Familiar faces at the coastal places

By Cristina Sellarés 

If you head to the north-west of the Island today, and you stop by Grève de Lecq, you might want to pop in to Colleens Cafe, where a familiar face is waiting to greet you. Not a human face mind you, but that of one of our local puffins in fact.

The puffin in question is one of Jersey’s breeding birds, a population of only four pairs, and its photo, featured in a new information board, was taken by a local photographer just around the corner from the cafe. The board, produced by Birds On The Edge as a part of our seabird conservation  campaign, is really the brainchild of puffin enthusiast and owner of Colleens Cafe, Emma Machon. When we heard that Emma was thinking of having a board about puffins at the cafe, we approached her to offer our input, which she graciously accepted (to our delight!).

The board provides global and local insights about puffins and other seabirds breeding in the area, with information on their ecology, populations and present threats, as well as measures to stop their declines (you can look at the sign here). We have used photos taken locally in most cases, so you’re looking at our actual birds from Jersey, and in the settings and behaviours we are most likely to observe: flying, standing on the rocks or bobbing on the water. In Jersey we are not likely to see puffins perched on the rocks or walking about on the slopes and burrows, like we might in the large colonies of the north. The slopes in Jersey are too accessible to potential predators, such as rats and ferrets, so our puffins only breed in rock crevices on the cliffs, below the slopes.

On the board you will also find a small map of the Seabird Protection Zone, which is the area to avoid between March and July in order to keep puffins and other endangered birds safe from disturbance; and the Seabird Trail (coming soon!), which is the route to follow in order to observe the puffins in a safe and unobtrusive way.

Map showing Seabird Protection Zone (red) and Seabird Trail (green line)

At the other end of the trail you will find another copy of the board, just outside Plémont Cafe. As it happened, only a few weeks ago we were approached by the cafe’s owner Paul McDermott , who was wondering if we had any nice puffin pictures or posters that he could put up, and as you can guess, now there are two boards, one at either end of the forthcoming Seabird Trail.

So here’s a little plan for you: pick a sunny day, grab your binoculars and head to Plémont. Have a nice breakfast at the cafe, whilst admiring the beach from the bar. Take a quick look at the seabird board (it’s behind you…!). Once you’ve brushed up on identifying puffins and other birds, find your way up to the top car park and start on the Seabird Trail, following the public footpath to Grève. Keep your eyes on the sea below for puffins, razorbills, gulls and fulmars, and see how many you can identify of each. Once you arrive at Grève de Lecq, you deserve a good lunch, so treat yourself at Colleens, where you can check on their seabird board how many birds you got right.  After enjoying the food and the views, and maybe even the beach too, make your way back to Plémont, noticing the other side of the cliffs and the changing views, and don’t forget to keep scanning the water with your binoculars, as seals or dolphins are a common sight in this area too.

Now that you’ve made it back to Plémont, having learnt about our seabirds and tested your skills, you deserve an ice cream, slice of cake or a cool drink.  What better way to celebrate some time well spent with our beautiful seabirds.

Thanks go to: Emma from Colleens Café for her initial idea, and for allowing the Birds On The Edge takeover of the seabird board; Paul from Plémont Cafe for jumping on the board bandwagon; graphic artists at Durrell (Will and Rich) for their inspired design; and the photographers Romano da Costa and Mick Dryden for letting us use their beautiful photos.

Have a sneaky look at the full sign here

JBatS 2020 training and surveys

From WildAboutJersey 

The dates have been set for the 2020 training sessions and survey period!

The Jersey Bat Survey 2020 (JBats) is a pilot study for an island-wide citizen science scheme.  Each volunteer will get a detector to record bat echolocation calls throughout the survey period. Using the latest automated call recognition systems, data is extracted from these recordings which provides information towards the long-term monitoring of bats in Jersey.  This scheme is still in a pilot phase as we develop the scheme and links with the British Bat survey.

JBatS 2020 survey period: 1st -31st July

JBatS Training: Tuesday 23rd June 7pm

This year training will take place in your own home via Zoom !!

