I’m now on my way back to the UK. Another week completed on Malta, protecting rare birds and collecting evidence of wildlife crime.
The experiences and sights that will stay with me? Hmm.
Beautiful panoramic vistas wherever you go. Though sinking beneath the garbage and flytipping, that seems as common as soil.
The variety of birds that landed enroute to Africa. Stonechat, Wheatear, Robin, Skylark, Song thrush, Starling, Chaffinch, Redstart, Kestrel, Marsh harrier, Short-toed eagle. Exhausted. Bewildered. Knowing they’ve probably just witnessed some of their flock die or be trapped in nets. Bewildered.
Seeing Song thrush, Skylark and Starling be shot. Knowing I can’t do a damn thing about it, as it’s legal quarry on Malta.
Seeing thrush and Starling in aviaries. Birds that were likely wild and free once upon a time. And seeing the finches in cages so tiny that they can barely move. Tragic. Knowing that they are now trapping finches all over Malta. Legally and illegally.
The Maltese way of driving. It’s like Dodgems, though without the crashing into each other bits. Roundabouts, junctions, give way signs. None of them mean a thing to Maltese drivers. It’s a free for all. Weaving in and of other cars. No indicating. Never stopping. You just have to laugh and get stuck in.
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