Ravens Return to Gibraltar

Various reports were received over the long weekend concerning sightings of Ravens Corvus corax over the Upper Rock.

There had been a pair of this species in Gibraltar until relatively recently (we need to check our records, although breeding was never recorded).

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Dumping at the Europa Foreshore

The Europa Foreshore is a designated part of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve.  Bart Van Thienen has been working in this area in collaboration with GONHS for the last five years clearing the area of rubble and waste, and clearing invasive species of plants such as the Prickly Pear Opuntia ficus-indica, the Hottentot Fig Carpobrotus edulis and the Century plant Agave americana.  He has done a great job in restoring the area to a natural surrounding, and has begun to restore the Gibraltar Sea Lavender Limonium emarginatum, by planting seedlings in various areas within the site.

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Seabird Migration underway at Europa Point

In the last few weeks seabird migration has got underway at Europa Point, with birds migrating west out of the Mediterranean close inshore.  The best weather conditions are usually westerly winds, although even during easterlies birds will be seen.  The afternoon is the best time to watch from this site as the light is favourable, and the birds pass close providing suitable conditions for good photography opportunities.

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Resident Birds fare well in the heatwave

Over the last few weeks Europe has experienced a severe heatwave named 'Lucifer'.  Gibraltar did not escape the ravages of the high temperatures, but fared better than inland areas in Spain.  Temperatures increased daily with the highest recorded so far 35oC on the 7th August.  

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Aloe Die-back in Gibraltar

A few years ago a disease was proliferating among the Tree Aloes, Aloe arborescens around Gibraltar.  Large stands of the plant around Europa Point and the east side of Gibraltar were badly affected, and several stands were unable to survive, and perished.  Those that did weather the storm, recovered slowly during the winter months and managed to put on the display of their colourful and characteristic flowers; the red pokers.

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Spotted Flycatchers breed successfully

Two pairs of Spotted Flycatchers bred successfully in Gibraltar.  One was located at the Trafalgar Cemetery, where they raised two young, while the other pair bred near the Theatre area of the Botanic Gardens and were seen throughout the last few weeks feeding just one chick, but a few days ago two were seen together.

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Lepidoptera in the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens

It is a good time of the year to see a range of butterflies and day flying moths around the gardens.  A good population of Monarch Butterflies can be seen along the Main Walk and other species include the Crimson-Speckled Moth, Andalusian Blue, Small White and the Speckled Wood butterfly; all depicted in the video.

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Little Grebe

A Little Grebe was found in Ocean Village.  The bird, a juvenile, had not been recorded in Gibraltar since the 1950, when one struck the Lighthouse and was also rescued.

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Griffon Vulture Released

Yesterday we also released another Griffon Vulture tagged KY that was rescued last week which as can be seen wasted no time in taking off to continue its migration north.

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Griffon Vulture Rescued from the Sea

On Sunday afternoon a Griffon Vulture was rescued from the sea below Europa Advance Road, by officers of the Marine Units of the Royal Gibraltar Police and Gibraltar Defence Police, after it had been mobbed by Yellow-legged Gulls.

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Scops Owl rescued by our Raptor Unit

Scops Owl rescued by our Raptor Unit this morning. This is a migratory species and had arrived here having flown all the way from sub-Saharan Africa.

Plants of the Upper Rock outing

Plants of the Upper Rock outing

This outing, which took place on Saturday the 30th March was originally planned to cover Mediterranean Steps but, due to gale force levanter wind, we decided to avoid the east side and concentrate on the more sheltered west side of the Rock.

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La Janda Outing

La Janda Outing

The outing to La Janda on Saturday 16th February was productive despite the very strong winds.

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Hassan Centenary Terraces - Joint Statement from the 3 NGOs represented on DPC

Hassan Centenary Terraces - Joint Statement from the 3 NGOs represented on DPC

 The following statement was read out by GONHS General Secretary, Dr Keith Bensusan at the meeting of the Development and Planning Commission on 1th February 2019:

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Purple Sandpiper rescued

Purple Sandpiper rescued

A Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima) was rescued from Sandy Bay beach  after being found entangled in discarded fishing line. 

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Wintering Seabirds Outing

Wintering Seabirds Outing

Our first outing of the year took place on Saturday 19th January at Harding's Observation Post, Europa Point.

Despite the forecast, the rain held off for the most part but the dark clouds and offshore breeze were not conducive to a great afternoon's birding.

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EuroBirdwatch 2018

EuroBirdwatch 2018

GONHS celebrated the 25th EuroBirdwatch last weekend, a Europe-wide event organised by BirdLife International to highlight bird migration and conservation.  The event has been celebrated in Gibraltar every year since 1993, when it began.  

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GONHS at BirdFair

GONHS at BirdFair

The Society was represented by our hard-working council member Jill Yeoman, at the Bird Fair held at Egleton Nature Reserve at Rutland Water, Oakham from the 17th - 19th August. 

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Rare Plants of Inglis Way

Rare Plants of Inglis Way

By this time of the year (June) many plant species on the Rock are already going to seed and everything seems to be drying up, but there are still some interesting plants which are fully in bloom. A number of these can be found along Inglis Way, and some only here and nowhere else in the Upper Rock.

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