Corvid-2020

Sign of things to come: bitter winds at Sorel pre-COVID-19. Photo by Liz Corry.

Avid readers may have noticed it has been quiet on the chough front of late. Life has been a little different since the arrival of COVID-19 in Jersey. As it has for everyone around the world.

Jersey’s first case was confirmed on 10th March with the Zoo closing its doors to the public on the 24th. Shortly before that happened, Zoo animal staff were arranged into teams, or bubbles, working a 4 day on 4 day off rota. The Bird Department had two teams, one of which I joined. Glyn Young was shielding but took on the visits to Sorel as his daily activity and where, with his daughter Mairi, he could keep isolated from people, although less so from sheep. 

Suddenly my days were filled with flamingos, Madagascan birds, and pond scrubbing to name a few. Supplemental feeds at Sorel were still factored in, however, time constraints meant observations were limited and not achievable during working hours (which rarely kept to schedule). 

We are very grateful to Sue Müller who, once Government advice permitted, volunteered to monitor nest sites. She helped to confirm all the active nest sites in the quarry. For me, the routine dog walks became chough hunts. Fun times for my furry friends.

The Zoo reopened to the public on the 12th May adhering to the Government of Jersey’s advice. We were the first British Isles zoo to make this call. I’m proud to say that, through staff dedication, volunteer support, and visitor co-operation we were able to become operational again and still remain so.

Social distancing and isolation have become the norm during this pandemic. Photo by Liz Corry.

Our working week returned to normal a few weeks after reopening. Glyn continued to isolate and cover the Sorel feeds along with two volunteers who returned to help. I continue to work on the ground in the Zoo as well as the chough project which hopefully explains the reason for delaying  publication of the monthly reports. 

It has been a very surreal eight months. Our team has been extremely fortunate in terms of the personal impact of COVID. For many of you that might not have been the case. 

Stay safe. Be kind. And remember hands, face, space, read the monthly chough reports. That last one is imperative.

Click on the blue links on the images below to read the monthly chough reports.

2 thoughts on “Corvid-2020

  1. Thanks for the updates Liz, it just goes to show that volunteers go above and beyond, adapting to the demands of Gov Guidelines in very difficult times.
    Well done to all.

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