Enjoy a magical evening with “rafting” shearwaters at Ta’ Cenc cliffs

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View Shearwaters on a trip leaving from GozoGozo residents will have the opportunity next month to experience a wildlife encounter with one of Malta’s most enigmatic birds – the Scopoli’s Shearwater.

BirdLife Malta is inviting you to take to the sea and join its LIFE Arcipelagu Garnija team on a sunset boat ride, so get your binoculars and cameras ready.

During this magical evening those on board will be able to witness one of Malta’s most spectacular natural phenomena – the Scopoli’s Shearwater – the largest of Malta’s shearwater species – “rafting” on the water before returning to their nests in Ta’ Cenc cliffs, Gozo.

Throughout 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

One of the trips planned by BirdLife Malta for this year – Friday, the 26th 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.

However, 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 July for this trip.

Should this trip not be fully-booked, it will instead leave from Marfa Jetty like the other three trips on the 19th, 20th and 27th of July, to accommodate further bookings.

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

Unless taken up before, booking is open for the Malta trips: – until 10th July for the 19-20th July trips, and until the 17th of July for the 27th of July trip,

BirdLife Malta said that bookings will only be accepted and confirmed on payment which should be made in advance through PayPal.

“PayPal can be paid directly from your bank account or using a credit/debit card. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can create a new account before you pay. If you don’t want to create an account, you can still pay using a credit or debit card using the same facility,” said BLM.

Prices: Members: €12, Non-members: €15, Children (5-12 years): €10. The system will allow you to book more than one place at a time. To book your place and to read further information as well as terms and conditions please click here

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

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