Quieter than yesterday morning. A few raptors making their way out to sea. Un-shot. Montague’s harrier, Marsh harrier, Kestrel.
We watched a few Turtle doves fly in. They were shot at from every angle. But this is legal, so there’s nothing we can do.
There were lots of Yellow wagtail, and Winchat. I saw one luminous bright yellow Golden oriole, three Bee eaters, and my first Woodchat shrike.
We were joined, at our look-out point, by some non-hunting hunters working on behalf of the Maltese hunting federation. They are roaming around counting Turtle dove numbers. Hmm, they won’t fiddle the numbers at all will they!
Interestingly, it’s not legal to shoot feral pigeons. As God forbid, you may shoot a racing pigeon by mistake! But yep, it’s fine to shoot the endangered rapidly declining Turtle dove.
We heard a yelling match between a hunter and a local resident. She was running down the lane and he presumably couldn’t shoot his quarry. Hunting rights seem to over rule public access rights here on Malta.
As we left this valley, we drove down lanes that were crowded with hunters and their guns. Most scowled at us. Others attempt a mean intimidating facial expression. Which usually just looks comical to me. Whichever, I give them my biggest friendliest warmest smile. As we drove through this overcrowded-ness, one hunter who was sitting with his rifle in his cube-like makeshift hide, smiled and waved at us.
Now. I’m guessing that he mistook me for someone else. I gave him a big friendly wave back. I’m presuming that by now he’s been beat up, or evicted from the hunting fraternity. Ha ha…
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