Sunday, August 28, 2011

Slow start but its started!

Finally we can get to some serious birding again on our shores as migration rolls to a slow start after a summer of heat waves and general lack of birds. Was in Varanger, Norway in june july which was an amazing experience I hope to write about when i get the time! For now we'll stay in here goes:

13th August: First seawatch not bad at that: Great Cormorant, an adult Grey heron and a juvenile Audouin's gull.

At Salina salt pans there where a few waders including 7 Dunlin still in summer plumage, 6 Little stint, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and a Little Ringed plover as well as a Kingfisher.

15th August Yet another Audouin's gull juvenile was all, and at Salina there were a few waders again 5 Dunlin, 11 Little stint and 3 Common sandpiper plus a Yellow wagtail.

17th August: Quite an impressive flock of 65 Wood Sandpiper at Ghadira NR. Another Kingfisher too.

20th August: Seawatch...nothing.

23rd August: An Audouin's gull once more, a few more Cory's shearwaters than usual and two Sandwhich tern.

24th August: A Night heron and 2 Golden orioles at Buskett. A flock of 9 Night heron were seen at dusk after I left.

27th August: Now it got better...with two Oystercatchers making my day. A Little egret also flew by, a Dunlin and an Audouin's gull.

Buskett in the afternoon produced the first Hobby recorded this autumn hunting over the trees, two Marsh harriers, a Turtle Dove and a Wheatear.

28th August: First bird of interest was an Eleonora's falcon, a good starter for this morning's seawatch. Next up was even better 6 Turnstones flying along the coast and settled on the spray washed rocks. Had been a while since I'd seen the species in Malta. Also 6 Little Egret, 500+ Cory' shearwater thanks to the strong north west wind, 4 Common Sandpiper, 9 Little Stint a Lesser Black-backed gull fuscus, a Med and a Black-headed gull. 2 Grey herons were flying over Salina as I headed home.

The evening produced 3 Marsh harriers from Buskett, one of which was shot at illegally, five consecutive shots but continued to fly on. Also of note were a flock of 8 Pallid swifts.

Both the photos one of the Eleonora's falcon and the other of 3 of 6 Turnstones were taken by R Galea.

Migration is still in the begining, we have many long hours of birding and hopefully many surprises to look forward to!