Malta Trip – Day 13 – 16/vii/14

After a good few days of relaxing on the beaches and swimming around the coasts of the island, very little of interest had been noted in terms of wildlife.

However, a visit to the island of Gozo on our last full day held a few pleasant surprises. Sardinian Warbler and Kestrel were seen early on, but by far the highlight of the day was a Pallid Swift which was flying on its own around the citadel in Victoria. It gave excellent views, often staying low to the ground, giving a good background for analysis of the pale tones in its plumage. There was a striking contrast between the dark outer primaries and pale inner primaries, and also a very obvious pale scaling on the underside. I even managed a very poor quality record shot!

Pallid Swift 0002 Ced

This was probably the bird of the trip for me as I have missed out on them on a number of occasions when abroad. I later saw what could have been a further three birds, but the identification could not be confirmed.

Also seen were a single Swallowtail butterfly and a Lesser Emperor dragonfly (which was new for me), along with the subspecies of Maltese Wall Lizard found only on Gozo.

So as the holiday came to an end, the total number of bird species came to only 20 species, but four of those were lifers. I also managed a new species of dragonfly and two new species of bird!

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