Cousine Island has once again gone to the birds, quite literally. Clouds of seabirds are seen coming ashore every evening and large numbers are seen leaving throughout the day to go off fishing. Seabird season in full swing.
Most of the seabirds have laid their eggs by now and we are very happy to have a few Sooty Terns back and breeding. When you see these beautiful birds it is sad to think that their eggs are regarded as a delicacy in various parts of the world and is over harvested on many islands. Cousine Island is striving to give these birds a safe nesting site free from harvesting and it is always great to see these birds returning to Cousine Island after their long absence caused by over harvesting in the 1960′s and 70′s. A small number have been returning to Cousine in the last few years, a hopeful sign that the seabird conservation work here is improving the habitat for various species.
Lesser Noddies cover almost the whole island and their squawking can be heard everywhere. Where there are gaps in trees, Brown Noddies have found their nesting sites on rocks and grass patches and the Bridled Terns have also found their nesting sites on rocky outcrops. This is definitely one of the top birding times around the island.
It was also a surprise to have a crab plover on the beach during the last week. Normally these birds visit the island during our summer months (October to March) and it was therefore a very pleasant surprise to find the young bird walking around on the beach in winter.