After several days of preparation on Mahe, on 9 June Christine and I flew to Bird Island. We had heard that Sooty Terns had begun laying on 25 May. This is unusually early for the start of their nesting season, which does not normally begin until June. We are here to continue our studies of … More We return to Bird Island to find further erosion
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
On 20 June Christine and I left Bird Island and returned to Mahe. The growing chicks in the Sooty Tern colony were becoming much more mobile and thus prone to move away from their nest sites at any disturbance, putting them at risk of attack from neighbouring adults when they try to return. By the … More Farewell to Bird Island, 2016
In 2011 and 2012 we marked 85 of Bird Island’s breeding Sooty Terns with geolocators, tiny devices that record geographical location during their migration. Geolocators have to be recovered the next breeding season to download the data and in 2012 and 2013 we manged to find 40 of the marked birds. The data showed that … More More trouble for Bird Island’s Sooty Terns?