Quiet farm­land and im­pres­sive coast­line com­bined

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - ALAS­TAIR RI­LEY

IT IS STILL quite pos­si­ble to go qui­etly bird­ing on an is­land as small as Jersey. This wan­der around a very spe­cific area in the north of this lovely sunny is­land has al­ways been both at­trac­tive and pro­duc­tive. There are small fields here which speak of con­tin­u­ing farm­ing prac­tice, as well as stands of pines and gen­uine hedgerows all with a rugged coastal back­drop. The hedgerows can be very good at mi­gra­tion times and I have en­coun­tered Redstart, both reg­u­lar fly­catch­ers and nu­mer­ous war­bler species in and around. Rel­a­tively re­cently, farm­ing has in­cluded grow­ing sun­flow­ers, fur­ther dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing an al­ready fas­ci­nat­ing ‘patch’. While the sun­flow­ers have only con­cealed Stock Doves and large flocks of Lin­nets for me – as well as an in­evitable quar­ter­ing Marsh Har­rier – they may do bet­ter for read­ers. Marsh Har­rier (pic­tured) are easy to find on Jersey but this area also has Buz­zard and Spar­rowhawk and plenty of Kestrels, too. My last walk here also turned up a Serin – a bird that can oc­cur on all the Chan­nel Is­lands and one that breeds spo­rad­i­cally. The coast is very im­pres­sive here and drops down to the lovely Greve de Lecq which has oc­ca­sional waders and can har­bour grebes and divers in win­ter at times. Egrets are of­ten added to one’s list at this point along with Rock Pip­its. The coastal edge will pro­vide Sky Lark and Meadow Pipit as well as Stonechat. In windy weather, the coastal path is brac­ing, but the rel­a­tive tran­quil­lity of the ‘in-field’ is a lovely con­trast. A walk any birder would re­peat on ev­ery visit here.

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