The lesser and Brown Noddies have been gradually increasing in number for the last two months. The majority of nests are completed and 90% of them are incubating at present. We just love watching their silly antics involving the whole nesting procedure. Squabbles over nesting sites and over the ‘perfect leaf’ which five Noddy’s decide to pick up at once; the stealing of each other’s leaves from nests and the resulting chase; even the odd Noddy seeking company from a foraging Robin who instantly fly’s off and leaves him confused and still alone! Our Bridled Terns are mostly in the process of incubating, although we did see two recently hatched chicks near the end of June. We are happy to report that the Sooty’s are back and breeding on the south-west coast of the island. We counted at least 100 adults in flight and saw a few eggs from a distance. We are currently undertaking our annual seabird census and looking forward to the results after all the hard trudging up and down the island.
We were very excited to see our first Green Turtle track this year on the 20th May. We stayed up the following night and patrolled the beach every two hours until we got a glimpse of a minor ‘sand storm’ in the distance at 3am. This obviously being her creating a huge pit from a distance. She had no tags and no evidence of previous tags. We tagged her, recorded her biometrics and counted 88 eggs. She returned another 3 times to lay 3 successful nests with an exact interval of 12 days between nests. We are so excited to see the first nest hatch and see the nesting success rate of the nests.
All our tortoises are doing well. We have noticed how quickly they are finishing the water in their ponds lately due to the dry weather! We often see 2 or 3 of them waiting in a queue at the water ponds as each takes their turn for a long drink. One of eldest tortoises (Albert) was seen taking a ‘swim’ in the fairly rough sea in early June. We were quite worried, but he seemed to absolutely love it when a wave crashed over his shell. He spent the whole day there and after getting a few good photos we watched him pad off towards a lush grass patch. We have started chipping all the original Cousine tortoises and should have the project completed by the end of July. We will then start gathering all their biometric data and compile detailed profiles on each individual. I think we will have a lot of fun at the same time!