This week I have been busy trying to get permission to protect our Ringed Plover population here on Alderney. Ringed Plovers are small wading birds and if you’re lucky you might see them flitting across the high tide mark on beaches, they look at though they are wearing dark masks, with a white tummy, sandy back and bright orange beak and legs. We only have 6 pairs of these birds here on Alderney but they are the last regular breeding population in the whole of the Channel Islands, so this makes them very important!
They nest on the ground on beaches that have pebbles on them in tiny nests called scrapes where they lay 3 to 4 eggs. The nests are very well camouflaged against the sand which makes them hard to spot and this sometimes means that people accidentally stand on them. To try and stop this from happening I have been in contact with lots of conservationists from the UK and I have been in contact with the Government here on Alderney to decide how to protect them even more. We have decided to do a trial year of roping off areas of beach where the birds are nesting. We hope that by letting people know where the nests are they can avoid them when they are out walking with their dogs.
This is one of the signs we use for our beach with the nesting Ringed Plovers on. Have you ever been walking on a beach where birds have been breeding? Did you see any signs and did you do what the signs asked you to do?