In my post of 15 September I reported that Bird Island’s Sooty Terns appeared to be having a bad year. The first indication that all was not well revealed itself in the late arrival of the birds, to the extent that the first eggs were laid in late June, almost a month later than usual. … More Bad year for Bird Island’s Sooty Terns confirmed
Up to the early 20th century Bird Island, Seychelles, was almost entirely, as its name implies, an island full of birds. Most of them were Sooty Terns nesting on the ground but early accounts also mention “gannets”. The kind of Gannet we are familiar with in Britain does not occur in the tropical Indian Ocean … More Booby come back!
The piratical behaviour of frigatebirds, involving chasing other seabirds until these targets disgorge their latest meals for the frigates to snap up, is well known and led sailors to refer to them as Man-o’-war birds. Large numbers of frigatebirds, mainly Lesser Frigatebirds, roost at night in tall Casuarina trees on Bird Island and many also … More Man-o’-war birds
Following the European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference at the University of Sevilla, we were treated to a field day into the Doñana National Park, a huge (>530 km2) area of coastline and its hinterland to the south-west of Sevilla on Spain’s Atlantic coast. Its importance as a bird-rich wilderness area was highlighted in the 1950s, … More A day in Doñana
During my employment within the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), undertaking research on birds in conflict with agriculture (crop damage and disease spread), aviation (bird strikes) and urban areas (mainly pigeon and starling poo!), I had cause to interact with scientists from many other countries. These included people from Europe and … More 10th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference, University of Sevilla
No, not Britain! Arrival in Andalucía, in southern Spain, in mid-September revealed a landscape textured by a total lack of rain since April. Scorched earth is an apt description of much of the countryside although much of the crop land has already been cultivated in preparation for the next sowing – clearly someone is expecting … More Towards the end of an arid summer