Thursday, 22 April 2010

Wildlife of Malta - some of the common stuff

Spanish Sparrow, the only really common urban bird in Malta (unless you count the free-ranging but still domestic pigeons).

Zitting Cisticola (and I know I am probably alone here but I think that's a MUCH better name than 'Fan-tailed Warbler'). Common breeding bird - during our trip we were never far away from a territorial male, singing his tedious 'zit... zit... zit...' refrain from an undulating display flight.

Excuse the dodgy, very heavily cropped photo, this was as close as we got to a Blue Rock Thrush, Malta's national bird and an absolute stunner. Honest.

Malta has its own subspecies of Swallowtail butterfly - Papilio machaon melitensis. Quite common... and one of only about six butterfly species we saw on our visit.

I'm not great at flower ID but I think this fantastically pink specimen is Greater Snapdragon (Antirrhinum tortuosum). Poor it may be for vertebrate animals, but Malta seems great for flowers.

This is a Moorish Gecko. So called because one is never enough (boom tish). A really lovely-looking animal, though I think this one is sporting a regrown tail. Did a bored hunter blow away his original one? In the next posts I'll talk about migrating birds and the illegal hunting problem.

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