Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bloodsoaked

Picture this, if you will;

A clear blue sky, not a cloud is in sight, the sun beats down on a Mediterranean island and you hear BANG! then another BANG!, not just a few shots, but hundreds of them. You are on Malta, an island that every birder has heard of and not for the right reasons. Every year hundreds of protected species of birds have their brains blown out, illegally by `hunters` on this island. I don`t understand how this carries on, for the past umpteen years we have paid our subscriptions to various wildlife charities to try and stop this happening, but yet here in 2011 birds are still being murdered.

Every year in Britain we notice the decline in numbers of our sub-Saharan migrants. The call of the Cuckoo will soon become a fairytale, the purr of the Turtle Dove will soon vanish into the mists of time. Yellow Wagtails and Spotted Flycatchers are becoming so scarce in some areas you have to `twitch` one to see any in a year! In Britain we are constantly building new nature reserves, encouraging farmers to be more aware of nature, but yet we seem to be doing very little to halt this vile and despicable act of murder by fellow Europeans. Malta is a slaughter field which spits on every effort we make to protect summer migrants.

In 2009 over 200 protected species of bird were found in an area called Mizieb hidden under stones, stuffed into old barrels and in plastic bags after a rather prolonged barrage. Amongst these birds were Marsh Harriers, Honey Buzzards and Hobbies, all rare and scarce birds in Britain, but also there were Bee-eaters, Hoopoes, Nightjars and Nightingales. The Honey Buzzard is a specially protected bird in Britain, it`s breeding grounds kept secret, but what is the point in this if they are blasted out of the sky by these Maltese murderers?!

I remember reading of a tale that is so outrageous it beggars belief! A Black Stork was reported as having arrived on the island, a rarity, but soon hundreds of gunmen were lined up firing hundreds of rounds into the sky. You can guess the outcome. Also, I have heard that the Maltese are now bemoaning the lack of their favourite prey, the Turtle Dove.

This damage is being done during the Spring migration, when birds are flying to their breeding grounds. They are killed before they get there. Malta is supposedly bound by the 1979 EU Wild Birds Directive that forbids spring hunting and trapping, but yet when hunters are approached by police, `caught in the act` you might say, they complain of harassment and are given slapped wrists.

For the sake of `our` birds, for our children's chance to hear the Cuckoo or see the splendidly beautiful Turtle Dove, please click on the link in my side-bar and sign the petition. If your stomach can stand it, I also urge you to visit the Birdlife Malta website, the pictures alone will sicken you to the pit of your stomach!


This Turtle Dove was digiscoped last year by using my old Lumix FS15 and my Kowa TSN-883 x30 ( I have had to use an old photo for obvious reasons)

I wish to thank my good friend The Blogger Formerly known as....... for helping me in creating the widget and links

14 comments:

  1. Thanks, John. Only too pleased to sign.

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  2. Thanks for posting this John.

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  3. I signed it last year John and had the petition on my site for some time. It really is an appalling situation and makes me ashamed to be a member of the human race...

    As Albert Schweitzer said, 'Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.'

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  4. Well said John,we will never Holiday there.
    John and Sue.

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  5. Thanks John, hopefully more will do the same and someone will take notice!
    J

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  6. Hi Roy,
    Hopefully it will do something!
    J

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  7. Hi Jan,
    I feel the same way! It is depressing to think that Birdlife Malta has been in existence since 1962, but yet, here we are in 2011, nearly 50 years on, still seeing the same things!
    J

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  8. Hi John and Sue,
    When people I know say they are thinking of holidaying there, I try and convince them otherwise, but it is hard. Maybe if more people followed your lead the Maltese government would wake up and actually do something about these `hunters`! I fear that with cheap flights and cheap accomodation this is something we may have a long wait for!
    J

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  9. This is really shocking and made me feel sick to raed it. Your compassion for these creatures is commendable and shines through in your writing. Thanks for posting it.
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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  10. Agree 100% John. It's disgusting that this is still going on. I'm sure if there were oil in Malta, this slaughter would have been stopped by other countries years ago.
    Signed the petition; one can only hope that this all ends soon, before it's too late for many of our birds.

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  11. Hi Bazza,
    I am sorry to have shocked you, but I think it is sometimes necessary to shock people into realising what goes on and how we turn a blind eye! Hope you signed the petition!
    J

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  12. Hi Keith,
    Oh, don`t get me started on what goes on when there is oil present in a country, I will never shut up!
    Hopefully, the Maltese government will wake up and actually do what they are supposed to by law, that is what is so amazing, they are supposedly bound by EU law, we should kick them out!
    J

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  13. Hi Bob,
    Yes, it is a beautiful bird, getting as rare as hens teeth though!
    J

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