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Newsletter June 2016

Sooty Terns all around!

The Sooty Terns are here! If you look to the skies above you will be amazed by the number of terns in the sky. There are thousands of them all around! At Sooty Tern Point (North Point), which is where the colony is located, you will certainly be left in awe by the sheer number of these birds. Clutches of Sooty Terns have begun landing and at the centre of the colony, there is a particularly large group. Soon the birds will begin to lay and to incubate, which is about a 28 day process. So by July the first eggs will have hatched. Stay posted for more on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter!

Research Work

In July 2015 Dr. Camille Lebarbenchon, Assistant Professor at the University of Reunion Island, stayed with us for 2 weeks to carry out research work on the birds of the island. He has since then, been examining all samples and data collected.

“Good progress has been made on the analyses of the biological samples and GLS deployed on noddies” states Dr. Lebarbenchon. He has had very interesting results from the data collected from tracking. It seems that the noddies from Bird Island are exploiting other areas than Sooty terns during their migration. Instead of flying in the direction towards the Indian sub-continent, it seems that they tend to either move to the Maldives or to Madagascar.

With regards to pathogen detection, as for previous years, Dr. Lebarbenchon hasn’t found anything disconcerting but rather, has obtained very exciting results on microorganisms that could be shared and transmitted between marine mammals, dolphins in particular and terns, potentially during foraging.

Dr. Lebarbenchon is planning on continuing his research work as he is very interested in understanding the interactions between seabirds and their pathogens, particularly in relation to bird migrations. He now has four consecutive years of data from the Island. The Bird Island team will be continuing to assist Dr. Lebarbenchon who believes that the island “represents a major site for the development of long-term research studies in the Indian Ocean. There are not that many sites in the world where this type of research is conducted, so this is extremely valuable from a scientific point of view.”

Turtles

In May, Resident conservationist Robby Bresson recorded 121 Hawksbill turtle nests and 45 Green turtle nests. This would have concluded the peak period of laying for Hawksbill turtles which is normally from October to February/March; and the beginning of the Green turtle’s laying period. This is normally from June to September, although they do lay throughout the year.

- Other News -

Weather Update

The South easterly winds which began in May have brought cooler breezes, relieving us of the hot humid weather of the previous months. The change in season brought some rain with it in May which should now subside with the drier weather brought by these trade winds.

Lesser Noddy Chicks

Lesser Noddies are breeding, so parents and their chick can be seen all over the hotel grounds at the moment. It’s a beautiful sight!

Bird Island Lodge has been recognised with a Certificate of Excellence!

We're thrilled to announce that Bird Island Lodge has received a Certificate of Excellence for 2016, reflecting consistently great reviews earned on TripAdvisor.

“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers. This recognition helps travelers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service.” - Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor

The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our guests for their love of Bird Island Lodge, Seychelles and for the great reviews!

Our German Website is now Live!

Hop online and take a look! www.birdislandseychelles.de

- Feature Articles -

Bird Island Lodge, Seychelles featured on ‘Love to Eat to Travel’ blog.

Bird Island Lodge, Seychelles has recently been featured on the ‘Love to Eat to Travel’ blog, in an article entitled ‘Love at first sight – Bird Island’. The following extract describes the author’s first-hand experience of this nature lover’s haven.

“A short stroll from my chalet to cool off, I have a welcome swim in one of the most untouched beaches in the world. I’m ensconced in the world of birds. Above my head, the White Fairy Terns are dancing and the Sooty Turns and Brown Noddy birds are skimming the surface fishing for food for their chicks. You feel a deep realisation that you are in their world and it’s a privilege to be part of this natural wonder. It is good for the soul and a sight for sore eyes. ”

Follow Kate Morfoot as she journeys through the isle of the birds. <<Read More >>

Guy Savy: Bird’s island boy (by Glynn Burridge – Inside Seychelles)

Learn more about the man who started it all. Follow Glynn Burridge in the second issue of Inside Seychelles, as he re-counts Mr Guy Savy’s history with one of the most well known island’s of the Seychelles archipelago.

“Guy Savy is an island boy, pure and simple, who knows and understands islands probably better than anyone in the country. His custodianship of Bird Island, Seychelles’ most northerly outpost, began in 1967 upon his return to Seychelles from New Zealand where he spent several years studying accountancy.

He and a partner, Mr Delorie, acquired Bird at a time when the island was much the worse for wear from years of human disturbance of the island’s famous colony of sooty terns whose population during the 1950s plummeted from somewhere near a million birds to scarcely 65,000. And so began the long process of clawing back the island from the brink of ecological disaster through sensitive conservation and eco-friendly tourism…” <<Read More >>

Bird Island features in top German travel blog – WOLKENWEIT!
Bird Island – One of the Treasures of this Earth’ (by Simone Schwerdtner)

“Who would have thought that on Bird Island awaits the whitest, most isolated and perhaps the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles? When I set foot on the almost snow-white sand for the very first time and experience the views of the turquoise sea, I get goose bumps. Snorkeling, kayaking or just walking? We cannot decide for our first day at the beach but finally opt to hike around the island just once under the hot equatorial sun. We need almost five hours for 5 km - for again and again we stop to take pictures, to swim and to just enjoy the solitude, as we do not come across other guests on the beaches today…”

[Kindly note that the above extract has been translated from German to English. The rest of the article is in German. See below.]

Bird Island – die Schätze dieser Erde’ (von Simone Schwerdtner)

“Wer hätte gedacht, dass mich auf Bird Island die weißesten, einsamsten und vielleicht auch schönsten Strände der Seychellen erwarten? Als ich meinen Fuß das erste Mal in diesen nahezu schneeweißen Sand setze und meinen Blick auf das türkisblaue Meer richte, bekomme ich Gänsehaut. Schnorcheln, Kajak fahren oder einfach nur spazieren? Wir können uns für diesen ersten Tag am Strand nicht entscheiden und umwandern die Insel erst einmal unter der heißen Äquatorsonne. Fast fünf Stunden benötigen wir für die 5 km – denn immer wieder halten wir an, machen Fotos, gehen schwimmen oder genießen einfach nur die Einsamkeit, denn andere Personen treffen wir an den Stränden heute nicht. ” <<Read More >> 

June Flights to Bird Island

For those interested in visiting Bird Island during the month of June 2016, please note that there will only be 3 return flights per week during this period, instead of our daily flights. There will be a flight on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. For those of you who wish to experience the Sooty Terns at the “peak” of their breeding season, Book Now!