In Seychelles (and doubtless elsewhere) hotels, ranging from small guest houses to huge five-star buildings catering for those who want luxury, have been built in areas with bird populations that form part of the attraction for many of the guests. In warmer climes, the restaurants associated with the hotels are open plan, often with outside … More Birds and restaurants
As mentioned in the post of 9 June, Sooty Terns began nesting early in 2019, but it had been thought that the earliest eggs, laid around 10 May, had been deserted. Our discovery yesterday (13 June) of the first 2019 chick shows that some of those mid-May eggs did survive and that this year’s hatch … More The first of the many
When first discovered Bird Island probably had few land birds and R W Coppinger, who visited in 1882, stated categorically that there were none. By 1907 John Fryer, as part of the Percy Sladen Trust expedition to the Indian Ocean, found that Madagascar Fodies and Barred Ground Doves had arrived on Bird Island, and Desmond … More Bird Island’s land birds – natural or out of place?
When Bird Island was first discovered by Europeans in the 1770s, it was described as being covered by “innumerable” birds and later visitors reaffirmed this, also mentioning scant vegetation. The discoverers did not name the birds they found but Sooty Terns were likely to have been the most numerous species. Other species, mainly ground nesting … More Bird Island is not just for Sooty Terns!
During an evening search for ringed Sooty Terns in the Bird Island colony on 8 June, the youngest member of our team, Dylan Savy, found an incubating adult with its tongue extending below the lower mandible, having pierced the skin and other tissues in the bottom of the mouth. This condition is called a sub-lingual … More A rare and strange condition found in a Sooty Tern
The Sooty Tern breeding season is progressing well. Laying began exceptionally early this year, with the first eggs being recorded around 10 May. This proved to be a false alarm, however, as the birds departed, only to return later when laying recommenced around 25 May – still early by normal standards but closer to the … More Bird Island’s Sooty Terns 2019
Between May and September Bird Island, Seychelles, hosts the world’s largest Sooty Tern colony that is readily accessible to tourists (there are a few larger breeding colonies of Sooty Terns in the Indian and Pacific Oceans but they are on islands that are not open to tourists). The approximate half a million pairs that breed … More New visitor facilities on Bird Island
Bird Island is renowned for the opportunities it often provides from September to February to see a wide variety of birds that have migrated south to avoid the northern winter. I first became aware of this in 1972-3. As the Sooty Terns were leaving the island with their fledged young, a variety of unexpected birds … More Visitors from the north
On 27 May we boarded a Twin Otter at Seychelles International Airport’s domestic terminal for the scheduled flight to Bird Island. There was little wind – the south-east trade winds have not yet really set in – and the blue sky had a few light clouds drifting slowly across. In his pre-amble the captain said … More A stormy welcome to Bird Island
My arrival at Fuente de Piedra on 3 May was greeted by a group of black-looking birds feeding close together at the edge of the shallow pool on the left side of the entrance road. During frequent visits to this Natural Park from 2003 onwards, I had never seen a Glossy Ibis until April 2016, … More Down-turned bills on the up