Monday, February 28, 2011

Last Weekend of February

Saturday morning saw us scanning the sea from Cirkewwa, from which one can get good views of birds passing through the channel between Malta and Comino on their passage northwards...that is when there is something to be seen. A single cormorant and 3 House Martins was all before the skies opened and we had to run for shelter. After the rain, 5 Sandwhich terns and 2 Mediterranean gulls were added to the short list.
Continued to Simar Nature reserve, were the feeling of spring set in with some 20 House Martins, a few Swallows and the first Sand Martin of the year, flitting over the water. We were happy to see the two Little grebe chicks which were first noted this week swimming with their parents and continously being fed fish. Hope more will appear soon from the other two pairs.
Other birds included two teals, two water rails, coots and finally I cought up again with the overwintering male Bluethroat. Seen twice for a very short while feeding on a muddy bank before taking to the tamarisk trees...mp3 did not bring it out of cover.
The next day sleep was cut short by a message about 19 Spoonbills at Ghadira Nature reserve. In ten minutes we were out and lucky to get the bus immeadiately. Not too lucky with the species previously missing them with only five minutes, but this time they were still there when I arrived. Enjoyed the birds for about an hour as they were preening and resting on one of the islands. The Black-necked grebes present were also nice to see having moulted to nearly complete summer plumage. Then it was back home to continue sleeping...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And finally...

Not to much birding lately unfortuntely, not much about either but with February coming to end and spring in the air there's some more bird activity. Missed a a total of 70 Spoonbills two days ago, record for Malta...11 shot though... need to comment any further.
On a positive note had a good morning birding at Buskett. Blackcaps everywhere and quite active not seeming as shy as usual. Around 7 Song Thrushes, as well as Dunnocks and Chaffinches. The first House Martin flitted by just after we got the highlight. We heard it first not sure if it was a Starling or what we hoped it was, but as it flew up and perched in a cypress tree, it was evident it was no Starling but our first Redwing in Malta and being able to enjoy it for a while too!

not too easy to take photos off though...

Female Wigean at Ghadira a month ago

Part of a group of 12 Black-necked Grebes overwintering at Ghadira