People in Lihou asked to watch out for nests next to footpaths

People in Lihou are being asked to look out for birds nests that may be closer to paths than usual. Credit: States of Guernsey

People in Lihou are being asked to look out for birds nests that may be closer to paths than usual.

The island often sees nests of European shags, Lesser Black-baked gulls and Oystercatchers.

A drop in the number of visitors since the outbreak of coronavirus has allowed birds to move into new areas to nest.

The areas they are now raising their chicks in would usually be busy with thouasands of tourists but are currently empty.

Because of this reduction in disturbance, many birds have been able to build their nests much closer to the footpaths. In some instances nests can be seen only a few feet away.

La Societe

Now the number of people visiting the island will increase there is a chance that these nests will be disturbed putting the birds and their chicks in danger.

If disturbed too regularly, birds may abandon their nests and with it any eggs or chicks they may have.

La Societe

People are being asked to take extra care when using footpaths.

The advice is:

  • Take extra care when visiting the island

  • Stay on the designated footpath

  • If you see a bird nest close to a footpath please do not interfere with it and carry on walking

  • Dogs are not allowed on Lihou Island or the causeway.

We all need to ensure that we are respectful to the nesting birds and stick to the paths. Just remember that we are the visitors not the birds, as this is their home.

Steve Sarre, Warden of the Lihou Charitable Trust

Lihou Island provides a unique opportunity to watch nesting gulls at very close range.This gives a great insight into our locally important wildlife. It is important to remember however, that these are wild birds which are vulnerable to human disturbance and interference so we would ask everyone to keep their distance and remember that the welfare of the birds, their eggs and their chicks must always come first.

Jamie Hooper, Conservation Officer at La Société Guernesiaise