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Spanish natural history holidays in 2012 with Teresa Farino

Teresa Farino
28/10/2011 09:56:53

After a hectic and extremely hot summer and early autumn over much of Spain, our tour schedule for 2012 is finally on line, so it’s perhaps a good time to let you know where and when I’ll be leading natural history holidays next year.

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


Picos de Europa in June © Teresa FarinoPicos de Europa in June© Teresa FarinoAs in previous years, several of these tours focus on the fabulous range of flora and fauna to be found in my home patch – northern Spain’s Picos de Europa – with departures from May to October. Each of these holidays explores a different facet of the wildlife of these spectacular mountains, ranging from general natural history to more specialised tours featuring the incredible wealth of wildflowers, butterflies and moths to be found here.

In addition, I am once again offering week-long trips to two of my favourite regions of Andalucía: Almería, in the hot, dry south-eastern corner of Spain, and the limestone mountains of the Sierra de Grazalema, in western Andalucía, the latter with professional ornithologist and naturalist Jeff Clarke.

A new venture in 2012 is a two-week tour of the Canary Islands, for which I am joined by my IWT colleague, John Muddeman, while Jeff Clarke and I once again join forces at the end of June for a general natural history tour of the Picos de Europa and Páramos of northern Castile.

Sierra de Grazalema © Teresa FarinoSierra de Grazalema© Teresa Farino

My 2012 tours
are arranged in chronological order below; more detailed information can be obtained by clicking on the relevant links. The autumn trips have not been posted on our website yet, but if you’re interested, just drop me a line and I’ll send you details.

Where I am sole leader, the maximum number of participants on each tour is just eight, and where I am joined by John Muddeman or Jeff Clarke, the group size will never exceed 14 clients, thus creating a warm, friendly atmosphere in which each member is encouraged to participate to the full.

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.

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 holiday for next year, I wish you all the best with your natural history ventures in the year ahead, and hope to see you again soon.


Teresa’s Spanish Wildlife Tours in 2012

Canary Bellflower © Teresa FarinoCanary Bellflower
Canarina canariensis
© Teresa Farino

A Voyage of Discovery in the Canary Islands

Exploring Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and La Gomera

17 February – 2 March 2012

Although this trip is aimed principally at members of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in general natural history, especially those who want to get away from the British winter! During the fortnight we expect to encounter many of the unique birds, reptiles, butterflies and plants of the Canary archipelago, against a backdrop of spectacular volcanic landscapes. Co-led by John Muddeman. (Maximum, 14 clients)




Woodchat Shrike - Lanius senator © Teresa FarinoWoodchat Shrike
Lanius senator
© Teresa Farino

Wildlife of Almería

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

18 – 25 April 2012

The arid badlands, varied coastal habitats and rugged volcanic mountains of the south-eastern corner of Spain are the perfect spring destination for the all-round naturalist, harbouring unique communities of wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies and reptiles, plus some of Europe's most charismatic and colourful birds. (Maximum, 8 clients)





Spanish Ibex - Capra pyrenaica © Teresa FarinoSpanish Ibex
Capra pyrenaica
© Teresa Farino

The Sierra de Grazalema

Spring wildflowers, birds and other wildlife of western Andalucía

1 – 8 May 2012

Early May brings a certain joie de vivre to the flora and fauna of these magnificent limestone mountains following the long winter, characterised by warm days, spectacular displays of orchids and other monocots, many Mediterranean birds and a good range of spring butterflies. We can also expect to see an interesting selection of amphibians, reptiles and mammals. For this tour I will be joined by all-round naturalist and expert ornithologist Jeff Clarke. (Maximum, 14 clients)



Pink Butterfly Orchid - Orchis papilionacea © Teresa FarinoPink Butterfly Orchid
Orchis papilionacea
© Teresa Farino

A Feast of Flowers

Orchids and other botanical treasures of the Picos de Europa

26 May – 2 June 2012

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 seventh year. (Maximum, 8 clients)



Wallcreeper - Tichodroma muraria © Teresa FarinoWallcreeper
Tichodroma muraria
© Jeff Clarke

Natural History of the Picos de Europa and Páramos of Northern Castile

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

24 June – 3 July

The timing of this 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)



Meleager's Blue - Polyommatus daphnis © Teresa FarinoMeleager's Blue
Meleageria daphnis
© Teresa Farino

Butterflies & Moths of the Southern Valleys of the Picos de Europa

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

5 – 14 July 2012

We will first investigate the meadows, forests and alpine habitats of the Cantabrian sector of the Picos de Europa, with moth-trapping on Teresa's terrace (frequently one of the top ten sites in Europe during European Moth Nights), and will spend the next four nights in the Valdeón valley – another Picos lepidoptera hotspot – to the west. Photographic opportunities abound! (Maximum, 8 clients)



Common Tree Frog - Hyla arborea © Teresa FarinoCommon Tree Frog
Hyla arborea
© Teresa Farino

A Family Wildlife Holiday in the Picos de Europa

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

29 July – 5 August 2012

A fun-filled family holiday designed to bring children into close contact with the abundant wildlife 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. (Maximum, 8 clients)




Eastern Eggar - Eriogaster catax © Teresa FarinoEastern Eggar
Eriogaster catax
© Teresa Farino
Autumn Moth Weekends in the Picos de Europa

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

20 – 24 September 2012; 18– 22 October 2012

These two tours are timed to coincide with the best of the autumn moth fauna, including such emblematic moths as Merveille du Jour, Clifden Nonpareil and Eastern Eggar. During the day we will explore the forests, meadows and rock-gardens of the Picos de Europa in search of autumn butterflies, dragonflies and a wealth of grasshoppers and crickets.. (Maximum, 8 clients)




Two-tailed Pasha - Charaxes jasius © Teresa FarinoTwo-tailed Pasha
Charaxes jasius
© Teresa Farino
Autumn in South-west Spain

In search of autumn-flowering bulbs, dragonflies, migratory birds and other wildlife around the Costa de la Luz (Cádiz)

4 – 11 October 2012

The focus of this new tour is principally the autumn flowers, butterflies and dragonflies of south-west Spain, although we will by no means be ignoring the huge wealth of migratory birds that passes through the region at this time of year. Notable species include Orange-winged & Violet Dropwings, Long Skimmer, Northern Banded Groundling, Zeller’s Skipper, Monarch, Plain Tiger, Two-tailed Pasha, Mediterranean & Giant African Mantises, Sea Squill, autumn narcissi and Mandrakes. (Maximum, 8 clients)




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