Tag Archives: Phaethon lepturus

Irrgäste auf Bird Island/ Seychellen

KurzzehenlercheMit ohrenbetäubenden Schreien segeln Rußseeschwalben (Sterna fuscota) Tag und Nacht über der Lichtung des Palmenwaldes. Nicht nur für die Massen an Rußseeschwalben oder die Sichtung der wunderschönen Reiherläufer (Dromas ardeola) machten den Trip auf die Seychellen zu einem großen Erfolg.

Es war für die  Beobachtung der Zugvögel – und damit für die „selteneren“ Arten der Inselkette – genau die richtige Zeit; vor allem auf Bird Island. So waren neben den Vagrants ja vor allem die vielen Limikolenarten gut vertreten. Zu den Vagrants bzw. den westpaläarktischen Migranten schrieb ich Adrian Skerrett vom lokalen, den Seychelles Bird Records Committee. Er ist begeistert von meinen Meldungen und schreibt auf der Seite des Seychelles Bird Records Committee, daß ich bei meinem Besuch auf den Seychellen Ende Oktober bis Anfang November einen Einfall von Seltenheiten auf Bird Island zu berichten gehabt hätte. Zu nennen sei die Kurzzehenlerche (Calandrella brachydactyla) (4 SBRC record), Orientbrachschwalbe (Glareola maldivarum) (16 bisherige Rekorde von SBRC akzeptiert), Pirol (Oriolus oriolus), (19 SBRC records), Uferschwalbe (Riparia riparia), (25 SBRC records – was mich ehrlich bei diesem Weitstreckerzieher doch verwundert), Grauschnäpper (Muscicapa striata), (35 SBRC records) und die Rauchschwalbe (Hirundo rustica) – eine jährlich durchziehender Vogel in geringen Stückzahlen). Schade, dass ich eine eigentlich zu erwartende endemische Art wie den Seychelles Kestrel nicht auf Mahe angetroffen haben. Meine Life List konnte ich immerhin um 22 weitere Vogelarten (neben den Endemiten eben auch Keilschwanz-Sturmtaucher (Puffinus pacificus), Audubonsturmtaucher (Puffinus lherminieri),  Rotschwanz-Tropikvogel (Phaethon rubricauda), Continue reading Irrgäste auf Bird Island/ Seychellen

Bird Island, zu Besuch im Paradies der Feenseeschwalbe

FeenseeschwalbeMit atemberaubenden Flugkünsten umkreisen Weißschwanz-Tropikvögel (Phaethon lepturus) Palmen, ehe sie sich zur Rast darin niederlassen. In großen Schwärmen segeln Rußseeschwalben (Sterna fuscota) am Himmel über der Insel. Jetzt Ende Oktober ist die Brut praktisch schon vorbei und überall sind die Jungen zu sehen. Mit ohrenbetäubenden Schreien ziehen sie Tag und Nacht ihre Kreise über der Lichtung des Palmenwaldes. Es gibt aber auch die nahen Verwandten, die Zügelseeschwalben (Sterna anaethetus) hier. Sie sind aber bei weitem nicht so häufig und eher auf den Granitinseln der Seychellen anzutreffen. Zum Rauschen der Brandungswellen gesellt sich das Geschrei tausender Seevögel, die im azurblauen Himmel segeln. Einige Vertreter sind in der Galerie der Vögel von Bird Island zu bewundern. Einige sitzen auf unserer Veranda und auf den Blättern der Palmen.

Die aufdringlichsten Vögel sind die kleinen Sperbertäubchen (Geopelia striata) im englischen zutreffend Zebra Dove genannt und die rotbrüstigen Männchen der Madagaskarweber (Foudia madagascariensis), die Madagascar Red Fody genannt werden, denn sie sitzen jeden Morgen auf unserem Frühstückstisch und picken die Reste des Toastbrotes aus dem Brotkörbchen oder vom Tisch.

Die anmutige schneeweiße Feenseeschwalbe (Gygis alba) ist sicher einer der Stars unter den Vogelarten hier. Mit schwarzglänzenden Augen und einem schwarzen Schnabel, der an der Wurzel blau ist, Continue reading Bird Island, zu Besuch im Paradies der Feenseeschwalbe

Pelagic birding on the Azores

The isle group of the Azores is particularly important for seabirds, which sometimes breed in large numbers or are found here during off-shore migration. Best in summer, but also in September and October, boat trips can give an impression of the importance of the sea area around the Azores with its unique marine ecosystem.

