Spring Flowers

Spring is now well underway, and with it comes a spectacular display of flowering plants on the Rock.

We have had an unusually cold and rainy late winter which has retarded the blooming of our springtime plants slightly.  However, spring is now fully underway, and the recent rains have really aided the plants to flourish, creating a spectacular display of flowers all across the Rock. 

Now is the best time to see some of Gibraltar's native and special flowers such as the Gibraltar Candytuft Iberis gibraltarica, which is in full bloom and can be found growing on the Upper Rock where it is common and widespread.  It is native to North Africa and Gibraltar, which is it's only European station. 

The Giant Squill Scilla peruviana has also put on a fabulous display this spring. An extremely attractive and distinctive flower, this bulbous perennial has blue-violet flowers and can be found on the Upper Rock.  Contrary to its name, this plant is not from Peru but is native to the western Mediterranean region. 

Gibraltar Saxifrage Saxifraga globulifera var. gibraltarica, a variety endemic to Gibraltar, can also be seen in flower during March and April.  Although not common, the main stands of this plant can be found on the northern end of the Upper Rock, including the North Face and the Upper Galleries. 

Some particularily late flowering Paper-white Narcissus Narcissus papyraceus were still in flower during March, which was remarkable! This is usually in flower late autumn through into December and January, and by Febuary has finished.  This was testament to the cold and wet spring we experienced. 

The Barbary Nut Moraea sisyrinchium is also best seen during the months of March and April.  It is common in the southern parts of Gibraltar, especially on Windmill Hill Flats and Europa Point.

 

The Alameda Gardens are looking particularily good this Spring, with more Freesias Freesia refracta popping up than ever before. The firebreaks of the Upper Rock are also currently covered in Freesias. This plant is not native to Gibraltar, originating from South Africa, but was introduced at some point and has naturalised throughout the Upper Rock where it is now widespread and common.  It is however an attractive flower and produces a lovely, sweet scent which to many signals the coming of spring.  One cannot fail to notice that this year, the Rock is awash with Bermuda Buttercups Oxalis pes-caprae with their distinctive, yellow flowers which can be seen hugging the cliffs.  We have noticed that more are in flower this year than ever.  A native of South Africa, it has been introduced and become naturalised. Unfortunately, it has spread very quickly in Gibraltar and is now established in most habitats, outcompeting the native flora.

More information on Gibraltar's flora can be found on the Flora of Gibraltar website: http://floraofgibraltar.myspecies.info

 

The gallery of pictures displays some of the most characteristic species that can be found in Gibraltar at this time of the year.

Iberis gibraltarica
Gibraltar Candytuft, Iberis gibraltarica
Scilla peruviana
Giant squill, Scilla peruviana
Saxifraga globulifera var. gibraltarica
Gibraltar Saxifrage, Saxifraga globulifera var. gibraltarica
Narcissus papyraceus
Paper-white Narcissus, Narcissus papyraceus photographed in March
Moraea sisyrinchium
Barbary Nut, Moraea sisyrinchium
Firebreak Freesias
Freesias and Asphodels on a firebreak in the Upper Rock
Freesia refracta
Freesia, Freesia refracta
Oxalis pes-caprae
Bermuda Buttercup, Oxalis pes-caprae is a widespread and common invasive species

 

 

 

Kestrel Flies Again

Kestrel Flies Again

The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS)
 
Press Release
4 December 2019

On the 25 October 2019 a female Common Kestrel was brought ashore at the Port of Gibraltar from the visiting cruise ship P&O Arcadia. It had been seeking refuge on one of the ship’s decks after the vessel had sailed through bad weather in the Strait of Gibraltar.
 
The bird was found by one of the passengers on board and was seen to be suffering from starvation and in an extremely weak condition.
 
It was originally handed in to staff at the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, which in turn handed it over to the GONHS Raptor Unit, which continued with its care and rehabilitation.
 
The Kestrel spent a month at the rehabilitation centre and was released on the 25th November after recovering fully from its ordeal.

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Bryophytes & Lichens Outing

Bryophytes & Lichens Outing

The Bryophytes and lichens outing took place on Saturday 16th November, with a cold 9˚C start to the morning.  This however did not stop the eager few who attended.

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GONHS visits Notre Dame First School

GONHS visits Notre Dame First School

In the latest in a series of visits to local schools, GONHS Raptor Unit’s section head, Vincent Robba, visited Notre Dame First School.

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Gibraltar Bird Report 2018  online

Gibraltar Bird Report 2018 online

Welcome to the 2018 issue of the Gibraltar Bird Report.

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Eurobirdwatch 2019 a success

Eurobirdwatch 2019 a success

Over 500 participants attended a successful Eurobirdwatch 2019.  With groups at Jews' Gate, Commonwealth Park and at Europa Point in the afternoon.

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GONHS Election Wish List

GONHS Election Wish List

GONHS has released their wish list for the upcoming general election on 17th October.

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Invertebrate Safari Outing

Invertebrate Safari Outing

Our September outing, which took place on the 14th, was an Invertebrate Safari around the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, led by Invertebrates Section head Dr Rhian Guillem.

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International Bat Night 2019

International Bat Night 2019

The 12th International Bat Night was held on the 28th August at the John Mackintosh Hall, which proved to be a great sucess.

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