38. Kemmuna


Kemmuna is the biggest bird sanctuary in the Maltese Islands, and the fact that it's an island further protects it from disturbance. Very few people live there, roads are simple dirt tracks and there's no traffic. To have such a wildswept place in the country with the densest human population on earth is nothing short of a miracle. Kemmuna is one mass of upper coralline limestone with very little soil and even less cover. Few trees survive in this harsh rocky environment, and by far the dominant habitat is flower-rich garrigue that boasts several orchid species. Wall lizards and wild rabbits have the run of the place, and birds like blue rock thrush, spectacled warbler and short-toed lark breed. Moreover, birds of open country often rest there while on migration, and for this reason BirdLife has set up a bird observatory and ringing station on Kemmuna to study and monitor the passage of birds at the peak periods of the year. A team of BirdLife ornithologists is currently spending a month of bird-ringing on Kemmuna.    

Text by Victor Falzon,

Copyright to Birdlife Malta.

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