Butterflies & Birds in the Eastern Pyrenees

Tour dates: Tuesday 13th – Tuesday 20th July 2021
Tour code: BLGT4-21

This trip is developed in partnership with the Catalan Pyrenees regional park.

The French Eastern Pyrenees are home to a remarkable number of butterflies, with over 150 species recorded in the area, of which we hope to see 75-100 (possibly more…)!

  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • From €1620 per person
  • Local butterfly expert + British butterfly guide
  • English speaking tour leader
  • Maximum group size = 12
  • Minimum number of participants required = 6

Discount available for 7 or more participants booking together.

 

Our Partners for this trip

The French Pyrenees are home to a remarkable number of butterflies, with over 150 species recorded in the area. We hope to see upwards of 75 – 100 species during the week.

If the weather conditions are not suitable for seeing butterflies we will birdwatch – and there are plenty of interesting bird species to see too!

This is a brand new butterfly and birds trip based on the extensive experience of our local guide, Aurélien Gaunet, who works locally doing butterfly surveys. He knows where to find a wide range of  species and has designed each day’s itinerary to maximise the diversity of habitats to give you the best chance of seeing as many different butterfly species as possible.

Tuesday

Transfer from airport to our accommodation at
Orri de Planès

For those arriving early we will stop on the way to look at butterflies and have lunch.

Those arriving on later flights will do the same on day of departure!

Welcome drinks & dinner

 

Wednesday

Habitat: Mountain lakeside, high-altitude meadows and pine forest habitats

This morning we will be looking for the following species:

Eros Blue, Mountain Clouded Yellow, Apollo, Western Brassy Ringlet, Dewy Ringlet, Mountain Ringlet, Idas Blue, Chestnut heath

After our picnic lunch, we will move on to a river valley with wet meadows and pine forests where we will be looking for: Clouded Apollo, Apollo, Geranium Argus, Little Blue, Amanda’s Blue, Silvery Argus, Turquoise Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Mountain Clouded Yellow, Niobe fritillary, Scarce Copper, Purple-edged Copper, Purple-shot Copper, Chestnut Heath, Bright-eyed Ringlet, Large Ringlet, Yellow-spotted Ringlet, Bog Fritillary, Lesser Marbled Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Thursday

Habitat : dry prairie meadows and eroded limestone shale. 

Our target species this morning are:  Spanish Argus, Damon Blue, Apollo, Mountain Alcon Blue, Turquoise Blue, Esper’s Marbled White, Chestnut Heath, Great Sooty Satyr, Black Satyr, Hermit, Lesser Marbled Fritillary, Lesser Purple Emperor, Spanish Purple Hairstreak, Sloe Hairstreak

In the afternoon we will move on to  a different spot with high altitude meadows and a boggy area along a mountain river. 

This afternoon we will be looking for: Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Peak White, Gavarnie Ringlet, Western Brassy Ringlet, Mountain Ringlet, Lefebvres Ringlet, Chestnut Heath, Provence Orangetip, Bright-eyed Ringlet, Bog Fritillary and with a certain amount of luck a late-flying Violet Copper…

Friday

This morning we start our search in dry grassy steppe habitat with areas of bare rock and we will be looking for: Apollo, Provence Orangetip, Hermit, Dusky Meadow Brown, Lesser Spotted Fritillary, Great Sooty Satyr and Black Satyr.

After lunch we will move on to an area of mixed habitat along a canal and then a river, with alternating patches of open forest and meadows varying from dry to wet.

Our targets this afternoon include:  Tufted Marbled Skipper, Lesser Spotted Fritillary, Provencal fritillary, Amanda’s Blue, Turquoise Blue, Chestnut Heath, Tree Grayling, False Grayling, Sloe Hairstreak

Saturday

Today’s butterfly search takes us to dry rocky areas of Mediterranean vegetation where we will be hoping to see: Cardinal, Lulworth Skipper, Lesser Purple Emperor, Southern Small White, Spanish Gatekeeper, Spanish Swallowtail, Striped Grayling, Tree Grayling, Dusky Heath, Purple Hairstreak

After lunch we will head to an area of cliffs and mainly rocky habitat, looking for Apollo,
Chalk-hill Blue, Great Sooty Satyr, Southern Small White, Southern White Admiral, Spanish Gatekeeper, Spanish Swallowtail, Purple Emperor, Rock Grayling

Sunday

Quite a different habitat today at high altitude with a large area of open mountain steppe vegetation. Our target species this morning include:
Glandon Blue, Lefebvre’s Ringlet, Pyrenees Brassy Ringlet, Apollo, Large Ringlet, Niobe Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary

Then in the afternoon we move to lower altitudes in the valley bottom where the habitat is cooler and damper, with wooded areas.

