fritillary, Lesser Spotted Fritillary, European Map, Alcon Blue, Amanda’s Blue, Zephyr Blue, Eros Blue, Ripart’s Anomalous Blue, Ilex Hairstreak, Berger’s Clouded Yellow, Lesser Lattice Brown, Esper’s Marbled White, Balkan Marbled White, Large Wall Brown and Sandy Grizzled Skipper.

After our final day in Galichicha, we have a drive of about 2 hours to reach our next hotel, in the town of Prilep, where we spend the next 3 nights. A short distance from the town lies Mount Babuna and the famous Pletvar pass. On the steep grassy slopes here we hope to find Great Banded Grayling, Macedonian Grayling, Great Sooty Satyr, Hermit, Small Copper, Blue Argus, Adonis Blue, Chapman’s Blue and Eastern Greenish Black-tip.

In the grassland/scrub mosaic habitats of a nearby valley we should see Eastern Rock Grayling, Delattin’s Grayling, Woodland Grayling, Pearly Heath, Black-veined White, Large Tortoiseshell, Marbled Fritillary and many puddling Blues including Meleager’s, Idas and Turquoise.

Next we drive for about 2 hours to Pelister NP, where we stay for 2 nights at a hotel high in the forested mountains. From here we have easy access to ski runs and footpaths where we expect to see Purple Emperor, Queen of Spain Fritillary, Marsh Fritillary, Heath Fritillary, Twin-spot Fritillary, Woodland Ringlet, Purple-shot Copper, Balkan Copper, Mazarine Blue and Yellow-banded Skipper.

We will have another chance to explore the mountain paths on our last morning at Pelister, after which we return to Lake Ohrid, spending the next day revisiting Galichicha to see species that we may have missed on the first leg of the trip.

On our final morning we are free to relax at Lake Ohrid before driving back to the airport for our return flight.


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