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Alderney Bird Observatory appeals for financial support

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ALDERNEY Bird Observatory, as a charity, is appealing for donations after financial challenges due to reduced birdwatching tourism.

Global conservation efforts are supported by data gathered by dedicated specialists in Alderney.

As Britain’s most southerly avian observatory, studying patterns and progress of wild birds is crucial.

‘This autumn will be our fifth consecutive year monitoring bird migration through Alderney. Annually we contribute significant research data to the world’s largest ornithological databases,’ said ABO warden John Horton.

‘This data is crucial for conservation, enabling scientists to track the fortunes of wildlife over time.’

Covid-19 has disrupted usual wildlife patterns.

‘Lockdown has been a mixed blessing. For many seabirds, other than witnessing less nautical traffic, it is just another year. There may be less food availability for some seabirds in terms of fewer fishing trawlers operating.’

Garden birds are an area of concern as lockdown coincided with breeding season.

A bird ringing demonstration for wildlife tourists. Their absence due to Covid-19 has left the Alderney Bird Observatory short of money.

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‘In Alderney many have taken advantage of lockdown to finally get on top of tidying their gardens. Tidying and wildlife rarely go together. Cutting back hedges, taking out bushes and clearing areas that would have remained otherwise undisturbed at a crucial time is not good news for nesting birds.

‘Our breeding garden birds are used to having the place to themselves. Almost everyone lucky enough to have a garden was suddenly presented with unlimited time to spend in it. Our garden birds this spring will have seen unprecedented disturbance as a result.’

Findings for 2020’s breeding season have not yet been collated

Lockdown impact is recorded by 20 British Isles bird observatories.

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‘Important data is gathered through censuses and bird ringing. Most fund their scientific work through tourism. Our own Bailiwick bird observatory in Alderney, located at The Nunnery within the Roman signal fort, certainly fits these criteria. Coronavirus stopped that model in its tracks.

‘If you would like to help ensure that the Bailiwick islands’ bird observatory in Alderney continues its research, help them see off this financially challenging period, please donate to this appeal.’

. To donate via GoFundMe, https://bit.ly/2CsvSu9

Emily Hubert

By Emily Hubert
News reporter

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