Fire destroys cirl bunting habitat in Grouville

Grouville fire. 24th July 2013. Photo by Richard Perchard

Male cirl bunting before the fire (June 2013). Photo by Romano da Costa the night of Tuesday 23rd July a fire broke out on the edge of the Royal Jersey Golf Course in Grouville. As well as threatening nearby houses and the infrastructure of the golf course, this fire destroyed important parts of the habitat of our one known pair of cirl buntings. The fire was successfully put out by the Fire Service but not before significant damage to wildlife had occurred – besides the cirl buntings there would have been green lizards and slow worms in the area.  Richard Perchard’s photo of the fire damage was taken at the site of one of the buntings’ feeders, luckily Richard had moved this feeder to another spot that the fire avoided a few months ago.

The spell of hot, dry weather in Jersey always brings the threat of furze fires and disappointingly there is suggestion that this fire was the result of vandalism and may have been started by fireworks. A criminal investigation is underway in the hope of discovering the true cause of the fire and, hopefully, bringing any culprits to justice (see report here). The cirl buntings have not yet been re-sighted and we had hoped that they were nesting as last year young were seen in late July.

3 thoughts on “Fire destroys cirl bunting habitat in Grouville

  1. The update is much appreciated, the news needless to say is not!
    One individual’s mindless act and all that destruction.
    Just back from UK where an idiot climbed onto a roof at Ipswich Railway Station causing massive delays to rail traffic and 10,000 people delayed between London and Norwich.
    But we did see Bittern near Horsey Mere, flew over the boat!

  2. This is devastating news for you all… hope is that the buntings were scared off before the fire took hold..when the fireworks were set off…..if that was the case?! Glad the choughs are safe!

  3. A bit of a false hope I daresay but a message on my answerphone (Ann – no name or number given) stated seeing five small yellow birds in among the blackened remains of the fire (today at 4.45pm).
    Probably goldfinches as I’d be surprised to hear that the Cirl’s had produced three youngsters.
    Anyway, at least there appears to be life after fire(works) – which is something I guess!

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