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Ghadira Nature Reserve

Ghadira Nature Reserve is situated behind Ghadira beach in the north of Malta. It is one of the 2 nature reserves on the island. The site is of ecological importance due to the fact that is has 2 of Malta's rarest eco-systems:-Wetland and Salt marsh. In the 16th Century it was used as saltpans and later on it was abandoned. In 1978 Birdlife Malta declared the site as a bird sanctuary and later on it became Malta's first ever Nature Reserve. The reserve is rich in bio-diversity, especially birds with over 150 bird species recorded annually.

View of Ghadira Nature Reserve from Hide with Red Tower in the Background                 Flamingo just below visitors centre at Ghadira Nature Reserve

What to See
Resident and Breeding Birds: Sardinian and Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Spanish Sparrow and Tree Sparrow are all regular breeders. Other breeding birds include Moorhen, Mallard, Corn Bunting and around 5 Pairs of Little Ringed Plover that breed no where else in Malta.

Summer Highlights: Summer is best for migratory waders (July and August). These may include Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Black-winged Stilt, Grey Plover(scarce), Ruff, Marsh, Curlew, Green, Wood and Common Sanpipers, Little and Teminck's Stints and Dunlin. Summer is also a good time for species such as Slender-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, White-winged Black Tern(rare), and more.

Winter Highlights: Little Grebe, Black necked Grebe, Some ducks including Teal, Wigeon, and Shelduck. Kingfisher, Moorhen, Water Rail, Chiffchaff, Robin,Moustached Warbler, Black Redstart, Stonechat,Song Thrush, White Wagtail, Water Pipit(Scarce), Reed Bunting.

Autumn Highlights: Flamingo (scarce)Grey Heron, Night Heron , Little egret, Marsh Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Osprey, Bluethroat, Red Breasted Flycatcher(Scarce) and other hirundines and passerines.

Spring Highlights: Waders Include:- Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Common, Green , Wood sandpipers, Ruff, Redshank, Little Stint and Dunlin. Grey and Purple Heron. Spoonbill(scarce but annual) Swallows and Swifts. Many passerines including Reed, Great Reed, Sedge, Wood, Willow, and Subalpine Warbler. Sptted, Collared and pied Flycatchers also.

Best time to Visit
The best time to visit is mainly in the autumn (Sep-Nov) migration and Spring (Mar-May) migration when a handful of variety birds are present for some time while on their migratory routes.

How to Get There
  • Bus Number: From Valletta: 44 and 45, From Sliema 652 and 645 and from Bugibba 48

    Open for the public every weekends (Sat-Sun)from 10 till 4 from November till May.

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