Saturday, April 2, 2016, 11:07
With spring bird migration starting in March, a number of scarce species were observed stopping over
Malta, including a species last recorded in the
19th century, Birdlife
said today. Malta
The strong southern winds are likely to have brought these vagrants – birds which disperse from their usual range through accidental migratory movements.
The first surprise for bird watchers was a cream-coloured courser (Nankina), a very scarce irregular semi-desert bird, last seen in 2009. The courser spent two weeks within the safety of the airport area, a suitable bare, flat habitat for its ground-running behaviour. The species breeds in the North African and Middle Eastern regions, rarely venturing into
A southern great grey shrike (Kaċċamendula Prima) was the second rare bird spotted at Ta’ Ċenċ cliffs. Southern Grey Shrike is a vagrant species in the Maltese islands.
Another rarity this spring is a Richard’s Pipit (Bilblun Prim), which stopped over along the Southern coast of
This species is rarely seen in Malta Malta,
as it originates from ,
Siberia Mongolia and parts of .
Past records for this bird had always been during autumn, but never in spring. China
The most unexpected vagrant however was a White-crowned Black Wheatear (Kuda Rasha Bajda) which stayed over at
This was only the second record ever for Majjistral Park , as the species was locally
last confirmed in 1872 as a shot specimen. There are only a handful of records
of this species in Malta .
It is normally found in in the Sahara desert and Europe . Arabia
The peak of spring migration in
is expected in April, although many birds are already passing through Malta
A Seebohm’s Wheatear, a subspecies of the more common Northern Wheatear (Kuda) was the last rarity to be recorded this month. This is the first time it has been observed in