A close encounter with Shearwaters on Gozo boat trip to Ta’ Cenc

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A close encounter with Shearwaters on a trip leaving from GozoThe time of the year is fast approaching for a summer adventure – taking to the sea around Gozo to experience a wildlife encounter with one of Malta’s most enigmatic birds – the Scopoli’s Shearwater.

Gozitans, this year have the opportunity to join BirdLife Malta on its LIFE Arcipelagu Garnija sunset boat rides to witness one of Malta’s most spectacular natural phenomena – the Scopoli’s Shearwater ‘rafting’ on the water before returning to their nests in Ta’ ?en? cliffs, Gozo.

The Scopoli’s Shearwater, known as Ciefa, is the largest of Malta’s shearwater species. During the breeding season these birds can be seen congregating in large numbers (500-1000 birds) on the sea after they return from their foraging trips, behaviour known as “rafting.”

As darkness falls they begin to leave the water and fly to their burrows in the cliffs to take the turn in incubating their egg or to feed their growing chicks

This year, one of the trips – Friday, the 6th of July – will depart from and return to Mgarr Harbour in Gozo. The meeting time is 6.30pm, with the boat leaving at 7.00pm.

BirdLife said that this trip will be dependent on the number of bookings received and will only go ahead if the boat is full. Unless taken up before, booking is open until the 17th of June for this trip.

Should this trip not be fully-booked, it will instead leave from Marfa Jetty like the other three trips to accommodate further bookings.

BirdLife added that, if this should happen, those booked to depart from Gozo will be notified of the change of location as soon as booking closes.

Bookings will only be accepted and confirmed on payment which should be made in advance through the online payment facility on the event page here.

After filling in the booking details and proceeding with the online payment, please also send an email to events@birdlifemalta.org including:

Name and mobile contact number;Date of the boat trip you want to attend;Membership number if you have one;Names and number of all the people in your group;Age of the children in your group.

Raft of Scopoli’s Shearwaters at Ta Cenc – Photo by Daniel Cilia.

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