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
My arrival at Fuente de Piedra on 3 May was greeted by a group of black-looking birds feeding close together at the edge of the shallow pool on the left side of the entrance road. During frequent visits to this Natural Park from 2003 onwards, I had never seen a Glossy Ibis until April 2016, … More Down-turned bills on the up
The evening sky over Antequera, and over most towns and villages in Andalucía, is now crowded with fast, aerobatic and noisy entertainers with distinctive scimitar-shaped wings – this design is almost unique to this family of birds. Swifts, recently returned from their wintering areas in sub-Saharan Africa, begin arriving here in April and numbers continue … More Chasers and screamers – summer is here
Little rain had fallen since our last visit to the lagoons at Fuente de Piedra in March and by early May evaporation of some of the huge amount of water that had fallen during the previous November’s storms had led to a fall in water levels. This left some of the lagoons shallow with damp … More Waders on the move
On our March visit to Andalucía we learned that November 2018 had produced torrential rain in parts of southern Spain and the lagoons, where we and other bird and broader wildlife enthusiasts enjoy the natural world, proved to be at their highest water levels for years. Other signs of the deluge were apparent in the … More Water and waterbirds return to Andalusian lagoons, with some crakey additions