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Teresa's 2014 tour dates

Teresa Farino
12/11/2013 09:52:48

Stop Press!
The IWT website has now been updated with our 2014 tours, and bookings are coming in thick and fast!
Here's a summary of the many and varied trips that Teresa will be organising and leading next year.

Posted in: Flora, Butterflies and Moths, Dragonflies and Damselflies, Other Invertebrates, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, Endangered Wildlife and Habitats | Andalusia, Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castile-Leon, Extremadura | Mainland Spain, Northern Spain, Southern Spain, Western Spain, Central Spain, Spanish Islands


Picos haymeadows in June © Teresa FarinoPicos haymeadows in June© Teresa FarinoOur autumn wildlife holiday season has just come to an end, and we’ve finally had time to knock next year’s tour schedule into shape. Our website has been updated, and you can now peruse my complete programme of Spanish natural history holidays for 2014 here.

As a general rule, those joining me can expect a little bit of everything – flora, butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles and amphibians, birds and mammals – as we aim to explore each of these wildlife-rich areas in full rather than concentrating all our attention on any one aspect of their natural history.

That said, as in previous years, more than a few of my 2014 tours focus on the superb range of flora and fauna to be found in my home patch – northern Spain’s Picos de Europa – with departures from June to October. Each of these holidays focuses on a different facet of the wildlife of these spectacular mountains, starting with my annual Feast of Flowers botanical extravaganza, now in its ninth year. Come July, butterflies and moths are on the agenda, with a 10-day tour based in two locations in the southern valleys of Liébana and Valdeón. Later in the summer I am again offering my very popular Family Wildlife Holiday, and then in the autumn I will once more be running two long weekends to look specifically at the fabulous moth fauna of the Picos.

sometime co-leader Alan Harrison © Teresa Farinosometime co-leader Alan Harrison© Teresa FarinoBefore the season gets going in the Picos, however, I have an exciting spring programme lined up, starting with a week in the Western Canaries – Tenerife and La Gomera – in March, followed by May trips to old favourites in Andalucía – Cabo de Gata, in Almería, and the Sierra de Grazalema, in Cádiz. Sandwiched between these two is a new general natural history tour to Extremadura, which I’ve put together by popular request, so it’s likely to fill very quickly.

In late June, professional ornithologist and naturalist Jeff Clarke and I once more join forces to offer a two-base, 10-day tour combining the delights of the Picos de Europa with the rather different flora and fauna to be found in the Páramos of Northern Castile. Come mid-July, I’ll be leading a week-long tour in the Catalan Pyrenees, with butterflies, dragonflies and alpine flora being the primary focus.
In late August, I’ll be repeating last year’s very successful tour focussing on the observation of Cantabrican Brown Bears in Somiedo, in collaboration with wardens and biologists from the Fundación Oso Pardo, Spain’s premier bear conservation organisation. And last, but by no means least, I’ll once again be leading a two-base ‘invertebrate extravaganza’ to Cádiz in October.


My 2014 tours are arranged in chronological order below; more detailed information can be obtained by clicking on the relevant links.

Bear-watching in Somiedo © Teresa FarinoBear-watching in Somiedo© Teresa FarinoWhere I am sole leader, the maximum number of participants on each tour is just eight, and where I am joined by Jeff Clarke, the group size will not exceed 14 clients, thus creating a warm, friendly atmosphere in which each member is encouraged to participate to the full. Local and/or expert ‘guest’ co-leaders will also be invited to join us on occasion.

You can rest assured that each and every one of these tours will run as scheduled, so there is no risk of planning your annual holiday only to find that it has been cancelled at the last minute. That said, certain tours are filling fast, so please contact me promptly for further information and a booking form if anything takes your fancy. For those of you who’ve travelled with me before, as usual I’m offering a 5% discount on the basic tour cost.

I do hope that you will have the opportunity to join me on one of these tours, but if you have already organised your wildlife adventures for next year, please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.

Finally, I wish you all a joyous and peaceful Christmas and hope to see you again in the New Year.

