We are currently staying in a bungalow that is part of a small guest house complex on the French island of Mayotte. This 324 square kilometre island is part of the Comores, a group of four volcanic islands that lie between northern Madagascar and north-eastern Mozambique on the African east coast. We have come here … More Are there spies in the myna camp?
On 20 October we set off from Mahe for Mayotte, an island in the Comores that is administered as a French Departement. It lies about 1400 kilometres south-west of Mahe but by air there is no direct route. We had to fly to Reunion, overnight in a hotel and the next day fly to Mayotte. … More Arrival in Mayotte
Late September saw a major influx of migrant birds to Bird Island. As expected from previous experience, shorebirds predominated among these early arrivals. Most breed at high latitudes and those that arrive in Seychelles probably nest in northern Asia. There, climatic conditions force them to have a short breeding season, after which they migrate south … More September on Bird Island: migrant arrival in full swing
With heavy hearts Christine and I have now left Bird Island after a prolonged seabird-watching experience. It has been an exciting year on an extraordinary island. We arrived in June in time to observe the Sooty Terns’ arrival and egg laying, watched their feeding movements, and saw chicks hatch. After a break we returned in … More Bird Island, Seychelles – a unique experience of living among seabirds
Between 27 and 30 August we deployed satellite tags on 15 juvenile Sooty Terns in order to follow their movements after fledging and discover where their parents took them as the fledglings learned to feed themselves. When attached the tags to birds that weighed a minimum of 180 grams, judging that chicks of this weight … More SeyCCAT project: our tagged juvenile Sooty Terns head for the open ocean
The likely future impacts of the climate change that we are already experiencing are top news items around the globe. Next week the United Nations is hosting a Climate Action Summit in New York. This is part of an initiative to address five of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals that are aimed to convert ambition … More Climate Action – Seychelles
Lesser Noddies breed on small islands that are free of introduced predators in Seychelles, including Bird Island. They nest in trees, building substantial cup-shaped nests of leaves and seaweed that they cement together with their droppings, and into which they deposit their single egg. Their breeding season thus commences with much activity on the ground … More Prolonged nesting of Lesser Noddies?
Angelique Pouponneau, CEO of SeyCCAT, and Vania Robert, its Executive Assistant, visited Bird Island for two days, 26 to 28 August, to see for themselves the progress Rachel, Christine and I are making on the SeyCCAT-funded project involving the satellite tracking of juvenile Sooty Terns. We were able to show them the procedures we followed … More SeyCCAT project: oversight visit
We are accustomed seeing a few Red-footed Boobies on Bird Island. Each year during our Sooty Terns studies in June-July we see 10 to 20 in the evenings, roosting among the larger number of Great and Lesser Frigatebirds (mainly the latter) that roost every night in tall Casuarina trees towards the southern end of the … More A bumper year for Red-footed Boobies
Since our arrival on Bird Island on 20 August, and Rachel Bristol’s arrival the following day, our main activity has been to prepare the 15 satellite tags (five made by Microwave Telemetry Inc. (MTI) http://www.microwavetelemetry.com and ten manufactured by Lotek in UK http://www.lotek.com) that have been bought for the SeyCCAT-funded project. This is aimed at … More SeyCCAT project: update on satellite tracking of juvenile Sooty Terns from Bird Island