Birding/ Bird watching on Malta

Thursday 25th of March 2021 and the taxi arrived just before 7 o'clock in the morning. My Driver had not managed to find any boy souvenir doll. But I was very happy that he had managed to find any doll at all. I got in to the car and we checked the eBird map. There is one hotspot called “Valleta”

I had planned to visit Valletta during my stay, and this was an excellent opportunity to put this behind me. We took off leaving the hotel behind. Look at a map and you might believe that the NE corner of Malta is one huge city. And I have almost thought it was Valletta.

But Valletta is a very small part of this huge city. About 6000 people live there and the big city is actually many small cities and it is kind of confusing.

But I guess it is many small villages that have grown until one very big city and they have all kept their names. Well, anyway, we drove to Valletta and I was impressed by the city, old houses and forts and it looked very good. The streets were so narrow it was almost impossible

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
City Tour

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
City Tour

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
City Tour

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
City Tour

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
City Tour

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
City Tour

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
City Tour

The eBird hotspot covers the city of Valletta but I did not see any birds. Well, we stopped at a park, Lower Barrakka Gardens to see if I could see any birds. We get out of the taxi at Lower Barrakka Gardens and I look over the side. I was surprised to see a Luxury Cruiser arriving to Valletta. I thought everything was closed due to the Wuhan Virus.

There was a girl walking her dog and she asked what the big ship was. She was shocked when I told her that it was a Cruiser with thousands of passengers. She thought that Malta had stopped the Cruisers because of the virus.

She asked what they were doing on Malta. I pointed at the busses at the jetty. I think they will stay on the busses so no contact with people, only going around Malta in busses, not to get off. My Guide told me that the drivers had taken virus test and they were in isolation.

So I am sure they have got paid very well by the cruise company.

I think this is the first arrival since the outbreak and the companies are desperate to get back to business and we can only guess how much they have paid for this.

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Watching the arriving Cruiser

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Watching the arriving Cruiser

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta - Lower Barrakka Gardens
Lower Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta - Lower Barrakka Gardens
Lower Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta - Lower Barrakka Gardens
Lower Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta - Lower Barrakka Gardens
Birding at the Lower Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta - Lower Barrakka Gardens
The Cruiser is almost along side

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta - Lower Barrakka Gardens
View from Lower Barrakka Gardens

Lower Barakka Gardens

The Lower Barakka Gardens (Il-Barrakka t'Isfel) is a garden in Valletta, Malta, and it is twinned with the Upper Barrakka Gardens in the same city.

The gardens offer a view of the Grand Harbour and the breakwater. It includes the Monument to Sir Alexander Ball, which is a prominent feature in the form of a neoclassical temple located at the centre of the garden.

In addition, the terrace area features a number of commemorative plaques dedicated to, amongst others, the Hungarian revolution of 1956, the Prague spring, Giuseppe Garibaldi and the 50th anniversary of the European Union. There is also a statue.

From Wikipedia

I was a little disappointed when I entered Lower Barrakka Gardens. This was a very small garden and I was about to leave. I was very pleasant surprised as there were many birds in the park. I waved at my Driver and I told him that it might take long time here.

It was a beautiful park with a gorgeous view over Valletta and surroundings. And I spotted many birds but not so many pictures as it was shadow in and under the trees. I could have spent hours here but there are more places to visit.
Sardinian Warbler, Curruca melanocephala, Western Subalpine Warbler, Curruca iberiae, Spanish Sparrow or Willow Sparrow, Passer hispaniolensis
Western Subalpine Warbler, Curruca iberiae

Western Subalpine Warbler, Curruca iberiae
Western Subalpine Warbler

Spanish Sparrow or Willow Sparrow, Passer hispaniolensis

Sardinian Warbler, Curruca melanocephala

Sardinian Warbler, Curruca melanocephala
Sardinian Warbler

I restarted my eBird app and we left for the Upper Barrakka Gardens and I am still using the hotspot “Valletta” We drive up to the top of Valletta and the park Upper Barrakka Gardens in I think this is the highest top in Valletta.

Upper Barrakka Gardens

The Upper Barrakka Gardens (Maltese: Il-Barrakka ta' Fuq) are a public garden in Valletta, Malta. Along with the Lower Barrakka Gardens in the same city, they offer a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour.

The gardens are located on the upper tier of St. Peter & Paul Bastion, which was built in the 1560s. The bastion's lower tier contains the Saluting Battery. The garden's terraced arches were built in 1661 by the Italian knight Fra Flaminio Balbiani. They were originally roofed, but the ceiling was removed following the Rising of the Priests in 1775.

The gardens were originally used to offer recreation to the knights of the Italian langue of the Order of Saint John, but were opened to the public following the end of the French occupation of Malta in 1800.

In the park there are several monuments and memorials to a number of prominent people, including Gerald Strickland, Sir Thomas Maitland and Sir Winston Churchill. A replica of the statue Les Gavroches (The street boys) by the Maltese sculptor Antonio Sciortino is also located in the garden. The original is to be found in MUŻA.

It is the highest point of the city walls, and thus its bordering terrace offers a clear view over the Grand Harbour, the Three Cities, as well as over the shipyard and the lower-lying parts the capital.

The gardens are linked to Valletta's ditch and the nearby Lascaris Wharf by the Barrakka Lift. The first lift on the site was built in 1905, but was closed in 1973 and dismantled in 1983. The lift can be seen in operation in the 1968 British adventure film, A Twist of Sand. A new lift was inaugurated on 15 December 2012.

