January volunteer activity

Sunday 9th January 2022 –– Devil’s Hole, St Mary 10:15-12.30

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

Happy New Year! We hope you had a restful break and are ready to join us to work off any over indulgences….

Task We are again joining Jersey Trees for Life to help them plant a mixture of native trees to extend the new woodland on the north coast.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to be added to the Wild About Jersey email list, please contact either Julia Clively (tel: 441600; j.clively@gov.je) or Jon Parkes (tel: 483193; jon.parkes@nationaltrust.je).

The site Meet in the car park at the Devil’s Hole Priory Inn 10:15 for a 10:30 start. It will be a short walk to the planting site. We will finish at approximately 12:30 to give us the chance for a cuppa.

Jersey phone directory Map 2, N4 and Google Maps here

Parking There is parking close to the Priory Inn.

Tools needed Some equipment can be provided but please bring a spade and a pair of gardening gloves if you have them.

COVID 19 Please follow the latest guidance on www.gov.je and to help keep us all safe we ask that you perform a Lateral Flow Test before joining the task.

Clothing needed Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy footwear. We can supply a pair of gardening gloves if you don’t have them.

Children All are welcome although we do ask that volunteers under 16 years of age are accompanied by an adult.

Refreshments We are delighted to welcome back Kim who will provide us with her splendid refreshments when work is finished. *Please make sure you bring your own mug or reusable cup*

We very much look forward to seeing you on the day.

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2022 from Birds On The Edge

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2022 from Birds On The Edge to all our friends and supporters.

Click below to hear the birds ‘sing’

 

 

December volunteer activity

Sunday 12th December 2021 –– Mourier Valley 10:15-12.30

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers 

Task Join the National Trust for Jersey’s Lands team to help maintain some of the many trees planted over the last two years and see how the new woodland is progressing. There will also hopefully be an opportunity to plant some new trees as the final planting phase of the three year project is reached.

We would ask all participants to please book a space on Eventbrite by following this link

If you have any questions, or if you wish to be added to the Wild About Jersey email list, please contact either Julia Clively (tel: 441600; j.clively@gov.je) or Jon Parkes (tel: 483193; jon.parkes@nationaltrust.je).

The site Meet at Sorel Point car park at 10:15 for a 10:30 start. We will finish at approximately 12:30.

Jersey phone directory Map 3, R2 and Google Maps here

Parking There is parking close at Sorel Point.

Tools needed Equipment will be provided but if you have a pair of gardening gloves, or any garden forks, rakes, sickles or spades, it could be helpful if you could bring them along with you.

Clothing needed Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy footwear. We can supply a pair of gardening gloves if you don’t have them.

Children All are welcome although we do ask that volunteers under 16 years of age are accompanied by an adult.

Refreshments Unfortunately, Kim will not be able to join us on Sunday, but the Trust Rangers will be happy to offer a mince pie and a cuppa for the workers. Unless one of them does some baking!
*Please make sure you bring your own mug or reusable cup*

We very much look forward to seeing you on the day.

World Migratory Bird Day 2021 and Global Bird Weekend: Join the global celebration of birds and nature on 8,9 and 10th October 2021!

“Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, an annual global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them will be held on 9th October. The Global Bird Weekend will be held over the weekend (8-10 October) to coincide with World Migratory Bird Day.

This year’s World Migratory Bird Day will focus on the phenomena of “bird song” and “bird flight” as a way to inspire and connect people of all ages around the world in their shared desire to celebrate migratory birds and to unite in a common, global effort to protect birds and the habitats they need to survive.

The 2021 World Migratory Bird Day theme is an invitation to people everywhere to connect and re-connect with nature by actively listening to – and watching birds – wherever they are. At the same time the theme appeals to people around the world to use their own voices and creativity to express their shared appreciation of birds and nature.

Birds can be found everywhere: in cities and in the countryside; in parks and backyards, in forests and mountains, and in wetlands and along the shores. They connect all these habitats and they connect us, reminding us of our own connection to the planet, the environment, wildlife and each other. Through their seasonal movements, migratory birds are also regularly reminding us of nature’s cycles.

As global ambassadors of nature, migratory birds not only connect different places across the planet, they also re-connect people to nature and to themselves like no other animals on the planet.

