Christmas wishes for Christmas Island: under threat (again)

The Australian territory of Christmas Island lies in the eastern Indian Ocean, about 320 km south of the western end of Java, Indonesia. The 135 square km limestone island is home to many endemic and indigenous plants and animals, including the Red Crabs Gecarcoidea natalis that undertake a spectacular November migration from the forests to … More Christmas wishes for Christmas Island: under threat (again)

The migration of Bird Island’s Sooty Terns revealed

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

“Orange Omelettes and Dusky Wanderers” gets a lift off

    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

A BBC Natural History Unit first for Sooty Terns

The Sooty Tern is the world’s most numerous tropical seabird. Although it has been the subject of several major studies, two aspects of its life render investigation difficult. First, it generally breeds on remote tropical islands where access is often difficult. Second, it spends its entire life outside the breeding season at sea, living an … More A BBC Natural History Unit first for Sooty Terns

Sooty Terns have a successful year on Cousine Island

On 11 July 2017 Christine and I were able to revisit Cousine Island, a small private island nature reserve off the western coast of Praslin. Like most Seychelles’ islands, its native forest was removed in the late 19th or early 20th century in order to make way for coconut cultivation. At that stage Sooty Terns … More Sooty Terns have a successful year on Cousine Island

Evening trauma but morning shows all is not lost

              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

Training in the use of GPS loggers on small seabirds

Having undertaken trials of different methods for attaching tiny Pathtrack (www.pathtrack.co.uk) GPS loggers to small seabirds in Seychelles (see blog post of 12 December 2015), and found the most acceptable method for Sooty Terns, Christine and I have conducted a training course for staff of the Island Conservation Society (ICS) in Seychelles. ICS is an … More Training in the use of GPS loggers on small seabirds

Amazing Aride Island

I first stepped foot on Aride Island, Seychelles, in March 1972. With John Procter, then the Conservation Advisor to the Seychelles Government, we undertook a 3-day survey of the island, its vegetation and bird and reptile life. The island lived up to its name, being very dry even at the end of the “wet” season … More Amazing Aride Island

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