Rates per person sharing:
€ 1,400 / £ 1,200 / USD 1,850
Single suplement: € 175 / £ 150 / USD 230
* Pounds Sterling and US Dollars are given as an estimate. All prices have to be paid in Euros to Spainbirds Nature Tours S.L.
GUIDES: Andy McGeeney & John L. Muddeman
- Travel from Madrid airport in modern, fully seat-belted, air conditioned vehicles
- 6 Nights accommodation with en suite bathroom (please ask for more details about where exactly we stay on this tour)
- All meals inc breakfast, "tapas" lunches and evening meals + red wine
- Services of professional nature guides
- Basic travel insurance
- Bird & dragonfly checklist (revised edition 2012)
- All taxes
- Air fare (Easyjet, Ryanair & other companies operate daily flight from several UK airports)
- Drinks and other items of a personal nature
TO BOOK THIS TOUR CLICK HERE!
Dragonflies & birds... plus butterflies!
21 - 27 June 2014
Varying from its hot lowlands to cool montane regions, the richly varied landscapes and habitats in Extremadura are home to around 55 of Spain's dragon- and damselflies and almost half of the country's butterfly species. The trip will concentrate on trying to see some of the more enigmatic species, particularly those mainly lowland dragonflies which just reach Europe from Africa, alongside the regional specialities, and in such a bird-rich area of course we always keep a keen eye open for anything else!
Over the last few decades, changes in climate have been suggested as the main motor behind the colonisation of the Iberian Peninsula of a number of species traditionally considered as 'African'. While notable cases such as Black-shouldered Kite, White-rumped and Little Swifts exist amongst the relatively well-studied birds, only in recent years have obvious changes in the also relatively mobile dragonfly populations been noted. Extremadura, with its mild winters and wide range of aquatic habitats from huge reservoirs on major rivers and vast rice paddy areas to tiny dew ponds on the steppes, supports an excellent variety of those species present in the peninsula, including a high proportion of those species colonising from the south and, additionally, has one of the best-studied odonate faunas in Spain thanks to a dedicated LIFE project undertaken a few years ago.
The variety of species characteristic of either the Iberian Peninsula or SW Europe is correspondingly high, and we will look for the delightful Western and Copper Demoiselles, discrete Migrant Spreadwing, tiny Iberian Bluetail and Dainty Bluet, Blue-eye, both Orange & White Featherlegs with their strange bouncing flights, Lesser Emperor, Western Spectre, the rare Pronged & more widespread Western Clubtails, Large, Small & the rare Faded Pincertails, scarce Green Hooktail, local Orange-spotted Emerald, the rare and enigmatic Splendid Cruiser, Epaulette, Southern & Long Skimmers, the widespread Violet and the recently arrived Orange-winged Dropwings and pretty Northern Banded Groundling as well as the commoner species. Of course, the presence of these will depend on the weather and preceding winter and spring rains –and hence, wetland conditions– but June sees the most likely period for seeing the great majority of these simultaneously on the wing.
The variety of butterflies also peaks around this time, and in hot conditions often concentrating around the valley bottoms and other wetland habitats as well and may include Mallow & Red-underwing Skippers, Scarce Swallowtail, Spanish Festoon, Black-veined, Bath & Western Dappled Whites, Provence Orange-tip, Cleopatra, Spanish Purple & False Ilex Hairstreaks, Spanish Sooty Copper, Long-tailed, Lang's Short-tailed & Black-eyed Blues, Spanish Brown Argus, Nettle-tree Butterfly, Two-tailed Pasha, Southern White Admiral, Cardinal, Queen-of-Spain & Knapweed Fritillaries, Iberian Marbled & Spanish Marbled Whites, Tree & Great Banded Graylings and Spanish & Southern Gatekeepers, again amongst a variety of commoner species.
The birds can be simply outstanding too, if indeed we have time to look up! Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Black Stork, Great & Little Bustards and White-rumped Swift, are just a few of those that we might encounter while looking for dragonflies.
Please note that no catching or handling of insects is permitted under Spanish law, and the emphasis is on their observation, and, where possible, their photography. Additionally, it should also be noted that it may be very hot at this time of year, reaching well over 30°C in the shade, and participants need to be prepared for this, especially as little shade exists in some areas.
Day 1. Madrid – Jaraicejo
Day 2. Jaraicejo - Embalse de Arrocampo
Day 3. Jaraicejo - Villuercas Mountains
Day 4. Jaraicejo - Río Guadiana - Mérida
Day 5. Mérida - Río Sotillo - Torrejón El Rubio
Day 6. Torrejón el Rubio - Monfragüe National Park
Day 7. Torrejón El Rubio - Madrid
Download the itinerary of this tour in a pdf file