Thursday, October 22, 2009

One minute silence for the Skylarks

Today we witnessed a heavy passage of Skylarks over the Maltese islands. The figure of 84 I saw from Il-Qlejgha Valley (a valley with a small watercourse and dams - now empty), were nothing compared to other sightings mostly in the morning, the highest of over 500 birds. And of course as maltese hunters are eager conservationists (this is really part of their federation name - FKNK) they were enthusiastically shooting down as many of these birds as possible. It was litrary like walking through a war zone, with nearly non stop shooting from both sides of the valley. Needless to say it was depressing and frustrating...
Other birds of note was a Snipe I flused from the watercourse and 4 Grey wagtails - I enjoyed good views of one of these beautiful birds. Also the last hirundines about (several with missing feathers after bieng illegally targeted by hunters) - 45 Swallows and 5 House Martins. Around 80 Starlings were in the line of fire too. Finally I saw 17 White Wagatails, 4 Stonechats, some 25 Robins and a Blackcap.

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