Birds in the Channel Islands

September 13th, 2011 by Glyn Young

To date, 366 species of birds have been recorded throughout the British Channel Islands.

The islands host a large variety of habitats so it is very possible to see farmland, woodland and sea birds within a few minutes of each other.

A starling, Sturnus vulgaris, with a grub on the lawn of the Weighbridge roundabout in St Peter Port, Guernsey on 20 April 2011 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Some birds are very active fliers. Some may be only on one of the islands for a few minutes.  With so many possibilities it is well worth checking for updated news of sightings on the Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney bird websites.  Sark records can be sent to La Société Sercquaise.

One big surprise is the differences between the islands.

Why are there no magpies in Alderney and so few jays outside of Jersey?

Buff-breasted sandpiper has been recorded at least 17 times in Guernsey and Alderney but never in Jersey while the southern isle has had seven black guillemots and the other islands none.

Jersey has never had a Pallas’s leaf warbler (Guernsey has had 15) while Jersey gets all the little buntings.

Each of the islands is always keen to be told about birds you have seen so please send in your sightings through the websites.

With such varied bird populations ornithologists are keen to get records on all birds that you see so never think that your sightings aren’t important.

A full list of all the bird species recorded in the Channel Islands is available to download from the Jersey and Guernsey websites.

 

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