There is a spot just down the road from Picón which is currently full of butterfly life. One of the most noticeable of the numerous species due to its size is the Cardinal Fritillary butterfly. They nearly always seem to be on the move, flitting from flower to flower, feeding on the nectar.
It seems like they never settle anywhere for too long and when they do they tend to always fold their wings making it difficult to see the beautiful patterns on their backs. They show a slight greeny olive colour on the upper hind wings and have a beautiful green on the lower hind wing and a red, green and yellow lower fore wing.
They are quite a large butterfly with a wingspan of 64-80 mm and are quite common around Ciudad Real, here in Castilla la Mancha. The particular spot where I always see them is a small copse of trees at the side of the road next to the Guadiana River in Picón where Kestrels can be seen hovering over the arable fields, Marsh Harriers hunting up and down the reed beds, a pair of Great Spotted Cuckoos make lots of noise and if you’re lucky, as I have been on numerous occasions, can find the Hummingbird Hawk Moth.
Apart from the Fritillaries you can find at the same spot other beautiful butterflies such as the Wall Brown (Lassiommata megera), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). In a walk in the shade of just 50 metres or so, the bushes are always alive with colour despite the heat at the moment.
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