Teresa’s Spanish Wildlife Tours in 2014



Micromelo undata © Teresa FarinoMicromelo undata© Teresa FarinoSpring in the Western Canaries

Tenerife and La Gomera offer an exceptional diversity of wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles and birds, many of which are found nowhere else in the world

6 - 13 March 2014

The Canary Islands are an ideal destination for people who like a little bit of everything, including winter sun! Almost every animal and plant we might find in the wildlife-rich arid coastal badlands, semi-tropical laurel forests and stately Canary Pinewoods will be new to UK naturalists. Opportunities to snorkel, plus cetaceans & seabirds on the ferry crossings. (Maximum 8 clients)



Violet Dropwing - Trithemis annulata © Teresa FarinoViolet Dropwing
Trithemis annulata
© Teresa Farino
Wildlife of Almería

Wildflowers, butterflies, birds and general natural history of the arid south-eastern corner of Spain

1 - 8 May 2014

The arid badlands, varied coastal habitats and rugged volcanic mountains of Almería’s Cabo de Gata Natural Park are the perfect spring destination for the all-round naturalist, harbouring unique communities of flora, butterflies, dragonflies and other invertebrates, plus reptiles galore and some of Europe's most charismatic birds. We’ll also be exploring other legendary protected areas nearby, such as Tabernas and Punta Entinas–Sabinar. (Maximum 8 clients)



Sharp-ribbed Newt - Pleurodeles waltl © Teresa FarinoSharp-ribbed Newt
Pleurodeles waltl
© Teresa Farino
Springtime in Extremadura

A profusion of flora, invertebrates, reptiles & amphibians and birds in the environs of the Monfragüe National Park and the Llanos de Cáceres

13- 20 May 2014

A visit to Extremadura in the spring surely has to rate as one of Europe's finest all-round wildlife experiences, providing a wealth of photographic opportunities. Not only are the raptors and other birds simply out of this world, but the array of less ‘popular’ creatures is also fabulous, and all set against one of the most colourful spring floral displays in Spain. (Maximum 8 clients)




Spanish Festoon - Zerynthia rumina © Teresa FarinoSpanish Festoon
Zerynthia rumina
© Teresa Farino
Sierra de Grazalema

Late-spring wildflowers, butterflies, birds and other wildlife of western Andalucía

29 May - 5 June 2014

The Sierra de Grazalema is one of south-western Spain's natural wonders. In early June, the flora and fauna of these magnificent limestone mountains is perhaps at its best, offering us the opportunity to track down some of the unique plants that occur here, as well as a good range of butterflies and dragonflies, many reptiles & amphibians, and a fine selection of colourful Mediterranean birds. Don’t forget your camera! (Maximum 8 clients)




Columbine - Aquilegia vulgaris © Teresa FarinoColumbine
Aquilegia vulgaris
© Teresa Farino
A Feast of Flowers

Orchids and other botanical treasures of the Picos de Europa

10 - 17 June 2014

Flower-rich haymeadows, ancient forests and high-altitude rock-gardens in the spectacular limestone mountains of the Picos de Europa harbour more than 1500 species of vascular plants, including orchids galore at this time of year, as well as many plants unique to northern Spain. Enabling us to observe a wealth of animal life too, this very popular spring botanical tour is now in its ninth year. Early booking is advisable as there are only a few places left. (Maximum 8 clients)




Booted Eagle - Hieraaetus pennatus © Teresa FarinoBooted Eagle
Hieraaetus pennatus
© Teresa Farino
Natural History of the Picos de Europa & Páramos of Northern Castile

Discover the fabulous mid-summer diversity of birds, butterflies & moths, dragonflies and wildflowers of northern Spain, in association with professional ornithologist and photographer Jeff Clarke

22 June – 1 July 2014

The timing of this two-base, ten-day tour will enable us to encounter many of the more emblematic mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and moths, dragonflies and wildflowers that thrive in the Picos de Europa, complemented by the very different community of animals and plants that inhabits the limestone plateaux further south. (Maximum 14 clients)



Elephant Hawkmoth - Deilephila elpenor © Teresa FarinoElephant Hawkmoth
Deilephila elpenor
© Teresa Farino
Butterflies and Moths of the Southern Valleys of the Picos de Europa

Two bases in stunning mountain landscapes, for 100+ butterflies and several hundred macromoths

