In 1994 I arrived on Bird Island ring Sooty Terns and to search for birds that I had ringed in 1993 as part of a long-term programme of ringing aimed at investigating the survival of adults and juveniles. This was to provide information that would help to estimate the number of eggs that could be … More Two remarkable coincidences in Japanese/Anglo/Seychelles relationships
On 11 July we took a small boat from Praslin Island to Félicité, a small (2.68 square kilometres) granitic island lying to the north-east of La Digue. This was at the request of Steve Hill, who had been heavily involved in a major rehabilitation project on the island, associated with the development of a luxury … More Félicité Island
Bird Island is not mis-named. For the variety of species that has been recorded, mainly in the northern winter, on its approximate 100 hectares, it is a birdwatchers’ paradise. During May to October it plays host to hundreds of thousands of Sooty Terns along with large numbers of Brown and Lesser Noddies, White Terns, Frigatebirds … More When birds become “humanwatchers”!
Beach “clean-ups” have become an integral part of life for many coastal communities as plastic waste increasingly renders beaches unsightly and sometimes dangerous. Seychelles, with 115 islands scattered over thousands of square kilometres of Indian Ocean, is no exception. In previous blogs I have mentioned Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), constructed from buoys, plastic floats, plastic … More Plastic on the beach
During the afternoon of 20 July Nick Savy, General Manager of Bird Island, came round to our chalet to ask if we could help to treat a tortoise that had been injured by a falling tree, resulting in a fractured carapace. Bird Island hosts about twenty tortoises, but they are not the kind you would … More Tortoise doctors
In Seychelles (and doubtless elsewhere) hotels, ranging from small guest houses to huge five-star buildings catering for those who want luxury, have been built in areas with bird populations that form part of the attraction for many of the guests. In warmer climes, the restaurants associated with the hotels are open plan, often with outside … More Birds and restaurants
As mentioned in the post of 9 June, Sooty Terns began nesting early in 2019, but it had been thought that the earliest eggs, laid around 10 May, had been deserted. Our discovery yesterday (13 June) of the first 2019 chick shows that some of those mid-May eggs did survive and that this year’s hatch … More The first of the many
When Bird Island was first discovered by Europeans in the 1770s, it was described as being covered by “innumerable” birds and later visitors reaffirmed this, also mentioning scant vegetation. The discoverers did not name the birds they found but Sooty Terns were likely to have been the most numerous species. Other species, mainly ground nesting … More Bird Island is not just for Sooty Terns!
During an evening search for ringed Sooty Terns in the Bird Island colony on 8 June, the youngest member of our team, Dylan Savy, found an incubating adult with its tongue extending below the lower mandible, having pierced the skin and other tissues in the bottom of the mouth. This condition is called a sub-lingual … More A rare and strange condition found in a Sooty Tern
Between May and September Bird Island, Seychelles, hosts the world’s largest Sooty Tern colony that is readily accessible to tourists (there are a few larger breeding colonies of Sooty Terns in the Indian and Pacific Oceans but they are on islands that are not open to tourists). The approximate half a million pairs that breed … More New visitor facilities on Bird Island