Bird Life

If you are an expert birdwatcher, or are just beginning, Herm Island will provide you with a variety of bird watching at all seasons of the year. Because Herm is an island, you will find here a complete contrast to your local bird watching. Almost 100 different species of bird are regularly seen on Herm Island.

During spring migrants from Southern Europe and Africa join resident birds to feed - from Herm Island they will fly north to the UK and Scandinavia. Residents range from the kestrel, the most common bird of prey, to rarer long eared owls. They breed on the island, feeding on mice and shrews. House martins, swallows and swifts can all be found on the island and the cuckoo calls from May onwards. Meadow pipits are often seen flying over the common.

The gorse bushes provide perfect perches for migrant whinchat, chiff-chaff and willow warblers. Robins, wrens, dunnocks, blackbird and song thrushes all breed here. In winter numbers are swelled by visitors from Europe. The redwing and fieldfare visit from Scandinavia.

Around the coast
The Bailiwick of Guernsey, of which Herm Island is part, is an important site for the turnstone. In winter it is joined by the curlew. The black and white oyster-catcher with its bright orange bill and distinctive cry can be seen on beaches at the water's edge.

Between October and April around 60 Brent geese visit, flying in from the Arctic Coast of Siberia. Puffins are here every spring, although their numbers are declining. You may be surprised just how small they are.

Their cousins in the auk family, the guillemot and razor-bill can also be seen. Common terns flying in from south and west Africa nest on islets. The mewing of the herring gull can be heard all year round, joining the lesser and great black backed gulls, as well as black headed gulls. Shags, cormorants and fulmar petrels all breed here and nest around the cliffs and coast. In Autumn birds are on the move again, with flocks of plovers, sanderlings, knot and godwits frequently flying in.

Island Life

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