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MT 19 October 2014

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maltatoday, Sunday, 19 OctOber 2014 40 this week When I was a child there was this fable in our reader called Il-Kokka, il-Gawwija u l-Gallozz. We all had a fairly good idea what an owl and a gull looked like but none of us had the foggiest what a gallozz was. None had ever seen one, not even Sir (it's a safe bet that, 40-odd years on, many of my old classmates still haven't). It's the thing with rails and crakes, most of them are so hard to see. Of the ten or so species recorded in Malta, most are either small or shy or cryptically coloured. Or all three. To make the game even harder, their favourite haunts are reedy undergrowth in marshy places. One such bird is the Water Rail (M: Gallozz tax-Xitwa). It's a regular migrant, arriving in autumn and spending winter snooping around reedbeds and tangled vegetation along valley floors, stabbing with its long red beak at anything that looks edible. Like other rails it's hard to spot but its call – strangely reminiscent of a pig squealing – is easy to hear. That call is a familiar winter sound at sites like Għadira and Is-Simar nature reserves, where rails can forage in safety. In unprotected places, Water Rails are sadly considered legal quarry and regularly blown to bits by gun-toting youths and men in camouflage gear. 426. WATER RAIL Green Idea of the week 328: Find out more – Learn about what Friends of the earth International considers to be the main features of a just, sustainable climate-safe energy system, as well as some of the changes needed to get there. - the world's current energy system – the way we produce, distribute and consume energy – is unsustainable, unjust and harms communities, workers, the environment and the climate. Friends of the earth International's new website explores why a just, sustainable, climate- safe energy system is more urgent than ever. energy is a necessary condition for a dignified life. We need energy for fuel and electricity to cook our food, to have habitable homes and workplaces in hot and cold places, to ensure that everyone has access to basic services like health and education, to communicate and travel and to share and access information via the internet. yet our current energy system – the way we produce, distribute and consume energy – is unsustainable, unjust and harming communities, workers, the environment and the climate. this is fundamentally an issue of corporate and elite power and interests outweighing the power of ordinary citizens and communities. is about the central problems with the current energy system; the drivers and logic that underpin these problems; the destructive impacts of the energy sources on which the system is primarily reliant (oil, gas and coal); and energy sources that are misleadingly put forward as 'clean' energy alternatives (nuclear power, industrial agrofuels and biomass, mega dams and waste-to-energy incineration). What's wrong with our energy system and how do we fix it? Visit Friends of the Earth's website for more information about our work, as well as for information about how to join us You can also support us by sending a blank SMS donation on 50618070 (€4.66) or 50619223 (€11.65). Text Victor Falzon Photo Aron Tanti On Saturday, October 25, Flimk- ien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) will be organising a walk around Ghar- ghur. The guide will be Julian Bezzina, who has written a guide book on walks in and around Gharghur called 'Hal Gharghur, The Hilltop Village, Four Walks in this Charm- ing Old Village'. The meeting point will be Taz- Zellieqa Chapel – situated on the north side of Gharghur – at 16:40. The walk will begin with a visit to Taz-Zellieqa Chapel, followed by a walk along Top of the World, part of the old Victoria Lines, which will take in interesting and intriguing sights, such as the parabola used dur- ing the war and other little-known 'gems'. The walk will continue on to the ancient village cemetery with its rebuilt 13th century chapel, also the place where a Roman olive press was found. The walk will continue through to the main church square by 18:00. The walk is fairly easy with one short, steep hill – though visi- tors are asked to please wear com- fortable shoes. FAA are offering walkers the op- tion of continuing on to the newly and tastefully renovated 'Centanni' wine bar. This turn of the century bar served as a local haunt for the village folk as well as British forces personnel based in and around Gharghur during both World Wars. A choice of lasagne (vegetarian available on request) or a platter of Italian hams and salamis plus wine is available at €15. The Italian chef prepares all his dishes on the day and all pasta is fresh and home- made. The walk and The walk and the meal and the wine bar will be capped at 40 participants. Fee to participate in the walk is at €10, €15 including the meal (along with a glass of wine or a soft drink). To book your participation log on to: ghur-walk/ FAA organises walk through Gharghur

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