In fact, billions of migratory birds have continued to sing, fly and soar between their breeding and non-breeding sites. During the pandemic, which slowed down many activities by limiting our movements, people across the world have been listening to and watching birds like never before. For many people around the world, bird song has also been a source of comfort and joy during the pandemic, connecting people to each other and to nature as they remain in place.

Scientists around the world have also been studying the impact the pandemic is having on birds and other wildlife, looking at how “the anthropause” – the so-called global shutdown in human activity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – has affected birds and other wildlife around the world. At the same time, scientists have also been looking at the positive health benefits of birds and nature on humans.

Clearly, the pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for humankind. At the same time, it has also brought a whole new level of awareness and appreciation of birds and the importance of nature for our own well-being.

World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is therefore not only a celebration of birds, it is also an important moment to reflect on our own global relationship with nature and to highlight our collective desire to do more to protect birds and nature in a post-pandemic world.

Celebrated across the world on two peak days each year – on the second Saturday in May and second Saturday in October – World Migratory Bird Day is the only international awareness-raising and education program that celebrates the migration of bird species along all the major flyways of the world.

Take part and make your sightings count – register for Global Bird Weekend here  or set up a team on eBird

Inter Island Environment Meeting 2021

Environmental experts and conservationists from the Channel Islands will be meeting virtually to share ideas and collaborate on projects at a two-day meeting from Thursday 21 October. All Islanders are invited to listen to the speakers and contribute to the meeting.

This year’s Inter-Island Environment Meeting is being chaired by the Jersey Biodiversity Centre (JBC) and Government of Jersey’s Natural Environment team.

The theme of the meeting will be about how the Islands are connected by biodiversity and will discuss biological recording, conservation research, citizen science, and the importance of sharing technology, knowledge and expertise, using the Pollinator Project as a case study.

There will be two interactive workshops and various speakers from the Channel Islands, UK and France. Participants will be invited to share their experience from the workshops which will involve visiting local wild spaces and using the hashtags #IIEM2021 #IslandsConnected on social media.

A preliminary timetable is available to view here.

Chair of the JBC, Anne Haden, said: “By working together as a group of Islands we are able to achieve more and create an aspirational way forward to tackle the biodiversity crisis. Together, we can create a stronger biodiversity network and pool our limited resources to ultimately protect our Islands’ natural environments.

“This meeting is an excellent opportunity for environmentalists and conservationists to discuss and identify the solutions needed to maintain healthy and sustainable ecosystems, for us and future generations.”

Photo: Anne_Nygard/Unsplash

Minister for Environment, Deputy John Young, said: “I am looking forward to collaborating with colleagues and Islanders in our annual Inter-Island Environment Meeting. We will be using the two days to listen to presentations, take part in workshops, and discuss how we can improve the way we communicate with each other for environmental projects and work together as a network of Islands to protect our natural environment.

“By making this a virtual event, I hope that more Islanders are encouraged to join in from work, home or during their lunch break.”

Those who wish to attend online must register in advance by clicking here.

Jersey islanders who do not have access to a computer can attend in person. Talks will be live-streamed on a big screen at the Société Jersiaise. Light refreshments will be provided. Those wishing to choose this option must register by calling 01534 633393.

October volunteer activity

Sunday 3rd October 2021 –– St Ouen’s Bay, St Ouen 10:15-12.30

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers 

Task

Join the National Trust for Jersey’s Lands Team this coming Sunday (3rd October) to help control the spread of the invasive non-native species purple dewplant along the coastal strip of St Ouen’s Bay.

Native to Southern Africa, this succulent was introduced to Jersey as an ornamental plant, where it has sadly escaped out into the wild. A comprehensive introduction/demonstration will be provided at the start of the task, but essentially this task will entail carefully removing purple dewplant by hand.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to be added to the Jersey Conservation Volunteers email list, please contact either Julia Clively (tel: 441600; j.clively@gov.je) or Jon Parkes (tel: 483193; jon.parkes@nationaltrust.je).

The site We will meet in the car park opposite the National Trust for Jersey Wetland Centre (Sands) 10:15 for a 10:30 start. We will be finished work by 12.30 for well-earned refreshments.

Jersey phone directory Map 6, F12 and Google Maps here

Parking There is parking close by, opposite the National Trust for Jersey Wetland Centre (Sands).

