Monday, 21 September 2009

Pulborough Beats Mizieb Any Day

What a contrast. This morning I enjoyed wood sandpiper, black-tailed godwit, green sandpipers and even an alien species, Egyptian goose, in the English peace of RSPB Pulborough Brooks. A sparrowhawk circled and climbed, and a kestrel flapped low over the wader scrapes. I didn't have to fear for them.

One week ago at the battlefield of Mizieb in Malta, almost certain death would have visited the two birds of prey. As it was, those woods were silent and empty, save for a handful of hostile gunners, looking like mama had just taken their favourite dolly from them. We also walked past a veritable ghetto of crudely constructed shooting hides. I had the impression of passing through a deserted concentration camp, but one that was ready to jackboot to attention in a moment.

Over-dramatic? Not given the latest grisly evidence from Malta’s war on birds. Just yesterday at Mizieb, BirdLife and CABS recovered 76 freshly killed birds supposedly protected from the shooters by the Maltese government. If you think our politicians are cynical, that lot are positively brazen. I don't know how the Maltese can bear them any longer.


  1. It's nice to see you passing the word around Andy. The more people learn the grisly truth about Malta and its hunters the better.

    Another week to go. 100 Marsh Harriers flew in tonoght - many of them landing in the reed beds in the Girgenti death trap - where 2 magnificent Black Storks were slaughtered yesterday evening.

    BirdLife are doing the night watch - we'll be there before dawn.

    Wish us luck,

    David (CABS)

  2. Yeah, I picked up the news about the black storks from a Maltese kid's birding blog, which I think is worth following. Definitely good luck to you, and keep up the fine work.


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