A Guernsey Safari – Discover Our Wildlife
From spotting Seals basking on rocks to the north of Herm, to catching a glimpse of a Kestrel at one of Guernsey’s great birdwatching spots, the Bailiwick has an abundance of wildlife for all to see.
Get your Guernsey safari off to an exciting start and hit the high waters for an iconic Puffin patrol. Between mid-March and July, a vast number of Puffins flock to our Islands to breed. These entertaining birds are instantly recognisable thanks to their black and white feathers, their stocky build, and, of course, their brightly coloured beaks.
There are a number of ways to see the Puffins. You can take a boat trip around the coasts of Herm and Jethou, or, alternatively, those seeking a more active experience can join Outdoor Guernsey on a kayak puffin-watching trip from Shell Beach on Herm.
For those who would prefer to stay on dry land, be sure to visit our fantastic bird watching sites to spot some new species. The Bailiwick has a unique selection of birds, some of which cannot be found anywhere else on the British mainland, and there are plenty of protected spaces where these species thrive. A visit to the Ramsar site at the L’Eree Shingle Bank is a must for any bird enthusiast, as more than 150 different species have been recorded there to date.
Alderney in particular is a haven for ornithologists, due to the vast numbers of seabirds that roost around its rugged coastline. From the aforementioned Puffins, to the Gannets that have recently returned, there are plenty of reasons to bring your binoculars. Whilst in Alderney, keep an eye out for their famous Blonde Hedgehogs, which cannot be spotted anywhere else in the British Isles.
Common Seals are rarely seen in Guernsey waters, but Grey Seal sightings are becoming increasingly common. An adult male can grow over 3m in length and 400kg in weight, so they are not easily missed. Grey Seals are inquisitive but are still wild animals and should be given respect and space. The best bays to spot a Grey Seal from land are Havelet, Fermain, Cobo and Grandes Rocques, amongst others. If you want to get up closer, Outdoor Guernsey’s ‘Herm Humps Seal Patrol’ kayak tour is bookable. An experienced guide will take you up to the incredible Humps Archipelago, upon which rests the local seal colony. Alternatively, Island Rib Voyages offer two trips with the opportunity to see the Seals. Their ‘Herm Explorer Wildlife Voyage’ takes you along the coast of Herm, taking in the nearby Seal colony. The ‘Hanois Lighthouse Adventure’ does not specifically go looking for Seals, but there is a good chance you will be able to spot some during your adventure.
Guernsey has experienced a huge increase in Dolphin numbers in recent years. A particular marine highlight, we have five species in our waters; the Bottlenose Dolphin and the Common Dolphin are the most frequently spotted, but Harbour Porpoises, Risso’s Dolphins and Minke Whales have all been seen in the waters around Guernsey and our sister Islands. You can often see them on the Herm Trident or Sark Shipping Company Ferry, as you’re travelling between the Islands of Guernsey, or on the Condor Ferry as you journey between Guernsey and England and France. Outdoor Guernsey’s ‘Herm Circumnavigation’ kayak tour offers the chance to see one of these creatures up close, or you can see them from a rib with Island Rib Voyages’ ‘Herm Explorer Wildlife Voyage’.
Of course, when discussing animals in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, it simply wouldn’t be fair to exclude the iconic Guernsey Cow. Famed internationally for the richness of their dairy, you’ll spot several grazing around the island’s rural heartland. Be sure to sample the Guernsey milk, butter and ice cream to discover just why these Cows are so famed.