[WATCH] At the first signs of spring, BirdLife extends opening hours of nature reserves

The first small flocks of barn swallows are a sign of the start of the spring bird migration over Malta

The barn swallow marks the start of the spring bird migration season (Photo: Denis Cachia/BirdLife)
The barn swallow marks the start of the spring bird migration season (Photo: Denis Cachia/BirdLife)
Spring 2018 at BirdLife's nature reserves (Footage: BirdLife)

The first small flocks of barn swallows have been skimming the water at Simar Nature Reserve and the Little Ringed Plover has returned to Għadira Nature Reserve.

These are the first signs of the start of spring bird migration over Malta and to celebrate this phenomenon of nature, BirdLife will be extending the opening hours at the Simar and Għadira nature reserves.

Both reserves managed by the bird conservation group will also open to the public during the week as from today.

New photography hides have been erected at the Għadira Nature Reserve
New photography hides have been erected at the Għadira Nature Reserve

BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana said these nature reserves are small pockets in the country that give priority to the biodiversity needs of these areas.

“Getting people to connect with nature and enjoy themselves is getting increasingly important for all. While we encourage people to go out in nature more often especially during spring, we urge the government to seek ways of extending the importance given to nature reserves beyond their borders to make sure we have a healthier lifestyle and a better quality of life,” Sultana said.

BirdLife Malta has also introduced a new facility at the Għadira reserve that will give photographers the opportunity to book one of two photography hides.

Public opening times for nature reserves

Entry to all reserves is free but donations are welcome

Għadira Nature Reserve

Until end March every Monday and Thursday between 2pm and 6pm

In April and May every Monday and Thursday between 2pm and 7pm

All weekend between 10am and 4pm

Simar Nature Reserve

Until end March every Tuesday and Friday between 2pm and 6pm

In April and May every Tuesday and Friday between 2pm and 7pm

Every Sunday between 10am and 4pm

Saturday is reserved for events

Salina Nature Reserve

Between April and September open from Monday to Sunday between 7am and 8pm

Between October and March open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm

The Visitors’ Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 1pm

Booking for photography hide at Għadira

Booking for a one-hour session will be required against a small donation.

The hourly slots for the use of the photography hides will be valid Mondays and Thursdays between 2pm and 5pm, and Saturdays between 10am and 3pm.

Those interested are to send an email to [email protected]

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