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Newsletter December 2018

To our dear readers,

Yet again, another year comes to a close. Somehow Christmas seems to come around even faster these days. As is customary, tomorrow will be our last day on the island. Everyone will get to celebrate and rejuvenate, ready to welcome guests from 13th January 2019!

It has been a challenging year to say the least. We have had to say goodbye to our colleague and good friend Roby, whom many of you have met and become quite fond of; But we now have Joana on board as Conservation Officer. So do not fear! Our conservation work continues and you'll still have that dedicated person to answer your questions about the birds and turtles and the other wildlife of Bird Island.

Our friends the Sooty Terns have come and gone as they do yearly, leaving us in awe of the beauty of their sheer numbers. We've welcomed a rare visitor, the Great Cormorant, along with some other vagrants more recently; And the turtles have also surprised us this year (check out The Ocean Diaries below)!

We'll now leave you to some interesting reading but before we go, we'd like to stay thank you. Thank you for supporting this green gem in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

We wish you the best for the year ahead and look forward to seeing you again!

The Bird Island Team


The Ocean Diaries : The Green Turtle Surge

In our last entry, we were experiencing a lull in the numbers of nesting Green Turtles to our shores.  This year however has been one of the most eventful concerning these sea creatures. The Green Turtle season is now over but around mid-November we were still seeing new nests every 2 to 3 days. Over the past 25 years of recording data, this year has seen the highest numbers with 108 nests so far (last count received 19th November). This is a significant increase compared to past years where the average number has been about 60 nests.

The Green Turtle hatchlings have begun emerging and land crabs pose a threat as always. This is the nature of things but where we are able to protect these little creatures we do so. We have carried out a few releases after sunset and a number of lucky guests have had the chance to join in and experience some incredible moments.

Photo: Turtle hatchling, Bird Island Seychelles by Merlotto Meccanico

The Hawksbill Turtle

The season for these turtle cousins began towards the end of September. They had a slow start but there was soon a lot of activity on the beaches with an average of 2 to 3 nests per day!  By November 19th, which wasn't even near to the peak of the season for this species, 60 Hawksbill nests had been counted with the numbers increasing since then. By the time the hotel opens in January, there should be plenty of little Hawksbill Turtle hatchlings to see.

Stay tuned as we'll have updated numbers on both species in our next newsletter.


Bird Sightings


So what have we spotted recently? Just some cool feathered friends!

  - 1 Common Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus  (V)

  - 1 Squacco Heron  Ardeola ralloides  (V)

  - A group of Little Tern  Sternula albifrons  (V)

  - 1 European Turtle Dove  Streptopelia turtur  (V)

  - A group of Common Swift  Apus apus  (V)

  - 1 Red-billed Tropic Bird  Phaethon aethereus  (V)

  - 1 Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis  (A)

  - 1 Great Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo  (V)

  - 5 Brown Booby  Sula leucogaster  (A)

  - 1 Black-winged Pratincole  Glareola nordmanni  (V)

  - 1 Eurasian Golden Oriole  Oriolus oriolus  (V)


V= Vagrant         A=Annual
 
Thank you Mr and Mrs Boyns for the shot of the Great Cormorant.


Capturing Moments

"Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field" - Peter Adams

Sometimes, constantly taking photographs whilst on a holiday might take away from truly experiencing the trip itself. This is how some people may view it but if you find the right balance, you can capture great moments and experience them too.

Bird Island is an ideal location for photographers in love with nature- be it the birds, the turtles, the ocean or that amazing sunset. As a photographer, capturing these moments can serve to enhance the experience. If you're not already in touch with your surroundings, searching for that ideal shot allows you to become more  aware of what is around you.

We've had the chance to truly appreciate some beautiful photos taken by our guests. Join us on Instagram (birdislandlodge_seychelles) to view these or add some of your own!


Europe around the corner : Fly Direct

For those of you who didn't know, there are a few airlines now flying directly from Europe to the Seychelles! Booking flights to our islands has never been easier.


- Austrian Airlines from Vienna, Austria
- British Airways from London, UK
- Condor Thomas Cook from Frankfurt, Germany
- Edelweiss Air from Zurich, Switzerland
- Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, Turkey