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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Never goin to Malta again!!

Signs with 'No Entry, Keep Out and Private' we saw plastered in public areas all over Malta on hunters hides where they blast millions of birds from the skies for fun every a year where they have full control of the country!

  Anna surprised me with a break to Malta! She did not know that this was a country where they kill millions of birds a year including Swallows, Swifts, Eagles, Storks etc!! Anything that flies through Malta with feathers is a target and risks being blastered out of the sky or trapped by the 9000+ hunters. I wouldn't call them hunters. Lets call them by what they really are. Blood thirsty sick males who get a thrill out of killing living creatures! Over the years I've helped campaign against this slaughter, not just in Malta but also in other Mediterranean countries where they kill anything that moves! When I was a kid, 9 or 10, I watched 'Nature' hosted by Micheal Burk and it showed a French hunter trap a Skylark live to bring it's life to an end by pressing on it's chest with his thumb to stop it breathing. Over the weeks I raised £40 and sent it to the an origination, I can't remember which one, but I remember the leaflet very well with the headline in red 'Slaughter in the Mediterranean' It had a male Blackcap hanging by it's legs from a lime stick. I posted some 100 leaflets to doors in my area where I lived in Trench at the time.
  If Anna and I ever do come to Malta again, it will be to volunteer in observing the killers from shooting illegal species of birds. However, I might not be responsible for my actions if I saw one of the little sick men kill a Swallow or an eagle!!

Shooting huts are almost in every field you look with more than one in many of the fields.

While in Malta, I dipped out on Malta's 7th Olive-backed Pipit and a male Mamora's Warbler on the island of Gozo but in the same area I did see Blue Rock Thrush and 5+Speckled Warbler. Of the latter species, the only one I've seen was the Tresco individual back in Oct 2001!

While looking for the OBP in Ta Qali National Park, these delightful male Sardinian Warbler performed well. 

Male Spanish Sparrow

In the park they kept Turtle Dove and Spotless Starling in cages!!

The day before I was in the park, the OBP was feeding just to the right of these benches

The tight streets of Senglea are very attractive


To the right of this photo is where we stayed in Senglea

   We've arrived in Barcelona, Spain a few days ago and yesterday we went to visit Queralbs. A small village on the slopes of the Spanish Pyrenees. This was a place I always wanted to see and picked a cracker of a warm sunny day. However, instead of arriving in the morning as we planned, we got there early afternoon after stopping off at other places on our ways up there. The only bird of note was a singing Short-toed Treecreeper.

The church at Queralbs

First sighting of the Spanish Pyrenees 

  This afternoon a look around the reserve at Estany de Cal Tet produced all the birds you would expect to see including escapes like 100's of Monk Parakeet, Common Waxbill and Red-eared Terrapins and a single Barnacle Goose2 Hoopoe together was nice to see before I see hopefully good numbers again back home on Scilly like last year!

These Greater Flamingos were on the River next to the reserve

Up to 4 Marsh Harrier were in air at one time

Long-tailed Tit

Serin are everywhere

White Wagtail
The start of the escapes included this Barnacle with a Greylag Goose

Flock of 100+Common Waxbill in the reeds but kept there distance

And on the waters edge Red-eared Terrapin were in large numbers enjoy the warm sun 

Watch an episode of Chris Packham's 'Massacre on Migration' in Malta. In this episode you watch local campers in a public area being turfed off by the police at 06.30 after the hunters complain about them being there! Also, a resident birder who has been shot and hit twice and his farm house was burnt down by these sick males

Friday, 3 February 2017

Glaucous Gull at Telford Crematorium

My visit to Telford Crematorium this year and the first bird I almost look at is this juvenile Glaucous Gull 

  Just retutrned from a short break in Latvia and Estonia and this morning I made my ways just up road to Cranmere Bog for the 6 Tundra Bean and 5 white-fronted Geese that were seen yesterday. Nothing! So returning home I stopped off at the Telford Crematorium to check the gulls out and was rewarded with a juvenile Glaucous Gull! It stuck around for ten minutes before flying off with other gulls, including 6 Great-black backed Gull, to the tip nearby.

Flying off towards the tip

Middle Pool hosted this Cormorant and 20 Gooseander. Just across the road there were another 7 Gooseander and 15 Shoveler at Trench Pool

This Buzzard was in the center of Shrewbury while I was looking for a flock of Waxwing in the area

Anna and I had a great time in Riga, Latvia and then the four hour drive to Tallinn, Estonia where we spent most of our time in the old city. 

A homeless man begging in Riga, Latvia

Really liked the old city of Tallinn, Estonia

In 2000, Mathieu Hocine started his project "Kid Francescoli". He was soon joined by Laetitia Abello (vocals), David Borras (keyboards) and Olivier Scalia (bass). They played their first gigs in 2004. Behind the omnipresent melody, Kid Francescoli offers intimate lyrics in English and Italian, many dealing with young men's angst and the dreams of a girl at the dawn of her thirtieth birthday. The music, with its tenacious refrains and its heartfelt instrumentals, shows the inspiration of Air and Grandaddy. At the same time, Italian acts like Cinecitta Ennio Morricone's sound tracks are an obvious influence for this group from Marseilles. After showing promise as a live act, especially during the Marsatac 2005 festival, the group launched their first national tour (Paris, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Rennes, Nice) in May 2006, sharing the stage with artists such Sebastien Schuller or Troy Von Balthazar.