We will be providing some background to the project and an update on the progress we’ve made so far. We’ll also let you know how you can be involved with the 2020 fieldwork should you be interested. Even if you participated in the 2019 JBats surveys, we encourage you to join the training session. 

This year we can’t get together for a more traditional training event and practical field session but there will be a chance for volunteers to familiarise themselves with the equipment when they collect their kit pack. We will be arranging kit collections that meet Covid-19 guidance and physical distancing measures. So if you can’t make the training session online but would still like to get involved please do let us know. 

In 2020, the survey period is the month of July. We are asking volunteers to deploy an audiomoth detector at three different locations during the survey period. Deploying the detectors is quick and easy to do, and provides a great chance to explore the island!   

This year we are collaborating with the Bat Conservation Trust’s BBats project. The BCT BBats project will process a sample of the data we record this season to test a new system of providing feedback to volunteers. 

If you are interested please contact WildAboutJersey on wildaboutjersey@gov.je  You will receive a follow up email with more details of the event.

Jersey Great Garden Bat Watch coming to a garden near you 6-7th June

Pipistrellus nathusii photo taken under licence by Miranda Collett Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June, 20:55 until 22:00

From Jersey Bat Group

Please join the Jersey Bat Group for the second Great Garden Bat Watch!

This event combines the joy of (hopefully!) watching bats with citizen science-based research that can help us better understand bats across Jersey.

The Group are particularly keen to receive sightings of bats from St Helier and other urban areas around the Island to help with their research into Jersey’s urban bat populations.

We are asking if you could look for bats on the 6th and 7th June, but please do feel free to use the form (below) to submit your bat sightings throughout the summer.

However: if you are submitting sightings on dates other than 6th and 7th June then, to get the right timings, please go to sunset times here and ensure that you are outside looking for bats at least 15 minutes before sunset. That way you will ensure you spot the first bats…though it may mean you wait up to 30 minutes before seeing your first one.

Les Augres Manor, a good place to spot bats. Photo by Glyn Young

The Great Garden Bat Watch

We are asking you to go into your garden, or to an open space near your house or really anywhere in the Island to look for bats.

We ask that you do this whilst maintaining social distancing and by following any other requirements of the Government of Jersey’s safe exit framework.

  • Main event: Saturday 6th or Sunday 7th June (or both!)
  • Where: Any outside space (garden, park, lane, beach)
  • What time: From 20:55 until 22.00

You do not need a bat detector as we are not asking you to identify bat species, all you need to note down is:

  • The time you saw the first bat
  • The direction the bat flew from
  • Details of the recorder, date and location

Great Garden Bat Watch data entry form

We are working in conjunction with the Jersey Biodiversity Centre who have designed a bespoke data entry form for you to enter your sightings –  through the form here.

If you manage to take any photos or videos of bats in flight during the Great Garden Bat Watch then please post them in the comments box for this event on the Jersey Bat Group Facebook page or email them to the Jersey Bat Group

We look forward to receiving news of your local bats!

For any further details about the bat watch or to submit your data by email then please email the Jersey Bat Group

Happy bat watching!

Myotis nattereri photo taken under licence by Amy Hall

Guernsey invites you to Inter Island Environmental Meeting (IIEM) 2020

From States of Guernsey

Venue: Les Cotils, St Peter Port, Guernsey

Dates: 17th and 18th September 2020

The theme for this year’s meeting will be Review & Restore

Day 1: The UN Decade of Biodiversity is coming to an end in 2020 and Day 1 of the meeting will look back at the projects that have taken place over the last decade. This is an opportunity for speakers to review what has been learnt about our islands biodiversity and assess the progress made in the last 10 years. The afternoon of Day 1 will include a choice of three workshops; two around the Lihou Ramsar site looking at either the intertidal zone or the nearby species-rich grasslands, and the third will be in St Peter Port looking at urban biodiversity. There will be an informal dinner in the evening for those who wish to attend.

Day 2: 2020 is also the start of the UN’s Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and Day 2 will be themed around planning for the future. We would like to hear from speakers advising ways to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems within our islands.

