Assumption Island – a miserable past, an uncertain future

11.6 km2 Assumption Island lies about 1100 km south-west of Mahe, Seychelles’ largest and most populous island, and is close to Aldabra atoll, famed for its relatively undisturbed ecosystem that qualified it for World Heritage Site status. Assumption is a raised coral island and was formerly home to a vast number of seabirds, especially boobies, … More Assumption Island – a miserable past, an uncertain future

Orange omelettes and dusky wanderers

After a very long gestation period, my book “Orange omelettes and dusky wanderers” has now been published by Calusa Bay Publications, Seychelles. It describes my experiences in Seychelles from late 1971 to the present. Based around the biology of my beloved Sooty Terns, it also embraces other areas of conservation in Seychelles, illustrating the leading … More Orange omelettes and dusky wanderers

Pirates of the air and sea, but bedfellows too

Frigatebirds, those aerial giants of tropical waters, once called man-o-war birds by seafarers, are renowned for their aerobatic prowess when chasing other birds, especially boobies, in order to persuade the latter to regurgitate their last meal, which the frigatebirds eagerly devour. However, on Aldabra and elsewhere, frigatebirds and boobies breed alongside each other and live … More Pirates of the air and sea, but bedfellows too

Can North Island regain some of its lost seabirds?

On North Island’s west coast is a narrow plateau on which Sunset Beach and Honeymoon Beach stand (the latter also called Anse Bonnen Kari, the Creole name for the Barringtonia trees that dominate the beach crest’s woodland). Inland of these beaches is it possible to find broken pieces of sandstone rock, very different from the … More Can North Island regain some of its lost seabirds?

Booby come back!

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!