Target species for this afternon include: Geranium Argus, Amanda’s Blue, Mountain Alcon Blue, Silvery Argus, Esper’s Marbled White, Chestnut Heath, Lesser Marbled Fritillary, Purple Emperor

Monday

Dryish prairie habitat with areas of shale, some pine forest fringes and high altitude mountain stream banks are this morning’s habitat.

Targets include:
Esper’s Marbled White, Apollo, Chestnut Heath, Hermit, Cinquefoil Skipper, Chalkhill Blue, Bright-eyed Ringlet, etc.

And this afternoon’s habitats vary from very dry meadows to wet meadows and stream banks.

We will be looking for:
Spanish Purple Hairstreak, Brown Hairstreak, Safflower Skipper, Olive Skipper, Catalan Fritillary [Melitaea ignasiti : closely related to and until recently thought to be a subspecies of Lesser Spotted Fritillary – newly (re)discovered in France], Chestnut Heath, Esper’s Marbled White, Provencal Short-tailed Blue, Lesser Marbled Fritillary

Tuesday

Departure after breakfast

An early departure for some with a more leisurely day for those with later flights allowing for more butterfly spotting and lunch on the way!

Transfer to airport for departure.

The French Eastern Pyrenees are home to a remarkable number of butterflies, with over 150 species recorded in the area.

We expect to see 75-100 species (possibly more!) during the trip.

Target butterfly species include :

Apollo, Clouded Apollo, Geranium Argus, Amanda’s Blue, Silvery Argus, Turquoise Blue, Mountain Clouded Yellow, Niobe fritillary, Scarce Copper,
Purple-edged Copper, Purple-shot Copper, Chestnut Heath, Bright-eyed Ringlet, Large Ringlet, Yellow-spotted Ringlet, Bog Fritillary,
Lesser Marbled Fritillary, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Mountain Alcon Blue, Esper’s Marbled White, Lesser Marbled Fritillary, Purple Emperor,
Dark green fritillary, to name but a very few!

Birds we would hope to see include:

Griffon vulture, Short-toed eagle, Red-backed shrike, Iberian grey shrike, Crag martin, quite possibly Lammergeier… The trip also coincides with the beginning of autumn migration.

View/download the Trip report by clicking on the link below:

This is a brand new trip so there are no trip reports available yet!

 

 

By train!
Come by train and choose the “low carbon birding” option! See the Getting here page in our DIY birding section.

By plane
Transfers are included for the flights mentioned below.

Click on the links below for flight details and pricing (track the price to get the best deal!).

Other options may be available, please contact us with your preferred departure airport in the UK.

We recommend that you do NOT book your flights until the trip is confirmed!

London Stansted <-> Perpignan

Birmingham <-> Perpignan

 

INCLUDED

  • Transfers from / to Perpignan airport
  • All local transport
  • High quality ensuite accommodation
  • Wine with dinner
  • Expert local butterfly guide
  • English butterfly & birding guide
  • English speaking tour leader

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Personal medical and repatriation insurance
  • Drinks other than wine with meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Lunch on the first and last days

 

This week-long trip is centred on the Catalan Pyrenees regional park in the Eastern Pyrenees

The team for this trip combines the local knowledge of a professional lepidopterist and a resident British tour leader for the logistics!

Aurélien Gaunet - G.O.R

Aurélien Gaunet - G.O.R

Local Butterfly Specialist – French & English

Aurélien is a butterfly guide for the local biodiversity protection society le Groupe Ornithologique du Roussillon (G.O.R.). He has a master’s degree in Biodiversity and Ecology. Fascinated by butterflies, he is a member of the Butterfly Diversity and Evolution Laboratory team (Barcelona).

Tony Williams - Independent Guide

Tony Williams - Independent Guide

Guest Tour Guide – English & French

Tony Williams has lived in France for over 30 years and as director of the LPO Brenne he has been instrumental in developing nature tourism in central France over the past 25 years. Tony’s extensive knowledge and his knack of making beginners and experts alike feel comfortable, has made him a highly popular leader with a number of British tour operators. This invaluable experience leading tours and his willingness to share it have been much appreciated in developing the Birding Languedoc tours.

Philippa Benson - Birding Languedoc

Philippa Benson - Birding Languedoc

Co-founder/Tour Leader – English, French & Spanish

Like many Brits, Philippa has a keen interest in natural history and enjoys learning about the amazing birds and wildlife of the Languedoc. Resident in this lovely area for over 10 years, she now has a good working knowledge of where the best spots are for birds, flowers and other species and enjoys sharing these with interested visitors.
A background in project management and hospitality combined with being fully bilingual are helpful skills for organising and hosting tours, and Philippa has a particular focus on customer service!

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