We will also be holding a public talk on the evening of Wednesday 17th, the speaker for which will be announced at a later date.

Cost: At this stage we are looking to cover the cost of IIEM2020 with sponsorship. However, we may need to make a small charge per ticket to cover the costs of food & refreshments. This would be no more than £40 per ticket including Thursday evening meal (£30 meeting only).

Please note – we are continuing with plans to stage the event but we will monitor the advice regarding COVID-19. Cancellation is regarded as a last resort and we are looking into options for remote conferencing should the situation require it.

To book your place, please email IIEM2020@gov.gg specifying:

  • how many tickets you will need
  • what days you will be attending
  • if you would like to attend the evening meal on Thursday please also advise of any dietary requirements

If you would like to present at the meeting, please reply to this email by 30th April with a brief outline of your proposed talk. Talks will either be 10 or 20 minutes so please include your preference.


Finding accommodation is the responsibility of attendees; however, rooms have been set aside at the following hotels (room availability and costs may change). To book a room please contact the hotel directly and quote IIEM 2020.

Les Cotils – 9 Rooms available – £55 – £90
La Collinette – 10 rooms available – £65-£82
Les Rocquettes – 22 rooms available – £95 – £155.

Wild about Jersey activities suspended until review at end of April

From Wild about Jersey

Wild about Jersey volunteer monitoring and survey activities are suspended until review at the end of April

This includes participation in our monitoring schemes and surveys  (e.g. Jersey Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, PondWatch JE and Reptilewatch JE, National Plant Monitoring Scheme, Jersey Bat Survey).

In the current challenging situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we hope that everyone is coping and keeping well. In these difficult times the health and well-being of our wild volunteers is our priority. It is vital that we follow the latest government instructions ‘Stay at Home’: Advice for Islanders. All islanders are instructed to ‘stay at home’ this means, everyone in Jersey is ordered to stay at home at all times except for a limited number of reasons. Doing this will, protect our health workers and save lives.

We appreciate and value all those who expressed an interest in helping with surveys and counts and we hope that all who expressed a desire to take part will, in time, get to do that. Please be reassured that reduced survey coverage in any one year is not detrimental to the long-term value of the surveys you participate in. Thank you for your continued commitment.

During this time why not consider what you can do in your garden, yard, balcony or window boxes. Use this time to encourage appreciate the wildlife there and please don’t forget at any point you can still record any wildlife encounters you have using iRecord or the Jersey Biodiversity Centre website.

Wild about Jersey will have information about online training support and surveys you can do in your garden later this month. Any questions please get in contact.

Please stay safe.

Best Wishes

Wild about Jersey

Natural Environment

 T: 01534 441600

Government of Jersey

Growth, Housing and Environment | Natural Environment

Howard Davis Farm | La Route de la Trinite | Trinity | JE3 5JP

Jersey Bat Group Open Meeting and Volunteer Drive

When:              1 April 2020

Where:            Société Jersiaise

Time:               19:30 – 21:00

The Jersey Bat Group are holding an open evening 1st April to welcome anyone who would like to know more about the work they do. The group invites anyone with an interest in conservation, wildlife volunteering, public engagement or arts and crafts to come along to find out about the volunteering opportunities and training they have to offer.

PLEASE NOTE there may be disruption to planned events through concerns over Covid-19 so watch out for any changes to plans.

Over the last few years, the Jersey Bat Group has been busy. They have discovered new records of bat species in the Island, learnt more about the roost sites of different bat species, increased public awareness by providing talks and walks for schools, building professionals and other organisations. Members have learnt new skills including identifying different species of bats from sounds and appearance, rope access skills to check for roosts in trees, advanced survey skills to carefully trap bats for analysis in the hand and release. Members have also assisted with the ringing of bats as part of licenced projects studying the movement and migration of bats and help track radio-tagged bats to find out where they live and forage.

