Over the last 40 years or so we have learned a lot about the lives of Bird Island’s Sooty Terns while they are nesting on the island. Thanks to the development of new tiny tracking devices, we are now beginning to learn something of their lives at sea. Recently, I wrote about the remarkable findings … More How far to the Sooty Tern restaurant?
On Bird Island, and in other colonies throughout Seychelles, Sooty Terns breed seasonally during the south-east trade wind, roughly April to October. Outside this time, the millions of birds involved disappear from Seychelles waters and, apart from five recoveries of ringed birds (3 in Sri Lanka/southern India and one each in northern Australia and at … More The migration of Bird Island’s Sooty Terns revealed
On Saturday 4 November my book “Orange Omelettes and Dusky Wanderers” was launched in my local town, Haslemere. Haslemere Bookshop hosted an afternoon brief talk and signing. At the well-attended event I explained the background to my studies of Sooty Terns in Seychelles, initiated through concern over the excessive harvesting of their eggs … More “Orange Omelettes and Dusky Wanderers” gets a lift off
In the northern hemisphere, the autumn southward migration of birds is well underway as many species head for regions where food remains more plentiful than in their breeding areas. Birds from northern Europe and Asia head mainly for Africa and south-east Asia but some arrive, either deliberately or … More Bird Island beware – the onslaught is about to begin!
In 1808, a French privateer vessel, the Hirondelle, came to grief on the coral reef off the western point of Bird Island, from which this part of the island now gets its name. It has a beautiful beach that extends in an arc to the north point of the island. The island’s small farm, mainly … More Darrell & Jennifer at Hirondelle, Bird Island
Further to my post of 22 July, two other remnants of Bird Island’s former life remain hidden in the woods. Bird Island has two sources of water. Fresh drinking water is collected from rainfall, stored in enclosed reservoirs and treated before use. Water used for purposes other than drinking, on the other hand, comes from … More A walk through the woods uncovers a bit more of Bird Island’s history
During the evening of 7 August, the shadow of the earth will move across the face of the full moon. In Seychelles this will be visible as a partial eclipse, at its maximum with about a quarter of the moon’s surface in shadow, at about twenty minutes past ten. For the eclipse enthusiast, however, the … More Astronomical sights from Bird Island, including a lunar eclipse on 7 August 2017
The 22 July new moon generated high spring tides, which is normal. The return of strong south-east trade winds, however, generated roughening seas with heavy ocean swells. This combination led, during the evening of 24 July, to large waves crashing on to Bird Island’s western beach, sending massive … More Evening trauma but morning shows all is not lost
Seychelles experiences two seasons per year. The north-west monsoon generally lasts from November to April. It is characterised by warm humid conditions, with calm periods interspersed with periods of heavy rain, including occasional torrential downpours. From late-May/early-June to October the islands are subjected to the south-east trade winds – steady winds from the south-east that … More An unseasonal season
During our visits to Bird Island we sometimes have to improvise. This has often involved a requirement for pieces of wood of various dimensions and we have obtained these from the carpentry workshop. Hidden beneath a pile of wooden planks we uncovered a 2.2 metre long saw blade. I had last seen it in 1973, … More Pieces of Bird Island history