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

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Just a quick reminder that the next outing is this coming Saturday (16th), it is to Cape Trafalgar and will be led by Leslie Linares. Our last outing to this part of the wild and dramatically beautiful Atlantic coast was in 2008. The trip was very well supported and the whole day was hugely enjoyable; for those who did not make it, or anyone that may be undecided about this one here are a few of the photos I took on that occasion to whet your appetite:-

Cape Trafalgar is a headland on the Atlantic coast, northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar.The name is of Arabic origin, with the modern pronunciation being a corruption of 'Tarf al-Gharb', meaning Western Cape or Cape of the West. The Battle of Trafalgar was fought off these shores in 1805. 

There is a lighthouse here that was built in 1850: it stands 34 metres tall, is 51 metres above sea level and its light can be seen for 22miles. A watchtower was built in the 9th century and its ruins remain close to the lighthouse. 

The Trafalgar Tombolo was declared a Natural Monument in 2001. This protective measure has the purpose of saving unique enclaves remarkable for their ecological landscape, scientific and cultural qualities. The area of the Natural Monument is 24,19 hectares. It has also been proposed as a Place of Community Interest and is part of the Natura 2000 network, the creation of which was regulated by the European Directive Habitats (Directive 92/43/CEC). This area is called Punta de Trafalgar and has an area of 183,31 hectares and is home to a variety of vegetal species and communities.

Just a few  of the members that enjoyed the 2008 outing 
The main attraction of the cape is its flora and of course its vast sandy beaches and surf that attract water sports enthusiasts.  

This is an easy site to walk, being mostly fairly level and the walking pace is likely to be leisurely with plenty of time to stop to admire views. If you are interested in learning something about the surprisingly diverse flora and the specialized plants that are found here, stay close to Leslie for fascinating insights into how they are adapted to survive here.

The dunes support a surprisingly abundant and diverse flora

We were very lucky to have had some very close encounters with a number of  Black Kites on their migration from Africa as they flew in very low over the sea.

Following the morning's walking and exploration, we headed for a local restaurant where we were served a very enjoyable lunch, enhanced as always on our outings, by pleasant company and interesting chat.  

Looking down onto the harbour at Barbate
An encounter with a Spiny-toed Lizard 
Refreshed,we then headed to a woodland area above the town of Barbate to complete our outing with a walk through a quite different habitat.

Unable to make this outing myself, I am very envious of those that do, but hope you have an enjoyable day.



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