The outings

The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society organise monthly outings for it's members within Gibraltar and further afield into Andalucía, visiting a variety of locations covering diverse habitats and offering the opportunity to see the wildlife of this beautiful area. The venues for the outings are chosen and timed to coincide with the season's happenings: see Cranes in their wintering grounds, Orchids in the spring, wading birds in the Doñana wetlands, butterflies and Ibex in the Sierras, come Autumn mushrooming in the Alcornocales and enjoy the spectacular sights of thousands of migrating raptors right on your doorstep.

For dates, contacts and how to join us, see the gonhs website

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ready for next Saturday's outing to La Sauceda?

I'm sure next Saturday's outing to la Sauceda is already marked in all your diaries and that you're looking forward to it as much as I am. (Fingers crossed for good weather!) I thought I'd put up a few photographs from the last outing we made there in March 2009 to remind those who came what a beautiful location it is, and without giving too much away, perhaps tempt those who haven't visited the area before to join us and see it for themselves. 

The area we visit surrounds Pico del Aljibe (1091), the highest point of the Sierra del Aljibe located at the northern end of the Alcornocales Natural Park and on the boundary between the provinces of Malaga and Cadíz.  
Willow trees grow along the sides of the stream

The woodland contains an interesting mix of trees, cork oaks, holm oaks, ash and by the stream, willow from which the location takes it name.
There are lovely spring flowers, we found some unusual ones, Sawfly orchids and several Fritillaries.
Sawfly Orchid - one of the earliest to flower

Male Blackcap in full song
There were woodland birds  singing and as the holm oaks were still leafless, we were able to see them. Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Blue Tits and Chaffinches were particularly noticeable. 
There are some massive specimens of Cork Oaks, this one has a colony of ferns growing along a branch

There are lovely trails through the woodland and we chose a lovely spot amongst the trees to eat our picnic lunch. After lunch some folk decided to make their way back, others felt more energetic and carried on walking. A few of us went off to find the lagoon that was signposted but not too clearly. It took quite a while to find, probably because we went wrong a few times, but we had some spectacular views along the way.
The views across to the Ronda mountains are spectacular
We eventually found the lagoon, which was well worth the effort of tramping across muddy fields to see.
Laguna de Moral
We realised, of course, that there was a much easier way to get there - from the surfaced track we took back down to the car park, but our way was much more interesting...

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