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
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
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
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!
Since human settlement of the Seychelles archipelago about two-and-a-half centuries ago, most of the granitic islands that form the main island group have been substantially modified by man’s activities. At about 280 hectares, Curieuse is the fifth largest of the granitic islands and, like most of the others, it was formerly forested. Among the trees … More Curieuse Island
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
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
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