Tuesday 5th July an Old Flames v


Click on the thumbnails to enlarge then "back",    top left,  to return to this page. HOME

An Iberian Wildlife Holiday led by Teresa Farino 11th -19th October 2017.  

 We saw many more butterflies, birds etc than I was a able to photograph well, but I have included some poor photos just to remind me of some of the things we saw. 

It had been a long dry summer, rivers and lakes had dried up  and so butterflies and Dragonflies were scarce. Helen's account is at Helen

We reached Malaga Airport, after a 03:30am start and a free breakfast at "Pret a Manger" Gatwick, by about 12;30

Our route from Malaga to Benalup

Reflection in Airport windows

The "Gambrinus" bar, where we waited for some time for Teresa, is on the right. There we met Bill and Neil from our group of 5 plus 2 helpers..

Satellite picture of our lunch stop, a "recreational area", ....

.....and the dry river bed there

Our Minibus at the lunch site  on our journey to Benalup

Our Group snaps a butterfly

White poplars in line

Long Tailed Blue

A Green Pine Cone

Helen trying the fitness equipment

A glimpse of Gibraltar from the road

A large Grasshopper

An Osbourn Wine trademark bull  looms on the sky line

We stopped at Venta Correro, specialising in "the meat of game," for a drinks break

Inside Venta Correro

Our "Rural Restaurant" motel. "Cortyo de los Monteros" near Benalup in  Medina-Sidonia

Bougainvillea on our wall

Our room in the Bullfight themed motel with Bullfight videos rerunning in the bar each evening.

DAY TWO      

Route Day 2

Two spot  Field Cricket Nymph like the dozens in our room

Moths were gathered daily by Teresa for examination and identification from the Hotel lights left on at night and suitable lit walls, as the group appreciates

Female red veined Darter

A Cymbalophora pudica - Mediterranean Tiger from the first day's haul

Flame shoulder

Mediterranean Brocade

Olive tree pearl

Mediterranea Corn Borer

Jersey Emerald

Male Grass Processionary

Spurge Hawkmoth, Hyles euphorbiae

Scalloped Barred


Green Shield Bug Carpocoris species

Spurge Hawkmoth

The Toreador portrait that marked our room

Geranium Bronze - Cacyreus marshalli

Helen outside our room

A stone water trough in the courtyard

Squirting cucumber flowers and..

..the fruit

The first stop where the Zellers Skippers were

Female Geranium Bronze

 Prickly Pear dead from......

......cochineal bug infestation. I checked what they were by squashing some (like blood)!

Delphinium gracile

Bryony Ladybird

Snake road kill. We saw no live snakes

Southern Marbled Skipper


Southern Marbled Skipper

Southern Marbled Skipper

Unripe Prickly Pears (they go red)

Jewel bug


Zeller's Skipper

Zeller's Skipper



To Benalup to buy bread for our daily picnic lunch

Resting in the shade

A Minimart

The Barbate Dunes, our next stop

On the dunes

Neil consults his book in the car park

Mediterranean Chameleon

Spiny-footed Lizard

Sea Daffodils, Pancratium maritinum seeds and...

.. .flowering Sea Daffodils

Another colour to suit background 

This one was on yellow algae

Street Art? at the picnic spot where we had lunch.

Spanish families picnicking. A two tailed Pasha visited our picnic but I could not photo it. It had ignored the banana bait!

Male red-veined darter

Female red-veined darter

Windmills were everywhere

Large Conehead cricket

Our Rooms

Lamp on our Motel

Decorated gate at the hotel

Egyptian Grasshopper


Internal Courtyard

The Motel Reception

Owners House

Walkway to the Restaurant

Agrotis catalaunensis

Zeller's Skipper


Spiny Hooktip

male Mediterranean Mantis

The eyes have it

Moorish Gecko watched us eat every night

A fighting bull


A picture of Lola Flores (see

 NB the old brand mark to the right

A sketch of a Matador

In the bar

Outside at night. We dined on the restaurant patio with our wine, and an sparrow and  gecko for company. Breakfast was always in the bar.

A Moorish Gecko in a light

Tiles In our bathroom!

Our Courtyard


Route Day 3

An Ant lion...