3 - 12 July 2014

We will investigate first the meadows, forests and alpine habitats of the Cantabrian sector of the Picos de Europa (154 species of butterflies & more than 750 macromoths, with my terrace frequently coming in the top half-dozen sites in Europe during European Moth Nights), followed by four nights in the Valdeón valley – another Picos Lepidoptera hotspot – further west. Photographic opportunities abound! (Maximum 8 clients)



Map butterfly - Araschnia levana © Teresa FarinoMap butterfly
Araschnia levana
© Teresa Farino
Wildlife of the Catalan Pyrenees

butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and birds of La Cerdanya

17 – 24 July 2014

This part of the eastern Pyenees is considered to be one of the richest parts of Spain for wildlife, hosting an exceptional flora typical of both limestone and acid bedrock. Notable birds include Lammergeier, Citril Finch and Rock Thrush, for example, with Alpine Marmots in boulder chokes and an unbelievable wealth of butterflies (more than 100 species, guaranteed!), day-flying burnet moths, dragonflies and other invertebrates closer at hand. (Maximum 8 clients)




Rosalia alpina © Teresa FarinoRosalia alpina© Teresa FarinoA family wildlife holiday in the Picos de Europa

Introduce your children to the plants and animals of the mountains of northern Spain this summer

2 - 9 August 2014

A fun-filled family holiday designed to bring children into close contact with the abundant wildlife of the spectacular limestone mountains of the Picos de Europa. Although the emphasis is on invertebrates, particularly butterflies, beetles, crickets and dragonflies, there will also be plenty of opportunity for encounters with mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, as well as to swim in a mountain lake and spend a day at the beach. 20% discount for children under 14. (Maximum 8 clients)


Brown Bear - Ursus arctos © Teresa FarinoBrown Bear
Ursus arctos
© Fundación Oso Pardo
In Search of the Littlest Grizzly: Cantabrican Brown Bears in Somiedo Natural Park

A week spent observing these endangered mammals amid the superb mountain scenery of western Asturias, plus an abundance of other late-summer wildlife

24 - 31 August 2014

This is one of the best times to spot Brown Bears in Somiedo, and in order to make the most of this opportunity we’ll be accompanied throughout the week by one or more wardens from the Fundación Oso Pardo, who will take us to the top localities to observe these magnificent plantigrades and other wildlife. Check out last year's bear fest! (Maximum 8 clients)




Allophyes alfaroi © Teresa FarinoAllophyes alfaroi© Teresa FarinoAutumn moth weekends in the Picos de Europa

Four-night stays in a superb locality for nocturnal lepidoptera, with daily excursions in search of butterflies, orthoptera and other wildlife

25 - 29 September 2014; 23 - 27 October 2014

Simply the best of the autumn moth fauna! The 2013 September trip turned up almost 200 macromoths, including such emblematic species as Jersey Tiger, Clifden Nonpareil (+9 other Catocala species!), Feathered, Bordered & Beautiful Gothics, Orache Moth, Smoky Bloom and Pyrenean Runic Carpet. Plenty of autumn butterflies too. (Maximum 8 clients)



Zeller's Skipper - Borbo borbonica © Teresa FarinoZeller's Skipper
Borbo borbonica
© Teresa Farino
Autumn in Andalucía

An invertebrate extravaganza in Cádiz, SW Spain, with birds, reptiles, amphibians and autumn-flowering bulbs on the side

7 - 14 October 2014

The primary focus of this tour is to take a close look at the butterflies, moths, dragonflies and other invertebrates of the region, with expected highlights including Green Hooktail, Orange-winged & Violet Dropwings, Long Skimmer, Northern Banded Groundling, Zeller’s Skipper, Monarch, Plain Tiger, Two-tailed Pasha and Mediterranean, Dwarf European & Giant African Mantises. Mandrakes, Sea Squill and several species of autumn-flowering narcissus among the flora. (Maximum 8 clients)



Libelloides coccajus © Teresa FarinoLibelloides coccajus© Teresa FarinoDaily Wildlife Walks in the Picos de Europa

Daily excursions in search of birds, butterflies and wildflowers

throughout 2014

If you're on holiday in the Picos, why not join me to explore the natural wonders of these mountains for a day? Children are particularly welcome.






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