Wednesday, January 5, 2011

First birding of 2011

Qammieh point

Water Pipit at Ghaidra NR

Little Grebe starting to moult to breeding plumage

Started off the year bird wise at Buskett only on the 2nd with the usual winter birds. The highlight was a Quail flushed from a garigue area above the valley. It is usually a migrant in Malta but a few spend the colder months here too if not shot by hunters. Flushed two birds from the same area the previous winter too. At the Dingli Cliffs two Spectacled warblers and a few Blue Rock Thrushes.
Monday after looking around for crests in the local public garden producing a single Goldcrest I was off to Qawra were three and a half hours of scanning produced 2 Shelducks, 3 Sandwhich terns, one Med gull, a few Black-headed gulls and the usual Yellow-legged.
The birds at Ghadira seem to have left with no ducks and waders, 12 black-necked grebes, 3 Little Grebes and Coots still there though. Water pipit which we first saw in November wintering in the reserve starting to moult with the first pink feathers on its chest.
Added Kestrel ( tailless) and Skylark to the yearlist from the garigue area behind the reserve. On a walk below the cliffs of Qammieh and on the garigue plateau back again checked every Stonechat and Black redstart for potential Desert wheatear and Moussier's Redstart with no luck. Nice area for a walk tough and a total of 6 Spectacled Warblers was good.