.......face on, waving antennae

Underside of a Crimson Speckled in a net

A rose plus Nut Weevil (out of Focus) 

Enlarged Nut Weevil

Mediterranean Brocade

Oak Hook Tip

Tawny Wave

Flame shoulder

Bordered Ermel,  Ethmia bipunctella


Australian Tortoise Beetle

Southern Sickle Bush-cricket

Eucalyptus Longhorn Borer,  Phoracantha recurva

Bridge over the Barbate where we found the Zeller's Skipper the day before

Grass Processionary


Iberian Bluetail

Striped Bee

female Violet Dropwing

female Violet Dropwing

female Red-veined Darter

Cotton plant

Bryony Ladybird and Nymph

Cotton Field

Obliging Violet Drop Wing

Violet Drop Wing

Violet Drop Wing

The Group photographing the Violet Drop Wing, photo by Teresa

Small Copper

Crimson Speckled's caterpillar on Squirting Cucumber

Small Whites mating

and a spare male attacks

Cotton plant Flower 

Crimson Speckled

Lang’s Short-tailed Blue

Lang’s Short-tailed Blue

Small White

female Red-veined Darter

Small Copper

Moving on. The road on top of the dyke

Long Horn Cows are suspicious

Grazing cattle

Ken contemplates a squirting cucumber, the sign is an understatement

A Kestrel

Sluice Gate

Dried out lake, everywhere was too dry


A long dyke

A Crayfish dives down its hole beside the dyke

Limestone Outcrop, Los Canos de Meca from the minibus

Red Wasp scrabbles away

Cueva del Moro lunch stop

Our lunch spot on a limestone outcrop Cueva del Moro with fantastic views all round and, as always, relaxing wine for lunch

Griffon Vultures on the peak

Our lunch stop car park

The Cueva del Moro, Moor's Cave

A Griffon Vulture, most of my pictures of birds were just specks!

The View of the coast. After lunch we went in search of Monarchs

Monarch Caterpillar on a Swan Milkweed

A dell that Monarchs like before we reached their field

Bug Nymph or Red Palm Weevil?


More windmills but no Don Quixote 

Longtailed Blue

Migratory bird locust

Longtailed Blue

Mantis religiosa?

The field where the Monarchs flew belongs to an English couple, friends of Teresa

Monarch Caterpillar

Taking off


Some of the upper side is visible


A very old bull, why not culled?

Monarch again

Flag Iris

Our charming host and her son

DAY FOUR      

Helens Location log for Day 4 (Mine failed, pilot error)

Grass Eggar

African Green Mantis

Dumeril’s Rustic

Eggplant Fruit Borer, Sceliodes laisalis

Assassin Bug, Oncocephalus squalidus

A wasp kills a moth

African Green Mantis


Modicogryllus (Eumodicogryllus) bordigalensis

Two-spotted footman. Eilema bipuncta

Condica viscosa

Today we tried the Pond first, the satellite view is here

Long Skimmer

Toad at the pond edge


Otter footprints and "spraint"

The pond

Long Skimmer

Toad Grasshopper

Violet Dropwing

Neil & Bill leave the Botanical Gardens that we visited next

An Iberian Water Frog looking out from pond in  the Botanical Gardens

Iberian Water frog

Alan & Amanda view the Botanical Gardens

Teresa  snaps a dwarf fan palm....

Plenty of dates!

Our lunch spot, a grove of gum trees

Bath White

Red Swamp Crayfish that had been in the mud beside the river 

Weir on the Barbate nearby

A inexpensive bridge


Duck billed weevil (joke)  probably Iixus angustatus

The afternoon along the river was productive

Bath White

 Female White Featherleg  Damsel fly

Two Vestals

Lamenting Grasshopper


Clouded Yellow

Purple Carpenter Bee

Lang’s Short tailed blue

Migratory bird locust

Longtailed Blue

Clouded Yellow takes off

View of the Weir site on the Barbate River

Toad Grasshopper

DAY FIVE      

Route Day 5

We stopped on our way to admire the view of Arcos de la Frontera while Teresa filled up the Minibus

Small White

Long tailed Blue in the "Jardin Botanico El Castillejo", our destination

Ornamental Bush

Bumble Bee

Turpentine Tree fruit

Strawberry Tree fruit

A two tailed Pasha appeared eventually

Two tailed Pasha, they like the strawberry tree


Sage Skipper


Sycamore moth caterpillar

 Narrow Calle de Las Piedras in  Grazalema with our new hotel on it, 

Grazalema style house


Grazalema. All houses are white with black ironwork, all of a similar style. What a powerful Town Planning Dept!


