/ in Portugal by Marek

Following a successful Mothing trip to Guernsey we could not resist the temptation when our friends, who had now migrated to Portugal, invited us over.

As I have never driven on the wrong side of the road and felt that I would prefer to leave it that way our only alternative was to fly across.

Consideration was therefore given to the size of our current battery-operated trap regarding luggage because of its sheer bulk, so we decided to look for something as little smaller and more portable.

What we needed was a mains/battery-operated trap as our friends said that there would be no problem providing an electrical supply when in Portugal, but we could then use it locally with the battery if away from home.

We came across the ideal solution in the form of a 15w Heath trap which folded away to practically nothing and would be ideal for our purposes.

Our friends said that they would save their egg boxes until we arrived, so we had things pretty well sorted.

As soon as we sat out on the veranda on the first evening of our stay we realised that it was likely to be a busy morning as moths along with other flying insects were drawn to the lights which illuminated the dining table.

It was then that we noticed for the first time a predator not mentioned in a previous post as we had never really regarded them as such on previous encounters during trips abroad.

Gecko resting on a white wall
So cute and Innocent – Not!

The Gecko, or should I say three Gecko’s, which our friends pointed out came out to play each evening from behind the lamps on the wall their intention being to cash in on our very quarry.

This they did effortlessly each night as we chilled with a couple of beers chatting about the old times and the antics we had got up to during the day.

After a couple of days, we realised that three had now become two so wondered if one had been called by his maker possibly due to over eating.

After the first week we then realised that three had now become just one lonely Gecko patrolling the whole veranda walls on his/her own.

It was only later in the second week that the penny dropped when we noticed the activity around the disused stone barbeque where we set our Heath Trap each night.

Garden patio in the evening, with a photoshop sign saying 'Gecko Lets Available'
Gecko Lets

"Gecko, Gecko, on the wall
You really don't care at all,
For as the guests are passing through
It's time to visit the barbeque."

Our hosts informed us that after we had returned home that the trio had also returned from their holiday and things had returned to normal

We managed a good number of records whilst abroad, but it took us quite some time to sort out the identifications as our only source of reference was now just European web sites which we found rather difficult to navigate.

We also saw several butterflies on our trip but, due to the heat, they were so active that we failed on many occasions to get any sort of picture. We did record a Blue-spot Hairstreak but for me the prize was really a European Swallowtail who decided to take a pit stop just in front of us while my friend was taking us for a walk around the local area around his villa.

European Swallowtail resting on a plant
A Tale To Tell