I am no expert photographer, preferring to capture the moment than get a perfectly composed shot. The pictures on my blog are either taken with a compact Canon, a Panasonic Lumix FZ150 or on my phone.

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Malaga Butterflies - June 2022

At long last we made it back to Spain this summer  after having to cancel our planned holiday for the last two years. We went to the same villa we have visited on and off for the last ten years, but this year we were joined by our now grown up children and their partners. The villa is on the outskirts of a village called Alora, which is about 45 kilometres north west of Malaga. And this year we went during the first two weeks in June, whereas previously we visited in July, during the school holidays.

Of course, I was interested to see what butterflies I would see one month earlier in the year and not surprisingly, things were quite different. Southern Spain had experienced an unusually wet spring this year and despite a hot spell since, it was noticeably greener than we would see in July. Also, being a little earlier in the year some of the olive groves hadn’t yet had the ground rotovated, so there were still a lot of wild flowers flowering.

Around the villa there were a lot of Painted Ladies, many of them heavy with eggs. I am not sure if this is normal in June, or if they were just having a good year. Every time I walked past a Lantana plant on the drive three or four would fly up.

There were also a lot of Cleopatras flying around the villa and surrounding area. 

There were also a few Brimstones, but they were outnumbered by Brimstone by about ten to one. I don’t think I have seen them before when we have visited in July. Certainly not in the numbers there were this June.

I regularly saw a Long-tailed Blue flying around a Polygala bush and zipping around the garden. However, it never appeared to land for more than a second. Other garden visitors were Small Whites, Geranium Bronzes and the odd Bath White.

Out on the track that ran past the villa was a steep bank, covered in Thyme, which was a big attraction to butterflies (and consequently me!). Here I would regularly see Meadow Browns, Southern Gatekeepers, Spanish Gatekeepers, Small Skippers and Western Dappled Whites.

Early one morning I set off up a steep path to the top of the mountain behind the house. Here I was pleased to see a lot of Wall Browns. It was strange that I only saw them there and not lower down.

There were also beautiful Dusky Heaths along with Clouded Yellows and various other species seen nearer the villa.

A visit to an area next to the River Guadalhorce specifically to look for African Grass Blues. Eventually I managed to find a couple of very worn individuals which were being chased by Mediterranean Skippers.

Other butterflies there were Southern Brown Argus, a Southern Blue and Mallow Skippers.

Generally, I think this was a better time of year to visit, as there were certainly more butterflies flying around. The one butterfly that I normally see in the summer is Lang’s Short-tailed Blue, but we were too early for that. I find it interesting visiting the same area at different times of year. We have now been to Alora in April, June, July and September.


  1. Good to see you too made it away Nick. A bit more variety over there, even more so for you no doubt!!