Updated with Birdlife, KSU statements

Bird watchers and hunters alike were mesmerised this afternoon to witness one of the biggest flock of black kites ever recorded in Malta's ornithological history.

But they were not amused with a rave party that was taking place in nearby Buskett.

Ornithologist Natalino Fenech said the flock was seen in the  Mta─žleb area in the early afternoon.

Seeing more than six black kites in one afternoon, he said, was a rarity let alone a flock of some 58 birds.

He said both bird watchers and hunters photographed the unusual sight as they enjoyed the few of the birds flying overhead.

The biggest number of black kites recorded was in October 1985 when 66 birds were seen. 

Photo: Marcus Camilleri, Kaccaturi San UbertuPhoto: Marcus Camilleri, Kaccaturi San Ubertu

In a statement this evening, Birdlife said it was informed that a rave party was currently being held in Buskett.

"This is totally unacceptable and BirdLife Malta condemns the regular rave parties with loud music which are being allowed to take place in Buskett, especially at this sensitive time of year during raptor migration."

Buskett is a Natura 2000 site with money being spent to transform it into an ideal place where biodiversity can thrive.

Such events were completely against the spirit of a nature reserve, especially a Natura 2000 site, it said as it urged the Malta Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) to look into the matter at the earliest.

It hoped a solution can be found as soon as possible.

"What happened today cannot be repeated and BirdLife reminds the authorities of their obligation to manage Natura 2000 sites adequately," it said.

In another statement, Kaccaturi San Ubertu said that Buskett, probably one of the most important nature reserves, at this time served as a roost to thousands of birds, especially raptors.

"But while the raptors where trying to roost, a disco party at the Road House prevented them to do so. The sound was so loud, even at 3pm during the sound check, that one could not communicate easily from the ring road, so one can imagine the noise and disturbance in and around the trees."

KSU asked why such a party was being given permits in a nature reserve at the peak of the migration season.

"The authorities should take the necessary steps to protect such an important place from disturbance," it said.


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