The Island is beginning to pick up volume with the influx of Lesser and Brown Noddy’s. Both the North Rock and South Rock on each tip of the island each have 40-50 Brown Noddy’s sunning themselves on a daily basis. The Lesser Noddy’s prefer the corrugated iron roofs. When we are hovering under the shade from the 12am sun, they are relishing in the heat in direct sunlight. We are looking forward to the upcoming breeding season, and hope to get at least 80 000 breeding pairs like last year.
We have been busy preparing our existing Sooty Tern nesting area by clearing all invasive species and brush-cutting excess dense vegetation from their preferred nesting areas. Sooty terns historically bred on Cousine in large numbers of up to 20 000 pairs. Due to over-harvesting of eggs and disturbance by humans, they deserted the colony in 1963. It is believed that up to 45 000 eggs were being harvested a season. In August 2003 approximately 150 pairs were discovered breeding on the steep slopes of the South Ridge for the first time in over 30 years. Since 2003 the colony has been carefully managed and protected to ensure they return each year. This season we are focusing on the existing colony by hand pulling and brush cutting the dense foliage so as to create an optimum breeding habitat for the Sooty’s. Stage 2 of the project will continue next year with the use of our newly purchased hailer to attract them to their original breeding site on the north side of the island.