Hunters spot flamingoes in Qawra

FKNK proclaim they 'have no doubt' that the public can see through the 'deceptive' anti-spring hunting campaign 

Hunters registered with Kaccaturi San Umberto (KSU) have spotted two flamingoes flying off Qawra Point at around 10am, KSU President Mark Mifsud Bonnici said.

He added that KSU members had previously spotted two flamingoes near Cirkewwa and the north of Gozo.

On Saturday, BirdLife Malta reported a break-in at the Ghadira Nature Reserve to the police, after noticing signs of forced entry into the reserve. Two Greater Flamingoes that had been resident at the Reserve since September had also disappeared.

The birds had been very popular with visitors to the reserve, ever since they had been rescued after being stranded from migrating flocks last Summer. The first had landed amongst swimmers at Paradise Bay on 1st September, while the second had landed exhausted at a residence in Birzebbuga on 10th September. The pair had become stable residents at Għadira Nature reserve, feeding in the lagoon and slowly gaining their transformation from grey juveniles to pink adults. Inseparable since their arrival, the two flamingoes were a mainstay attraction to reserve visitors, often seen feeding and roosting together, as well as giving a spectacle as they flew around the reserve.

“The circumstances leading to their sudden disappearance is one which brings memories of past incidents,” BirdLife Nature reserves Manager Mark Gauci said. “Having been residents at the reserve for so many months, it is highly unlikely these two inexperienced birds chose a stormy windy night to venture out at sea or migrate.”

“The incentive to add these birds to collections is one that still haunts us to this day,” Conservation Manager Nick Barbara said. “While we do our best to rescue and conserve such rare occurrences, we cannot discount the fact that others are still intent at harming such efforts, at time recurring to organized criminal activity”.

BirdLife Malta is appealing to members of the public for any information on the flamingoes’ whereabouts or about the Għadira incident to contact the police on 119 or BirdLife Malta on 2134 7644.

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