When first discovered Bird Island probably had few land birds and R W Coppinger, who visited in 1882, stated categorically that there were none. By 1907 John Fryer, as part of the Percy Sladen Trust expedition to the Indian Ocean, found that Madagascar Fodies and Barred Ground Doves had arrived on Bird Island, and Desmond … More Bird Island’s land birds – natural or out of place?
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!
The Sooty Tern breeding season is progressing well. Laying began exceptionally early this year, with the first eggs being recorded around 10 May. This proved to be a false alarm, however, as the birds departed, only to return later when laying recommenced around 25 May – still early by normal standards but closer to the … More Bird Island’s Sooty Terns 2019
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
Bird Island is renowned for the opportunities it often provides from September to February to see a wide variety of birds that have migrated south to avoid the northern winter. I first became aware of this in 1972-3. As the Sooty Terns were leaving the island with their fledged young, a variety of unexpected birds … More Visitors from the north
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
While the accumulation of mountains of plastic waste has been of concern for many years, more recent revelations about degradation processes of plastics and the ubiquity of microplastic particles in most of earth’s environments have raised the profile of excessive plastic use and disposal. Undoubtedly, a major milestone in raising public awareness was David Attenborough’s … More Still addicted to plastic!
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?
With an area of just under 20 km2, Silhouette is the third largest of Seychelles’ granitic islands. In terms of biodiversity it is one of the least disturbed islands in the archipelago, its rugged and heavily forested mountains having spared it from significant human occupation. Its fauna and flora encompass a high degree of endemism … More Myna problems on Silhouette Island, Seychelles