Thursday, April 1, 2010

April's Fool

Common sandpiper at Ghadira

We started off the day at Simar, with Hirundines fluttering above us, mostly Swallows, some House Martins and the odd Sand Martin. At first a message about a Purple Gallinule at another location was taken as a joke and we stayed on at the reserve. Well, glad I did as I got my second lifer in two days, a Little crake, not a rare species but one that had eluded me so far. And altough a female a great bird anyway! Other birds seen were a Collared flycatcher, Snipe, a Little Egret which had a hole in its beak caused by gunshot, 2 Tree Ppits and a Yellow wagtail. Also a handful of migratory warblers; Sedge, subalpine and Wood as well as one or two lingering Chiffchaffs.

When the Puprle Gallinule, which would be a first for Malta, became apparent to be no joke, we hurried off only to arrive too late. However returned to the site in the evening and this time the twitch was succesful. Short views of this misterious and beautiful bird that seems to have been forgotten by evolution and has come directly from the time of the dinosours!

Got to Ghadira too during the day were quite a few waders were present. My first two Wood Sandpipers of the year feeding close to three Green sandpipers. Two Ruffs, a Greenshank, a Black-winged Stilt and 3 Common Sandpipers also present. Incubating Little ringed plovers were given a hard time keeping feeding Moorhens away from their nest. One bird even acting injured, the Moorhens only looking on with curiousity. At least two Hoopoes were flying about and feedin gon the embankment. Of furthernote was a female garganey spending most of the the time dosing, a male wheatear and two Marsh harriers overhead.

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