BirdLife Malta at Niscemi Nature Reserve

May 5, 2018 10:42 am

Last month the Events & Activities Group within Birdlife Malta in conjunction with our Italian BirdLife partners LIPU (Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli) and C.E.A Onlus Niscemi (Centro Educazione Ambientale – Museo Didattico di Storia Naturale) organised two day trips to Niscemi’s Cork Oak Nature Reserve in Sicily. The reserve covers an area of almost 3,000 hectares and is one of the more popular woods in the southern region of Caltanissetta.

The monumental Cork Oak Tree (Siġra tas-Sufra) at the reserve which is said to be 500 years old, the oldest in the Mediterranean region

The first traditional spring day trip to Sicily was organised for 55 BirdLife Malta members on Saturday 7th April and consisted of a 4 km trek. The wood also includes a variety of other trees including Beech, Thorny Oak and Downy Oak. Evergreen shrubs scan the area and include the Lentisk, Strawberry Trees, Myrtle, Heather, Thorny Broom and Cistus. Fragrant species such as Thyme and Rosemary are also present. Various species of birds nest in and migrate over this vast woodland area. The reserve was carpeted with wild flowers. Our LIPU guides gave us a detailed description of the flora and fauna in the area including details about the monumental Cork Oak Tree (see picture attached) which is said to be 500 years old, the oldest in the Mediterranean region. Following a typical Sicilian agritourism farm lunch, the group were given a guided tour of the historical town of Niscemi.

Two traditional spring trips to Sicily held, one for BirdLife Malta members and the other for the BOV Sports & Social Club, with record attendance

The second trip was organised for the Bank of Valletta Sports & Social Club last Sunday 29th April. This included a 10 km trek in the reserve and a sumptuous lunch at the agritourism farm. The BOV Sports & Social Club was set up to organise social events aimed at bringing together the BOV family away from their office and this was the third Sicily day trip organised by our Events & Activities Group for the BOV club. This year’s trip saw a record attendance with 72 bank employees participating in the event.

Details about BirdLife Malta’s events are constantly updated on our website at BirdLife Malta members are given priority for such activities. Those who may wish to join BirdLife Malta can do so at

Read the Maltese version of the press release here.

The BirdLife Malta members’ group at Niscemi. The main group photo shows members of the BOV Sports & Social Club at Niscemi’s Cork Oak Nature Reserve