Puffins are a delightful addition to Alderney’s natural diversity, loved by ornithologists and amateur bird watchers alike. The uninhabited island of Burhou is home to this charming species between March and July.

Burhou Island is just one and a quarter miles northwest of Alderney. Despite being only half a mile long and one fifth of a mile wide, Burhou is a bird sanctuary which is home to 11 species of breeding birds. It is in part because of Burhou’s wealth of breeding seabirds that an area of Alderney was granted a Ramsar designation in 2005.

Due to the importance of Burhou’s breeding seabirds the States of Alderney implemented a closed season from 15th March until 1st August and only those carrying out scientific surveys and the Burhou warden are allowed to visit during these months by prior permission from the States of Alderney. Other visitors can enjoy views of the island and watch the puffins via our webcam.

The island has a small hut containing rough accommodation and can be rented for a small sum during the months that the island is open. Alternatively, boat trips on Sula of Braye, Lady Maris and Avante depart from Alderney on advertised days during the summer months taking visitors on a round island trip to visit the puffins on Burhou, as well as touring the rest of the Ramsar site, including the impressive gannet colonies on Les Etacs and Ortac and the Atlantic seal colony near Burhou Reef. The boat’s crew have an intimate knowledge of the local waters, coupled with a good knowledge of ornithology and the history of the Island including the stories of the shipwrecks. It is the boat chosen by the Alderney Wildlife Trust for their ornithology and wild life excursions.

Boats available

 

Sula of Braye:

10 passengers max.

Seabird boat tour every Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm.

Booking at admin@alderneywildlife.org or +44(0)1481 822935.

 

Lady Maris:

12 passengers max, licensed to operate charters between the islands, France, the UK South Coast and Alderney.

Around the island boat trip every Tuesday and Friday at 2.30pm.

Book Lady Maris II with www.alderneygiftbox.com.

 

Avante

10 passengers max.

Around the Island boat trips available Wednesday to Sunday (other days by arrangement).

To book, call Dave on +44(0)7781 115132 or 823307

 

History

The cottage on Burhou was built in the early 19th century as a shelter for fishermen and wrecked mariners. This cottage fell into decay but was repaired in 1900 by a French couple who attempted to farm on the island. Various people lived there until it was destroyed during the German occupation.

After the war the States of Alderney acquired the island and a hut was erected in 1953 and then greatly improved in 1978 by local Alderney men, one of whom was Mr Midget Dupont who later became the States appointed warden of Burhou, a post he maintained until he passed away in September 2007. To book the hut on Burhou island, contact the Alderney Harbour Office +44 (0)1481 822620.

Gallery

Links

Living Islands Visit
Alderney Wildlife Sightings Visit
Puffin Cam Visit
Alderney Wildlife Trust Visit

 

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