As the hibernation season draws to a close, the group are gearing up for another busy season of public engagement and research. There are lots of activities that you can get involved in even if you haven’t got any previous experience. For the seasoned bat enthusiasts there are plenty of opportunities for you to develop and grow your skills with the advanced surveys.

The April meeting will give an overview of some of the activities volunteers can get involved in and you will be able to sign up on the spot!  Activities include:

  • Public engagement – including stalls, public walks and talks. This year’s focus is on light pollution and the effect this has on humans as well as nocturnal wildlife
  • Fund raising – e.g. pub quizzes, stalls, cake sales, bat themed merchandise and any other great ideas volunteers may have
  • Transect surveys – walking a set route after sunset with a bat detector to record bat activity 
  • Passive acoustic surveys – assisting with the collection of data from bat detectors left at sites to record activity at a specific site (great for those who prefer to volunteer during daylight hours!)
  • Sound analysis – learn to analyse the recordings from the surveys above to identify the species of bat present and see if the bats are feeding or socialising as well as echolocating to find their way around
  • Members’ activity walks – informal walks, usually monthly, where members can learn to use bat detectors and chat to others about all things batty
  • Roost monitoring
    • counting bats as they emerge from known roosts. This helps us to see how bats are doing year on year and if populations are increasing or declining
    • Checking bat boxes
  • Advanced bat surveys – trapping bats so we can find out more about the breeding status of different bat species within the Island and learn more about the cryptic species of bat in Jersey (these sound similar on the acoustic survey, so the way we find out more is by looking closely at the bats to identify the specific species)
  • Arts ‘n’ crafts – we are keen to recruit artistic or creative volunteers to make batty themed products for the stall and liven up our website and social media.

Amy Hall, Chair of the Jersey Bat Group, said “Bats are fascinating and often misunderstood mammals.  We are hoping that this open meeting and volunteer drive will help both dispel the negative myths about bats and also to enthuse members of the public to help us with bat conservation and research. 

You don’t need to be a member of the group to attend but there will be some membership forms available on the night for anyone wanting to become more involved, or just to support the work we do.”


Reptilewatch event – Covid-19 update

With the current situation regarding coronavirus and advice on public gatherings we are regrettably cancelling this event (see here).

In the meantime we are happy to meet with volunteer recorders individually on a one to one basis, however please do not arrange a meeting if you are feeling unwell or have returned from an affected area or have any concerns that you may be at risk of Covid-19 exposure.

Please contact Liz Walsh, on 01534 441628 or email L.Walsh@gov.je to make an appointment for carrying out a Reptilewatch JE survey.

Please refer to the Coronavirus information and advice leaflets:


https://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Health and wellbeing/ID Coronavirus-advice-A4-Poster VB.pdf

Thank you for your interest in this training event.

Wild About Jersey

Natural Environment

T: 01534 441600

Government of Jersey

Growth, Housing and Environment | Natural Environment

Howard Davis Farm | La Route de la Trinite | Trinity | JE3 5JP

Reptilewatch training 2020

People with a passion for nature can learn how to survey and protect our native reptiles and become Wild Volunteers at a free training event on Saturday 14 March.

Reptilewatch JE 2020 (which runs from 9:45am to 4:30pm at La Moye School) will teach people about the four native reptile species that can be found in Jersey, how to survey and assess habitats as well as providing some guidance on the identification other wildlife that they may encounter along the way.

The event is organised by The Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group, Jersey Biodiversity Centre, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust and the Government of Jersey’s Natural Environment Team.

The event will offer two different levels of training for up to 50 volunteers. All volunteers can train for both Level 1 and Level 2, and do not need to have any previous experience:

  • Level 1 will give the volunteers the skills they need to run a 30-minute survey in their own time.
  • Level 2 will give volunteers the skills they need to run a minimum of six surveys between April and October, using more complex methods.

The data collected by volunteers will be used to monitor the health of reptiles and their habitats and record the number of animals within the survey areas.

Nina Cornish, Research Ecologist, said: “We would like to encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more about Jersey’s reptiles to come along and see how they can get involved.  The data collected from citizen science schemes like Reptilewatch is used to evaluate the future trends and action necessary to conserve these protected species.