From the island of Graciosa boat trips start, each lasting a half to a whole day. The most dominant bird species in the waters around the Azores is the Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis), which is by far the largest of its breed species. But to expect more bird species that follow the ship. They are attracted by the smell-intensive mixture of sardines, fish oil and other delicious ingredients, the so-called chum. This is to lure some of the pelagic bird species. In September, for example, Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis), a Cape Verde Petrel (Pterodroma feae), and a few Monteiro’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma monteiroi) near the boat could be observed in the waters around Graciosa. Particularly great is the pleasure when the sighting of Sooty Tern (Sterna fuscata), a Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma castro), a Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) or of Continue reading Pelagic birding on the Azores

Bird Island, a paradise for the Fairy Tern

Pair of Fairy TernsJust two days ago we landed after several hours of flights over Addis Ababa on Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles. Supposedly the territory of Seychelles comprises 100 well more or less large islands, which together form an area of ​​443 km ². How strewn lie the islands of the western Indian Ocean, spread over an ocean area of ​​over 400,000 km “. The climate in the Seychelles is tropical with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. The weather here is influenced by the monsoon, with a hot and humid season from November to March. The “cool” dry season lasts from May to October. We are now – at the end of October – just in the transitional phase there and hope not to be trampled in the rainy season.

For the flight to Bird Island we were picked up by a taxi from our resort in the south of Mahe and brought to the small airport of Mahe. The formalities were completed quickly. But there is still a problem with the luggage. They are allowed a maximum of 10kg per passenger. Ok, go for the luggage storage. In the waiting room we could already see our small plane on the runway. When we are finally released from the waiting room to the aircraft, we find that it is already hot and humid out there on the tarmac. But on the plane the temperature is even higher by a few degrees. Finally, we sit in the narrow leather seats, tighten the seat belt and wait for the things that are coming. Finally, the folding doors of the twin-engine aircraft is closed. Immediately, the temperature in the cabin starts to rise further. Only a minute later, the shirt is wet, thick beads of sweat forming on the forehead and run down his eyebrows. “Hopefully the plane will start soon”, which at the moment is my only wish. Through the open cabin I can see the two pilots at the start. At the front a small table fan rotates. “They will know why they put up this utensil in the cockpit”, this is what I am thinking. Much too slowly the pilots are dropping the headphones. Then the pilot turns to his passengers, friendly smiles at us and raises his thumb.

Finally, the plane takes off from the runway. You can feel the sigh of passengers formally, now just sit back and relax. We quickly leave the main island of Mahe behind us. Some uninhabited rocky islands lie off the main island, we only see the deep blue open sea before us. The two engines roar loudly and evenly in the air.

Bird Island is our goal. This tiny island is located about 100 kilometers north of Mahe and can be reached in the aircraft in 45 minutes. Bird Island is a flat coral island overgrown with palm trees. In former times the island was used for a plantation. Besides Denis Iceland is the only coral island in the Seychelles, which is inhabited. The Bird Island is famous for its many seabirds that breed here. The beautiful Fairy Tern (Gygis alba) is one of our target birds because we are traveling to this remote coral island. Moreover, migration seasons is on. Maybe we can see the one or the other migratory bird far from the migration routs along the East African coast. That we were very successful with this, I can prove with photos in the gallery very Continue reading Bird Island, a paradise for the Fairy Tern

White-tailed Tropicbird – in Cumbria/ Great Britain

Here are very interesting news, mainly for twitchers in Great Britain: White-tailed Tropicbird – in Cumbria?! | British Birds. But maybe, birdwatchers from the continent are also interested in that remarkable dead bird. Found on the tideline at Mawbray Bank in Cumbria on 6th January, by Peter Scott of Workington, this White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus)is a potential first for Britain. The last observation has been from September 15th 2012 from Horta, Faial on the Azores. Ok, this is not too far away from Great Britain.

The White-Tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) is a pelagic bird, but it may frequent the coast for food. This species breeds on small oceanic islands, on cliffs and sometimes on the ground near the roots of a tree. White-tailed Tropicbird occurs in tropical Atlantic, Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. It breeds on Caribbean islands and northwards in Bermuda. Radiotracking transmitters were fitted to White-tailed Tropicbirds nesting at Culebra, Puerto Rico. A recent study by C. J. Pennycuick et.al. about the foraging Flights of the White-Tailed Tropicbird with radiotracking found out, that at least 2 birds were followed out to 176 km NNW from the nesting colony on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Thus flying vast distances Continue reading White-tailed Tropicbird – in Cumbria/ Great Britain