The 'Alder Marsh'

Probably the longest established area of woody vegetation on the island. It is known locally as the 'Alder Marsh' due to the presence of alder trees. This low lying depression between the sand ridges (dune slack) is located just north of St Anne's golf course. The water in this dune slack is only slightly brackish allowing a diverse flora to become established including many unusual taxa with restricted distributions. Alder and willow scrub are present in the lower ground with clumps of gorse on the drier old dune ridges to the west. This is probably the best location to watch for common land birds such as nesting reed buntings, meadow pipits, linnets and in most years a few pairs of stonechats.

In spring and autumn migrant willow warblers, chiffchaffs, sedge warblers occur in small numbers along with the occasional grasshopper warbler and whinchat. In late autumn/winter goldcrests and redpolls are frequent. Magpies have become established as a nesting species in the alder marsh in recent years. Rarities have included firecrest, common redstart and red-backed shrike.

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