Skylark Survey at the Airport

From Port of Jersey
9th July 2024

Ports of Jersey fire fighters have been participating in the annual Skylark Survey around the airfield.

This survey, which is carried out on behalf of the Ornithological section of the Société Jersiaise and the Jersey Biodiversity Centre, has taken place every June since 2006, when just 36 of the birds were logged. This year the team identified 110 Skylarks.

Although larger bird activity on the airfield is discouraged and managed by the Airport Rescue and Firefighting Service (ARFFS), smaller bird species that do not cause any danger to aviation, such as the Skylark, are welcome. They are a red list species due to habitat loss, disturbance, and changes in farming practices, and are in dramatic decline nationally.

Fire fighter, Neil Harvey, said: “The airfield grassland has become a favoured site for nesting and roosting skylarks in recent years, and is now Jersey’s primary habitat for the birds. We are pleased to be involved with the ongoing surveying and conservation of the Skylark in Jersey.”

The Ornithology Section of Société Jersiaise said: “We would like to express our thanks to Ports of Jersey, and especially to the Airport Fire Service, for organising this annual survey.”

The Skylark is one of 19 species that make up the UK Farmland Bird Indicator. As a group, these species are amongst Britain’s most declining birds, and Skylark numbers have fallen precipitously since the mid-1970s.

The Skylark is found across Britain & Ireland and can be heard singing at any time of the year on sunny days. In the summer months, the song of the Skylark becomes a force of nature, while in the winter Skylarks often gather in large flocks on farmland, saltmarsh and dunes.

Port of Jersey