Saturday, December 31, 2011

Malta year List 2011

With 2011 come to an end and we start looking forward to start a new year with lots of birding, here is my year list for this year! A year which will be remembered  apart from amazing birding experiences in Spain and Norway, for some good birding and ringing in Malta, Spoonbills in February, large Garganey flocks and other ducks in March, the great Honey Buzzard passage in April, the 200 strong flock of White Storks in May, raptor migration in September especially the Lesser-spotted Eagles and Booted Eagle plus loads of passerines in October and November! 8 lifers in all in marked in blue and Malta ticks (4) marked in green.

1.    Common Quail
2.     Common Shelduck
3.     Eurasian Wigeon
4.     Eurasian Teal
5.     Mallard
6.     Pintail
7.     Garganey
8.     Shoveler
9.     Ferruginous Duck
10. Pochard
11. Cory's Shearwater
12. Yelkouan Shearwater
13. Little Grebe
14. Great Crested Grebe
15. Black-necked Grebe
16. Black Stork
17. White Stork
18. Glossy Ibis
19. Eurasian Spoonbill
20. Little Bittern
21. Night Heron
22. Squacco Heron
23. Little Egret
24. Great White Egret
25. Cattle Egret
26. Grey Heron
27. Purple Heron
28. Northern Gannet
29. Great Cormorant
30. Lesser Kestrel
31. Common Kestrel
32. Red-footed Falcon
33. Merlin
34. Hobby
35. Eleonora's Falcon
36. Peregrine Falcon
37. Lesser Spotted Eagle
38. Short-toed Eagle
39. Booted Eagle
40. Common Buzzard
41. Honey-buzzard
42. Black Kite
43. Red Kite
44. Marsh Harrier
45. Pallid Harrier
46. Montagu's Harrier
47. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
48. Osprey
49. Water Rail
50. Little Crake
51. Spotted Crake
52. Moorhen
53. Common Coot
54. Common Crane
55. Oystercatcher
56. Black-winged Stilt
57. Avocet
58. Stone Curlew
59. Little Ringed Plover
60. Ringed Plover
61. Kentish
62. Dotterel
63. European Golden Plover
64. Little Stint
65. Temminck's Stint
66. Curlew Sandpiper
67. Dunlin
68. Ruff
69. Common Snipe
70. Great Snipe
71. Bar-tailed Godwit
72. Curlew
73. Common Redshank
74. Greenshank
75. Green Sandpiper
76. Wood Sandpiper
77. Marsh Sandpiper
78. Turnstone
79. Common Sandpiper
80. Mediterranean Gull
81. Black-headed Gull
82. Slender-billed Gull
83. Audouin's Gull
84. Lesser Black-backed Gull
85. Yellow-legged Gull
86. Caspian Tern
87. Sandwich Tern
88. Whiskered tern
89. Black Tern
90. Pomarine Skua
91. Collared Dove
92. Turtle Dove
93. Common Cuckoo
94. Short-eared Owl
95. European Nightjar
96. Alpine Swift
97. Common Swift
98. Pallid Swift
99. Common Kingfisher
100.European Bee-eater
101. Roller
102. Hoopoe
104. Woodchat Shrike
105. Golden Oriole
106. Sand Martin
107. Barn Swallow
108. House Martin
109. Red-rumped Swallow
110. Short-toed Lark
111. Sky Lark
112.Zitting Cisticola
113.Cetti's Warbler
114.Moustached Warbler
115.  Sedge Warbler
116.  Reed Warbler
117. Great Reed Warbler
118.  Icterine Warbler
119.  Blackcap
120.  Garden Warbler
121.  Common Whitethroat
122.  Spectacled Warbler
123.  Subalpine Warbler
124.  Sardinian Warbler
125.Western Orphean Warbler
126. Wood Warbler
127. Common Chiffchaff
128. Willow Warbler
129. Yellow-browed Warbler
132.  Common Starling
133. Blackbird
134.Song Thrush
136. Robin
137. Common Nightingale
138. Bluethroat
139.Black Redstart
140. Common Redstart
141.Moussier’s Redstart
143.Common Stonechat
144. Isabelline Wheatear
145. Northern Wheatear
146. Black-eared Wheatear
147. Blue Rock Thrush
148. Rock Thrush
149.Spotted Flycatcher
150. Collared Flycatcher
151. Pied Flycatcher
152. Red-breasted Flycatcher
153. Spanish Sparrow
154. Tree Sparrow
155. Dunnock
156. Tawny Pipit
157.  Tree Pipit
158.  Meadow Pipit
159.Red-throated Pipit
160.Water Pipit
161. Yellow Wagtail
162. Grey Wagtail
163.White Wagtail
164.Common Chaffinch
165. Greenfinch
167.Reed Bunting
168.Corn Bunting

Happy new year with even more birding experiences to all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spain :)

Currently I am at Gallocanta, Spain, with fellow Maltese birders. We're spending a week here in wonderful country, writing about the experience on our new blog: Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

End of November

20th November: Ringed my 27th species, Meadow Pipit, at a good site for them. Enough open ground but still some growing trees to provide some cover for the nets. Did four Meadow Pipits, two Chiffchaffs and a Spanish Sparrow in all. 11 Meadow Pipits were ringed in all, some by a licensed ringer and another trainee. 
23rd Nov: Yet another species to add to the list! A Chaffinch this time at Simar, an adult female. Had eluded me so far with two ringed by other trainees on Comino and up to 9 ringed at Simar in one session but always when I was at uni. Ringed 24 birds in all, of course as always under supervision of a licensed ringer who is also my trainer with most being Chiffchaffs, with a few Robins and Blackcaps. Retrapped 2 Moustached warblers from earlier in the season, a record of 8 have been ringed at Simar this autumn, two of them at least seem to have decided to stay for a while. A curious retrap or rather retraps, were a pair of Sardinian warblers caught together, they had been first ringed this September when they had also been caught together...

One of eight Moustached Warblers ringed this autumn at Simar

Another session at Simar on the 25th. Quite varied with a Dunnock, two Reed Buntings (did 7 in all so far), a Song Thrush and a Sardinian Warbler apart from a few Chiffchaffs and Robins. Retrapped a Wryneck from earlier in the autumn, two Cetti's Warblers and a 1st year male Sardinian Warbler male first caught as a juvenile in July 2005! Its all black flight feathers contrasting to the 1st year which had half the secondaries tinged brown.
A good session on the 27th, up to 29 species with a Tree Sparrow. A Yellow-browed Warbler, the 4th record this autumn was caught too, so we had something to answer with to the birders seawatching and seeing a small passage of Shelduck and even better 5 Red-brested mergansers and a flock of 10 Wigeon.
Ringed my second Black Redstart, a 1st year male, three Blackcaps plus 9 chiffchaff and 2 Robin.
Yellow-browed Warbler, an annual vagrant in Malta, Photo by Adin Vella

Two Tree Sparrows, the bird on the right ringed today and the one on the left ringed in the early summer as a female with brooding patch, photo Adin Vella

The first bird ringed on the 30th at Simar, was a Black Redstart raising hopes for a good session but only 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Spanish Sparrows were ringed. A retrap Kingfisher from the 14th September of this year, was the first I hand handled and a good compensation. We also retrapped the third Robin ringed this autumn, on the 3rd October.In the evening another short session at another site, with three Meadow Pipits, one for each trainee plus a few Chiffchaffs.

 Adult female Black Redstart ringed at Simar, note only slightly dark vane of 6th tail feather indicator of an adult bird. 

 Tomorrow and Sunday more ringing awaits!