Summer shearwater event at Dwejra Tower

The 17th-century Dwejra Tower is perfectly situated to enjoy one of the Maltese summer’s best nature spectacles: calling Scopoli’s Shearwaters. Dwejra is a Dark Sky Heritage Site and the cliffs on either side hold several hundred pairs of breeding Scopoli’s Shearwaters.
Join Din l-Art Ħelwa and BirdLife Malta to learn more about these seabirds, enjoy the sunset from the tower roof and hear the special shearwater calls while looking up at the stars.

We will start by meeting up at the Dwejra Tower at 7 pm, with the event commencing at 7:30 pm, with a volunteer from Din l-Art Ħelwa – Malta’s National Trust – giving a brief tour of the recently restored Knights-era tower, which dates back to 1652. BirdLife Malta will then deliver a presentation on seabirds in Gozo, with particular focus on the new LIFE Tetide project which has key actions in the Dwejra area. We look forward to discussing how the public can contribute to the conservation of shearwaters and petrels breeding on Gozo!

After enjoying the sunset on the tower roof, we will head out along the cliffs and try our luck at hearing shearwaters, weather permitting. At this time of year, Scopoli’s Shearwaters (Ċiefa in Maltese) are in full swing in their breeding season and call at night to communicate with their partners or neighbours. Shearwaters are often vocal at the colonies, once darkness has fallen, and listening to their calls is one of the best ways to appreciate these birds locally. Malta is home to around 3,000 breeding pairs of Scopoli’s Shearwaters, and the cliffs on either side of Dwejra hold around 300 pairs, including around 75 pairs on Fungus Rock.

We will only head out on the cliffs if the weather conditions are favourable but can stay longer on the tower roof as an alternative. We hope for clear skies to enjoy the stars too. Shearwater-calling behaviour is variable, and we have no guarantee that we will hear any shearwaters, but we encourage participants to stay till 10 pm to increase the chances.

Good footwear and the ability to walk on rough terrain to reach the tower, but even more so to join on the cliff walk afterwards, is essential. On the cliff walk we will be walking around 1km on rough and rocky paths back and forth. We will walk back in the dark, so surefootedness is essential. BirdLife Malta will provide torches with red light for participants on the colony walk. We use red light to avoid disturbance, since shearwaters are sensitive to bright light. We are visiting a Natura 2000 site, with protected and vulnerable species. Keeping our disturbance to a minimum is essential.

Participation is against a €5 donation to Din l-Art Ħelwa for hosting the event at the tower and can be paid in cash on the day or below.

Participation is capped at a maximum of 20 persons, so booking is essential. Please reserve your place by filling in the Google Form below.

For queries email us on [email protected].

: Sturdy footwear and drinking water
: Torch with red light and binoculars (for pre-sunset birdwatching) See less

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Event Info

June 26, 2024 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Location: Dwejra Tower