“We rely on the kind support and commitment of Wild Volunteers, who allow us to run more surveys and gain a better understanding of the health of Jersey’s environment so that we can protect it for future generations.”

Anyone who wants to attend the event can reserve a place online or contact Liz Walsh by email: l.walsh@gov.je. or by phone on 441628.

Please don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing and bring some boots and waterproofs to be able to participate in the field session.

March volunteer activity

Sunday 8th March 2020 –– St Clement’s Farm, La Grande Route de Saint Clement 10:00-13.00

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

Task The Jersey Conservation Volunteers are certainly doing their bit for the Climate Emergency this season, and this Sunday, 8th March, we will be joining Jersey Trees for Life

Since 2007 Jersey Trees for Life, in partnership with the Island’s environmental and conservation community, has planted over 50,000 trees and hedgerow whips as part of their ongoing hedgerow campaign. They have been replanting and restoring Jersey’s hedgerows and farmland trees for the benefit of the Island’s biodiversity, as well as providing valuable food and wildlife corridors.

Using the latest priority tree planting routes, Island wildlife and mammal survey data, we have plotted connecting areas accordingly.

This event will focus on several of these priority planting routes, connecting directly with previous planting projects and designed to maximize food corridors as well as providing food for pollinators throughout the season.

Please meet at 10.15 am to enable us to walk the short distance (about 5 minutes) to the planting site. We will finish for 1pm.

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 Jersey phone directory Map 17, GG21 and Google maps here

Parking There is limited parking at St Clement’s Farm, La Grande Route de Saint Clement by kind permission of Mrs D. Mossop. Please car share if you can!

Tools needed Please bring a garden spade if you have one, and gloves.

Clothing needed Please dress for the weather, coats, sturdy boots/wellies and waterproofs may well be needed!

Children All are welcome, young or old although we do ask that volunteers under 16 years of age directly supervised by a parent or guardian.

Refreshments At the end of a hard morning’s work, Kim will treat everyone to her renowned home-made cake and a cuppa.

See you there!

The Pollinator Project has launched

By Sarah Maguire, Jersey Biodiversity Centre, Education and Outreach Officer

The Pollinator Project.JE has launched in Jersey which aims to help Jersey’s pollinators and their habitats. Pollinators move pollen from the flower to another flower, this results in fertilization that produces fruit and seeds. Without pollinators we would not get the reproduction of plants that create food and habitats for humans and other animal species. Pollinators are key for our survival with food security relying on their pollinating skills, so protecting them and helping to improve their environment is vital. Guernsey launched their pollinator project in 2017 and Jersey’s team are working alongside Guernsey and the other Channel Islands to replicate their success bringing together a variety of organisations to help.

Pollinator is a term that encompasses a wide range of species. Our focus is on pollinating insects and they may include many different species of insects such as hoverflies, beetles, flies, butterflies and moths. The decline in pollinating insects has also resulted in a decline in the number of birds across the UK with an 8% decline since 1970. The Pollinator Project will work to address a number of risks associated by disease and invasive species, such as Asian hornets. We will work together in partnership with other groups to support pollinators across the island.

The pollinator project will involve educational work in schools, habitat management and monitoring to help identify our species and habitats so that we can begin to enhance what is already in existence.

Through 2019 we will be sharing information, advice and top tips. So, if you’re into gardening you could plant native pollinator friendly plants such as Lavender (Lavandula munstead), save a space for pollinator native plants in your garden. Soon enough you will see patches dedicated to pollinators popping up over our Island; in schools, parks and gardens, work places and the countryside.

Let us know what pollinators you have spotted by sending a record to the Jersey Biodiversity Centre. This information will be added to a pollinator map for the island. We will also be running dedicated surveys of pollinators in the newly created pollinator patches. For the time being let us know what you’ve seen and add photos to your record to help with the verification of the species.

For more information on the project and how you can get involved please visit pollinatorproject.gg

#PollinatorProjectJE        #Pollinators        #WildFlowers