In my recent blog about our discovery of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters occupying burrows on Mahe, I mentioned that White-tailed Tropicbirds were the only seabird that had survived in numbers as a breeding species on the larger granitic islands of Seychelles. They had survived despite a large and still increasing human population and the commensal predators that … More Is there a connection between White-tailed Tropicbirds and the popularity of fast food?
Seychelles was first settled by westerners in the late 18th century. Previous exploratory visits by French ships had established that Mahe had abundant timber for home and boat building, and fresh water for drinking would provide vital resources for establishing a permanent base. Giant Tortoises would provide food for residents and passing ships. Crocodiles were … More Are Wedge-tailed Shearwaters breeding on Seychelles’ main island, Mahe?
In my blog of 16 July, I described some work that we had started in an attempt to explain how small fragments of plastic, mainly blue and green, appeared on the ground in the Sooty Tern colony on Bird Island. Joanna Suares, the island’s conservation officer, continued the weekly monitoring of the fixed quadrats in … More An update on plastics in Bird Island’s Sooty Tern colony
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
January 2019 has brought very warm weather and plentiful rain to Mahé, the largest and most populated island of Seychelles. Towards the end of the month, low spring tides left vast areas of the foreshore inside the coral reefs free of water, allowing the sand, coral and seaweed to bake in the hot sun within … More Banquet for fish-eating birds
On 22 July I was astounded to see a Swallowtail butterfly in a garden at Pointe au Sel. I am familiar with the other large butterflies in Seychelles, the resident Diadem and migrants African Monarch and Painted Lady, but this Swallowtail I had not seen in Seychelles before. My first assumption was that it must … More Another new addition to Seychelles’ fauna – another invasive alien species?
In my early blog posts (14 January 2016 and 16 May 2016) I described the then recent arrival in Seychelles of a small moth (Euproctis species) whose hairy caterpillar (in Creole senir plim) was defoliating trees and bushes, and whose hairs could cause intense irritation to the skin of humans and domestic pets. Having fed … More Return of Seychelles’ spiders?
During a recent visit to the International airport Christine and I heard loud bird calls coming from the roof space. My first thought was that the airport authorities had installed bird scaring devices. But the source of the calls soon became apparent when a Seychelles Kestrel flew out of one of the ledges in the … More Endemic Seychelles Kestrels entertain in Seychelles International Airport
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