Back to my friend's villa in sunny Spain for the next couple of weeks, primarily for Dazza to recharge her batteries, having not been outside of the UK for the past few years obviously due to Covid.
|Clouded Yellow ~ A frequent visitor to the villa terrace.|
Naturally, birding will play its part over the period but for the first few days we've just been chilling out around the villa terrace and the odd walk, including an afternoon stroll around Paloma Park. El Parque de la Paloma or "Dove Park" is by reputation one of the most beautiful on the Costa del Sol, located in the centre of Benalmádena. To be honest one of the reasons for our visit was to have a look at Monarch butterflies. In Europe, the Monarch is one of only two species recorded of this large but mainly tropical Danaidea butterfly family. The other is the Plain Tiger also known as the African Monarch, which I was lucky enough to come across in November 2017 at the Laguna Del Mata, Alicante.
|One of a dozen or so Monarchs seen at Paloma Park on Monday 8th.|
The Monarch is mostly recorded as a sporadic migrant in small numbers to Europe, possibly from the resident populations in the Canary Islands and not as you would imagine blown in from the Central American populations, although these do occur. Small resident populations have also taken hold in Southern Spain like here around Malaga and in particular Paloma Park.
|Monarch Butterfly at Paloma Park|
During our walk today we recorded twelve Monarchs around the park, a Spanish first for Dazza and me and a thank you to Fred Stokes (Brandon Marsh) for the 'heads up' who has been visiting Benalmadena regularly for many years.
A few images from around the terrace...
|Lang's Short-tailed Blue|