Tools needed Equipment will be provided but if you have a pair of gardening gloves and a gardening tub/bucket it would be helpful if you could bring them along with you.

Clothing needed Please dress for the weather. We can supply a pair of gardening gloves if you don’t have them.

Children All are welcome although we do ask that volunteers under 16 years of age are accompanied by an adult.

Refreshments

After work we will sample Kim’s latest batch of delicious cakes, washed down with a well-earned cup of tea or coffee.

We very much look forward to seeing you on the day.

 

September volunteer activity

Sunday 12th September 2021 –– Devon Gardens, St Martin 10:30-13.00

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

We are delighted to be back! Join us this Sunday at Devon Gardens, St Martin, to improve habitat for wall lizards

Task Great news! The wall lizard population at Devon Gardens is on the increase thanks to JCV’s previous hard work but there is still more we can do to remove areas of dense ivy and agapanthus threatening their habitat.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to be added to the Jersey Conservation Volunteers email list, please contact either Julia Clively (tel: 441600; j.clively@gov.je) or Jon Parkes (tel: 483193; jon.parkes@nationaltrust.je).

The site Meet at the bottom of the gardens, ready for a 10.30 start. We will be finished work by 12.30 for well-earned refreshments.

Jersey phone directory Map 11, LL15 and Google Maps here Please meet at the car park at 10am to allow us to walk over to the site and start work for 10.30am. We will finish for 1pm.

Parking There is on-road parking as well as several public car parks nearby and parking on the pier. Note: You may need a disc or scratch cards depending on where you park

Tools needed Tools will be provided but if you have a pair of secateurs, pruning saws or loppers bring them as they will be useful.

Clothing needed Please dress for the weather. We can supply a pair of gardening gloves if you don’t have them.

Children All are welcome although we do ask that volunteers under 16 years of age are accompanied by an adult.

Refreshments Kim will be setting up her pop up café to treat you all when work finishes at about 12.30.

 

 

Restoring the chough to Kent

From Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust

Choughs were once an iconic species on the White Cliffs of Dover. Kent Wildlife Trust along with partners, the Wildwood Trust, English Heritage and Paradise Park, are bringing an aviary of choughs to Dover Castle for the public to experience a forgotten history.

Learn all about the choughs’ rich, but perhaps forgotten, Kentish heritage embedded in legends such as the murder of Thomas Becket, and immortalised at Shakespeare Cliff in King Lear.

These iconic birds, which are part of the crow family, fell victim to intensive farming practices and historical persecution, leading to widespread extinction with only small populations surviving in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man (and Jersey).

Can you imagine seeing a chough flying over the White Cliffs of Dover for the first time in over 200 years?

The Dover Castle aviary is the first step in the vision to reintroduce choughs to Kent. Dover’s chalk grasslands and white cliffs provide nest sites and rich diversity of insects on which choughs feed.  We want to create a Wilder Kent by restoring this charismatic but threatened bird, with its glossy black plumage, red legs and bright red beak.

Thomas Becket, King Henry, Canterbury and the chough 

Many will know the story of the murder of Thomas Becket, last year marked 850 years since his dramatic murder, but you may be less familiar with a mythical connection to the chough.

It is rumoured that as Thomas lay dying, a crow flew down and by paddling in his blood it acquired a startling red beak and feet, transforming into a chough.

There was a huge public reaction to Thomas’s death. Pilgrims began to arrive at Canterbury Cathedral from across Europe and King Henry II received many high-status visitors. 

Henry invested in Dover Castle, creating the great tower keep as a fitting venue, suitable for important travellers on their way to Canterbury, and making it truly ‘fit for a king’. 

Sometime after his death, Thomas was attributed a coat of arms featuring three choughs, which first appears about 100 years later in Canterbury Cathedral, and, in the 14th century, the City of Canterbury adopted a coat of arms with three choughs and a royal lion. But no one really knows why the chough became associated with Thomas, other than the legend of the blooded crow. Whatever its origin, the chough has a long history in heraldry in glass, sculpture, coats of arms, flags, and even pub signs!

Dover Castle

Kent Wildlife Trust, Wildwood Trust and English Heritage will unveil a brand new chough aviary at Dover Castle this month. Visitors will now be able to get up close to four young red-billed choughs, who will be living at the aviary, and learn more about their cultural and ecological significance in Kent.

