Malta: day 8 (trapping trappers)

We saw a lot of the police this morning.
Watching over a valley that resembled war torn Bosnia, gunshots going off like fireworks, we spotted a dead bird on the ground a few fields away. It was upside down and impossible to identify. But we thought it looked bigger than the pretend decoy Turtle dove on a stick above it. Fiona thought it could be a Kestrel, I thought Cuckoo. Luckily the police drove by on patrol, and offered to go take a proper look. It was a Turtle dove. No laws broken.
However, they are only allowed to kill/bag two per season each. And the police officers ensured he registered this kill. So, he can legally only kill one more dove or Quail. But will he register his second kill, or just carry on?

Next, we returned to the trapping site of yesterday. As soon as we arrived Fiona heard an Ortolan bunting calling. Caller recording or live caged bird? Both are illegal. Police were called. They arrived quickly. Up on a bank, overlooking the plot, Fiona and five policeman. Two trappers came out of their hides/sheds and tried to rush to clear away evidence. This confirmed their guilt and so the cops rushed in.
They had nets out and a caged live Quail (there to lure other birds in). Illegal. Caught in the act. Woop woop!
Unfortunately the cops didn’t think to check the aviaries for any illegal/threatened species. So more effort will be needed to find the bunting. Let’s hope it can be free soon.

We saw lots of Pied flycatcher, one Roller, and sadly a caged greenfinch. It’s cage not much bigger than the bird.

Sent from my Sony Xperia™ smartphone



About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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