The Lounge in our Hotel, Casa de Las Piedras 

Aerial view of Grazalema

One of many informative tile plaques dotted around the town

From the town rampart

A valley farm below

From the town rampart

Through to Hotel Reception

The upstairs terrace, our room opened off it

A lone Spanish Ibex keeps evening watch

Grazalema at night as we walked home from the restaurant each night after wining and dining

Grazalema alley at night

Grazalema at night

Admiring the "Toro de Cuerda" Monument

The Town Hall, Police station etc

DAY SIX      

A small, old, kittenish cat belonging to Sue

Route Day6

View from Sue's house our first stop, she is Teresa's friend and explained about cork production etc

The Cork Oak Forest from Sue's House



Pseudenargia ulicis

Tiny Conehead mantis nymphs in Sue's garden

Cork Oaks in their 12 year cycle

Wainscot moth, Mythimna favicolor is also Pseudenargia ulicis


Walking towards the Reservoir, Arroyo del Fresnillo, this morning's location

Precarious tree

Male Cleopatra

Neil looking for rarities 

Small Copper

The group stops to peers down at the latest find, a wingless mantis

Satellite view  of the Reservoir

Looking down the path

Ken concentrates on his photo

Yellow Flax

Looking away from the Reservoir

Cardinal Fritillary

Grasshopper, Pseudosphingonotus savignyi

Andalusian Bush-cricket

Large Conehead

Bath White

Looking down on the town from the dam

The Dam

A local feature, a conical hill

Holly Blue

Lang’s Short-tailed Blue on its nectar source

Scarce Swallowtail

Silvery Bee Fly (too fast)

Scarce Swallowtail

The Mirador at Puerto de los Palomas, Pigeon Roost? on our route

 View from the Mirador at Puerto de los Palomas and.. ..

....another view

Catch up! But no sign of large spiders here

Oleander by the bridge our next stop

Meadow Brown

Praying Mantis

Under the Bridge

A large herd of milking goats nearby rushed off to be milked as we watched

There  is a Copper Demoiselle on that reed down there.. . 

... but too far away to snap in focus

I coloured Allan's white hat green, he caught the frog

Praying Mantis

Local landmark hill

We visited the Main square in Grazalema to draw cash from the ATM

Discussion Group

A Memorial to "Toro de Cuerda", a sort of rodeo. Click

Toro de Cuerda


Route Home Day 7.  I failed to register the outward trip

Paintings in the Hotel Lounge.. local artists

Natural colour

Andalusian Bush Cricket

Andalusian Bush Cricket  in another Recreation area where we stopped to search

Agave Americano

Decayed Agave Americano leaves. Do you see the face?

Brown Tree frog 

Spiny Toad

Vaucher’s  Wall Lizard

A roofless shelter

A Street Light miles from anywhere

Both the same species, spiny toad

Conical Hill again

female Andalusian Bush-cricket

Rocky Ground

A spring at the lunch spot

Petrophora convergata

Beautiful Gothic

Osyris lanceolata

Western Willow Spreadwing

Dried river bed

Bloody nosed beetle or Acinopus Gegantieus?

Smoky Scalloped Oak

Nerium oleander

Stripeless Tree Frog

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis


An outline of  our route

Hidden fish market opposite the hotel open as we set off

Coffee break, mine host in Espera

A frustrated performer and singer!

Spanish ladies at coffee

Off he goes

Cloud pruned Olive Tree, Espera

Lakes: Laguna Salade and Dulce de la Zorilla much reduced by the drought

Rain coming towards us


Rolling plain landscape

The road "Canada de Jerez a Utera" that we followed

Female Rhinoceros Beetle

Where has the lake gone?

Drinking Trough next to a well

Deep, soft, very sticky mud, cleaning boots took ages! Much like the Somme!

Grumpy looking. Southern Darter

A friendly stray bitch who wanted to come home with us

Liquid Mud

Spanish Terrapin. We saw several empty shells

Sheep with...

......Cattle Egrets

DAY NINE      

Route back to Malaga Airport

The Centre of El Burgo

Next door to the coffee shop 

Our Coffee Stop

Bridges over the river Guadalhorce  near Pizarra



Snail, Otala punctata, quite rare

A tapas bar for our last, varied, tasty lunch but they only served outside under the trees!

Inside the bar. Then on to the airport and the scramble to get on to the plane. Which took off and arrived on time followed by an easy journey home.

HOME Picos 2010