59. Ghadira Nature Reserve


When Ghadira was turned into a nature reserve way back in the 1980s it was not simply a case of marking it off on a map and declaring it a protected site. When BirdLife started work there in 1980, Ghadira was a shallow seasonal pool in winter... and a carpark in summer! Today the area of open water is twice the size it was 30 years ago and, more importantly, it’s a permanent wetland, supporting rare saltmarsh, sand dune and brackish lake flora and fauna including Mediterranean killifish (M: buzaqq), beaked tassel-weed (M: ruppja), sea daffodil (M: pankrazju) and burrowing sand cricket (M: grillu tar-ramel). Ghadira is good feeding ground for migrating waders, with hundreds of metres of shoreline rich in burrowing invertebrates. These are the staple food for birds like stints, dunlins, shanks and sandpipers - only last week there was a beautiful avocet (M: xifa). The fish also attract herons, egrets, grebes and kingfishers. Ghadira is open for visits by school groups on weekdays, and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays (10am-4pm) until the last weekend of May. Entrance is free. Ghadira is managed by BirdLife Malta in agreement with MRAE.  

Text by Victor Falzon

Copyright to Birdlife Malta.
 

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