From Wikipedia

I get out of the taxi and I am full of expectations after coming from the beautiful Lower Barakka Gardens. But I was soon to get disappointed. The place was full of pigeons and not so many places to see bird at so I did not spend much time here. Most time was spent looking out over the city as it was a beautiful view from the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Upper Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Upper Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Lower Barrakka Gardens seen from Upper Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Catamaran leaving the marina

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
One of the marinas

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
The Cruiser have all fast at the jetty

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Valletta
Today's track in Valletta - 1st checklist

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Valletta
Today's track in Valletta - 2nd checklist

eBird

eBird Report


Valletta, Malta, MT
Mar 25, 2021 07:21 - 08:29
Protocol: Traveling
2.27 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: First checklist, restarted app after birding at Lower Barrakka Gardens
6 species

Feral Pigeon X
Common House Martin 1
Subalpine Warbler 2
Sardinian Warbler 1
European Robin 1
Spanish Sparrow X

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S84048556

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)



eBird

eBird Report


Valletta, Malta, MT
Mar 25, 2021 08:30 - 09:00
Protocol: Traveling
2.19 kilometer(s)
Checklist Comments: Second checklist, restarted app after birding at Lower Barrakka Gardens
2 species

Feral Pigeon 100
Common House Martin 3

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S84048868

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)



Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Outside Upper Barrakka Gardens

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Long narrow streets

Western Subalpine Warbler, Curruca iberiae
Western Subalpine Warbler

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
Robin under a tree

I left Upper Barrakka Gardens and we have another eBird hotspot close by, the “Floriana Mall” There is 4 hotspots in the city and the park at the “Floriana Mall” A beautiful park and I enjoyed walking around looking for birds. But the Robin, I could hear several of them, but the one a saw was in the shadow under one of the trees so the picture was not any good.

I was happy when I left Floriana Mall as it had been a nice walk around the park. Now I have two remaining eBird hotspots in the city. So I want to visit these two hotspots, “National cemetery” and “Marsa Sports Ground” and then I will never have to return to the big city again.

We start at the “National cemetery” and we were soon to realize that there was no access to the area. Seems like they are going to do some construction work in the area.

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
National cemetery

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
National cemetery

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
National cemetery

Birding/ Bird watching on Malta
National cemetery

We left the National cemetery and next and last stop in the city is the eBird hotspot “Marsa Sports Ground”. Horse track, golf and other sport grounds and we will check out the area. Pretty much nothing until we found a rain drainage canal.

The canal is dry expect for a very small water flow in the middle of the canal and some puddles.

We drove down in the canal and we drove along on the concrete to see if we found any birds. We ran in to one bird that I had never seen before, the Eurasian Wryneck. Thanks to Matt at CYPRUS BIRD WATCHING TOURS for ID.

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Marsa Sports Ground
Driving in the canal

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Marsa Sports Ground
Driving in the canal

Eurasian Wryneck, Northern Wryneck, Jynx torquilla

Eurasian Wryneck, Northern Wryneck, Jynx torquilla
Eurasian Wryneck / Northern Wryneck

Eurasian Wryneck, Northern Wryneck, Jynx torquilla
Eurasian Wryneck / Northern Wryneck

Eurasian Wryneck, Northern Wryneck, Jynx torquilla
Eurasian Wryneck / Northern Wryneck

Eurasian Wryneck, Northern Wryneck, Jynx torquilla
Eurasian Wryneck / Northern Wryneck

There were also warblers and of course millions of Spanish Sparrows. There are White and Yellow Wagtails in the puddles in the canal. The wagtails are as usually hard to get on picture.

We make it end to end in the canal and we drive up on the road again. There was nothing to see at the horse track and there was no hoopoes on the football fields. I have not managed to get any pictures of any Hoopoes on Cyprus and no pictures here on Malta.

Western Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava, Gulärla

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Marsa Sports Ground
White Wagtail

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Marsa Sports Ground
Today's track at Marsa Sports Ground

eBird

eBird Report


Marsa Sports Ground, Malta, MT
Mar 25, 2021 10:41 - 11:37
Protocol: Traveling
4.31 kilometer(s)
8 species

Feral Pigeon 2
Eurasian Wryneck 1 Thanks to Matt at CYPRUS BIRD WATCHING TOURS for ID
Willow Warbler 1
Subalpine Warbler 1
Sardinian Warbler 1
Spanish Sparrow X Many
Western Yellow Wagtail 3
White Wagtail (alba) 5

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/checklist/S84050614

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)



Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Buskett Gardens
Summer Residence

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Dingli Cliffs
Dingli Cliffs

Birding/ Bird watching on Cyprus - Dingli Cliffs
Dingli Cliffs

We leave for the hotspot Buskett Gardens close to the Prime Minister's summer residence. It is an orange orchard and it was nice to walk around in the area. And I got to see some birds in the garden. We drive to the Dingli Cliffs but there was not many birds to see along the cliffs.

We stop to buy some traditional Maltese pastries on the way back to the hotel. Pazztriatis or something like that. We enjoyed them on a bench at a small park and it tasted very good. I will stay home tomorrow, have a walk looking for birds and also to go through my pictures.

My Driver will come to pick me up on Saturday again. I will walk around the area outside my hotel to look for birds tomorrow. Click HERE to find out if we see any birds on Saturday.


Vaccination

       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.


                                       

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