We spent seven days at Viñales, four days at the Guanahacabibes Peninsular right down in the south-west and then three days at Soroa before flying back from Habana. Throughout our stay we were accompanied by our excellent guide Rayner Núñez. Rayner manages the collections at the Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática in Habana and has been studying the Lepidoptera of Cuba for at least twenty years so not only is he extremely knowledgeable on the fauna of Cuba but is great fun to be with and has an extremely sharp eye! I like to think I am pretty quick at spotting things in the field but I have to say he left me standing most of the time and he was also very quick to id the butterflies, even the skippers, in flight. So a huge thank you to Rayner and our two drivers Duviel and Volo for making it such an enjoyable trip. Why two drivers? – because our first vehicle died after the first week and whilst Duviel then had to get his vehicle transported back to Habana on a trailer to get it fixed, Volo drove down with a replacement vehicle for the second week.
- The first record of Cuban Great King Anetia cubana for about fifteen years.
- The third record of Eastern Tailed Blue Cupido comyntas.
- Watching a huge migration of Florida Purplewing Eunica tatila.
- Several new species for the Guanahacabibes Peninsular.
- Dusky Dwarf Boa Tropidophis melanurus eating an unfortunate frog!
- Lots of Swallowtails and finally getting pictures of Cuban Kite Swallowtail Neographium celadon.
- Finding larvae of two butterfly species for which the life cycles were previously unknown in Cuba.
- Close and prolonged views of male Bee Hummingbird.
- Cuban Iguana Cyclura nubila and many, many more…