Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A couple of hours at Simar NR

One of five Snipes at Simar
Mist hanging over the Pwales valley behind Simar

Yesterday browsing through the sightings of the day, thinking about were to go today it being public holiday in Malta, the desicion was made easy for me, 1 Penduline tit male ringed at Simar NR. The last sightings of these great birds were from 2007/2008 when a few birds wintered at the reserve. It wasn't only me that was hoping for this one to stay too and me and my sister met up with a small group early this morning at Simar.
Simar early in the morning is beautiful, dew dripping from the trees, birds breaking mirror still water with ripples, the chilly air inside the hide and the general feeling that time has no effect on the place...
Looking out over the small wetland expactantly we saw the usual Coots, Moorhens, some 4 Little Grebes and a female Teal. A total of 5 Common Snipes were feeding elussively on the banks while there was larger number of Chiffchaffs flitting about. A Wryneck called from somewhere, but straining ears couldn't pick up any penduline tit calls which I remeber to give them away first two years ago. A small bird flew down on the opposite bank, but my brain told me to late that it was probably a Bluethroat as it disspaeared behind a tamarisk...frustrating! Two, three have been present the last month or so but eluded me so far. Something flew into a tre closer to the hide however turning out to be a male Bluethroat! A much brighter coloured male turned up feeding on close to the water's edge on the other side giving great views when it flew into a tamarisk singing shortly. Stunning birds!
A Moustached warbler called and was soon seen flying low over the water into a clump of reeds were it was seen feeding for a while. Yet another good bird but still no Penduline and so it was to be. Our patience only payed off with a hunting Kestrel on the Mizieb ridge and a Reed Bunting flying by. A Chaffinch called us goodbye as we finally packed our bags and left still quite happy with the outcome of the morning.

Some pics from the last weeks:

A Black-necked Grebe in Xemxija Bay fishing without a care for me on the promenade

3 of a flock of 6 Skylarks feeding in a field behind Ghadira NR

Record shot of a late male Yellow wagtail on the 27/11/10 also feeding behind Ghadira NR

A Great Crested Grebe at Ghadira NR with two Spanish Sparrows flying past

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martin, Good to see your out birding. We are having a large influx of waxwings in the south of England . Keep your eyes out for them, they are like trilling starlings, Great Blog and Pictures as always. Have a great Xmas , Kevin