The choughs living in the aviary hatched earlier this year at Wildwood Trust, as part of a breeding programme to help reverse falling numbers of the chough population across the UK. A dedicated team of keepers from Wildwood have spent the past three months rearing and training the choughs in preparation for their move to the castle.

 

Islanders encouraged to join No Mow May

From Wild About Jersey
Islanders are being encouraged to consider joining the No Mow May campaign by not using mowers or strimmers for the whole of May.

The campaign run by the British conservation charity, Plantlife, asks you to leave your mower in the shed for No Mow May and let the flowers grow.

Research Ecologist, Nina Cornish, said: “No Mow May fits in well with our Pollinator Project which is a Channel Island initiative designed to prevent pollinating insects such as flies, beetles, butterflies and bumblebees from declining. Our animation highlights why ‘Protecting Our Precious Pollinators’ is so important and what you can to do help.

“This campaign is a fantastic opportunity for Islanders to do their bit for the environment. We see the most nectar and flowers in gardens that are mowed no more than once every four weeks. Every year around this time we see lots of hedgehogs injured or killed due to strimmers, so this campaign will also benefit their welfare.”

Islanders must still comply with Branchage rules by cutting any plant overgrowth that is obstructing public roads or footpaths. Branchage inspection will take place in June.

Senior Operations Manager of Park and Gardens and Cleaning Services, Bruce Labey, said: “Last year we updated the mowing regime to reflect current UK guidelines, so now we only mow a one-metre strip along most of our grass verges which still keeps us on the right side of the Branchage regulations, but allows wildflowers and grasses to develop which has a huge benefit to pollinators and wildlife.

“My team and I are excited to take part in No Mow May for a second year running, so if the grass looks a bit longer than normal, you’ll know why.”

 

Irish national chough survey

From Government of Ireland Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage 

The red-billed chough is one of our most charismatic birds but one which is probably most familiar to those living along rugged Irish coastlines. The chough is a scarce bird associated with coastal fringes from Donegal to Wexford. Fewer than 850 breeding pairs along our coastline from Inishowen in Donegal to the Saltees in Wexford – they are very much a bird associated with western Atlantic coastal grasslands.

A member of the crow family, choughs are true invertebrate specialists with a striking and delicate decurved red bill (and matching red legs) designed to probe the top layer of short coastal grasses for insects – liking  leatherjackets, spiders and, where they can get them the insects associated with cow pats. To a young chough a cow pat is like a burger! Choughs are totally harmless to livestock and farming activities and are an amazing character of our coastal skies.

Because of their dependence on short-cropped coastal grasslands such as clifftops, grazed cliffs, dunes and exposed islands, the extensively managed and relatively mild Irish coastline provides good feeding opportunities throughout the year and good nesting opportunities on our cliffs. Agricultural improvement has led to chough declines – a century ago they used to occur all around the Irish coastline, including the ‘soft’ eastern coastline from Wicklow to Antrim – they have been extinct in most coastal counties there for more than 100 years and the last remaining pair in Northern Ireland – on the cliffs of Rathlin Island in Antrim – disappeared in 2017.

We need to periodically take stock of the population, to know how they are faring, and to use this information to inform their continued conservation. Holding nearly 60% of the Northwest European population we have a legal obligation to do so.

From April to July 2021 KRC Ecological and ALC Nature will be running a national survey of these birds on behalf of National Parks & Wildlife Service all around the Irish coastline.

Aside from having the distinctive red legs and red decurved bill, chough have a buoyant, butterfly-like flight and profile (a little different from other crows), shiny black plumage and a distinctive high pitched ‘cheouw’ call.

Dr Sinéad Cummins, the scientist in NPWS Science Biodiversity Section leading the project said “we are very pleased to be undertaking a national assessment of these characterful birds this year. The data gathered is very important to ensure that Ireland can meet its international obligations to protect and enhance the small and precious population of chough around the Atlantic coastline of Ireland.”

In some areas chough nest inland, away from the coast on inland cliffs, in farm buildings, bridges and abandoned houses. The Survey team would be very keen to hear about any observations people may have of these birds, especially relating to birds nesting in areas away from the coast.

Observations of Irish choughs can be reported here , email choughsurvey@gmail.com or call 089 278 5603.