Monday, April 09, 2012

Malta Apr 2012

Walking round St Julian’s Harbour, House Sparrow and Redstart.
Later, on the NW coast, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler, Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush. Chiffchaff heard.
Next day on Gozo, Spanish Sparrow, Willow Warbler and most excitingly a Subalpine Warbler near Ramla.

Chile March 2012

After 24hrs travelling, we needed some sun and air so strolled up to the park near the shopping mall: Rock Dove of course, Chilean Mockingbird everywhere and soon distinguished from Austral Thrush. The local escapee Parakeet breed is the Monk Parakeet which has dark wings when in flight. The dove on the floor soon identified as
Picui Ground Dove. Southern House Wren creeping around a tree-trunk.
Rufous Collared Sparrow everywhere, and Southern Lapwing screaming on any open space.
From hotel window, Rufous Tailed Plantcutter with distictive bright red eye. Majestic pair of Peregrine patrolled across at dusk.
Later in the week, a poke round the local park.
Black Necked Swan, Snowy Egret and Spot flanked Gallinule
on the pond. Long Tailed Meadowlark and Yellow Winged Blackbird.
Traveling south to the wine region in a minibus, Southern Caracara and
Turkey Vulture. Later, at beautiful Viu Manent, Black Chinned Siskin
Plain-Mantled Tit-Spinetail in the courtyard shrubs. The Aussie manager tells me they have an albino owl in one of the older trees.
On Sunday, our hosts kindly took us up beyond Farellones and then Valle Nevado, in a hunt for Condores. Variable Hawk rather a dull name for what in this area is a handsome bird, which we watched hovering (impressive in such a big bird) and pouncing.
Correndera Pipit by the roadside.
Common Duica Finch in the shrubs.
And then a couple of bigger birds...stop the car! 2 big birds gliding out high high over the valley. A hint of white on the back, rectangular wings, upturned fingers. They are Andean Condors. Locals confirm a pair and seven offspring live in the area and subsequently we see more and closer - close enough to see the neck ring by eye!
Common Miner (pic) and a rather dishevelled Grey-hooded Sierra Finch).
Finally, Mountain Caracara perched on the eaves of a ski chalet.
Lots of other birds around, especially in the late afternoon. Definitely a place to return to...
(25 species, 19 lifers)