Lying over 100 miles south of the British mainland, Jersey is the most southerly
of the Channel Islands.
The island's position and climate result
in a marvellous mix of wildlife.
and the Gulf Stream boost wildlife. c/o Jersey Tourist Board
Jersey has one of the best sunshine records in the British Isles -
it is warmed by the waters of the nearby Gulf Stream.
Wildlife thrives and
nature highlights include vast arrays of spring flowers, and the rich marine life
living in the shimmering waters around the island.
Bay in the north east of Jersey is a sheltered bay with shallow, clear waters
which in springtime is alive with courting sea creatures.
Spring is a busy
time for the natural world and marine creatures are no exception.
days lengthen and the water slowly begins to warm up, all sorts of fascinating
fish courtships are triggered.
One of the creatures that lurks in these
waters is the Lumpsucker, a knobbly rugby shaped fish which is normally a deepwater
The male lumbers into the shallows at the end of winter where
he makes a nest and settles down for the female.
Once the female has laid
up to 100,000 eggs, he is left to guard them, keeping them clean and well supplied
Under sea wonders
can dive into the water and swim amongst forest of kelp, and see Corkwing Wrasse,
Dragonets, and even Cuttlefish.
The male Corkwing Wrasse displays a vivid
colour at this time of year to attract females who spray eggs into the nest -
the male then fertilises.
When it comes to attracting opposite sex there
is one little fish that surpasses all others.
For much of the year the
Dragonet is a drab, mottled brown colour, easily overlooked on the sandy sea bed
where lives, but in late spring he develops shimmering turquoise stripes and spots
outlined in black.
He darts around possible mates, pausing to display an
elaborate dorsal fine spanning full length of back and arching forward beyond
his nose, a peacock of this watery world.
May is also time for Cuttlefish
to mate - these great chameleons of the sea are characterised by the zebra patterned
male who passes the female a sealed parcel of sperm which she stores in her body
till eggs ready to be fertilised.
She can lay 200 eggs, lacing each one
with dark ink.
Most female Cuttlefish mate only once and die soon after
the eggs are laid, but their skeletons can sometimes be seen washed up on shore.
spring Jersey has a profusion of flowers that make the island a sea of vivid colour.
St Ouens Bay is one of the best places to see this natural spectacle.
along almost the whole length of the west side of the island, and boasts a wide
variety of flowers, including a range of the most flamboyant flower of all, the
orchid which aren't found on the mainland.
Jersey is geographically much
closer to France and that's reflected in the French names such as Le Noir Pre,
the black meadow.
The meadow is part of a marshy area known as St Ouens
Pond, or La Mare au Seigneur, the sea of a local noble.
Many areas of marshland
and wet meadows have been drained in the past, but this precious habitat has been
saved and is now owned by the National Trust for Jersey
Jersey so good for
a diversity of flowers because of its warm climate with few frosts.
sometimes possible to find eight or nine species of Orchid in Jersey.
the Second World War the Germans who occupied the island built a series of large
scale defences including anti-tank ditches 100s of metres long.
war these ditches were sometimes used as a parish dump, filled with rubbish -
but then the Orchids started to come back and they took over.
By the mid
1990s there were 1,500. Now at the peak of the season, their numbers reach nearly
At the south end of bay Le Quennevais/Les Blanches banques is one
of largest sand dune systems in British Isles.
Visitors can see a spectacular
display of Early Purple and Green Winged Orchids, Nottingham Catchfly, Sand Catchfly,
fragrant Evening Primrose and ground hugging Burnet Rose.
Photographs courtesy and copyright
of Jersey Tourist Board.