St Helena 2009 - Birds

With St Helena being so far from Africa and off the main bird migration routes there are relatively few types of birds on the island, however most of the ones that are present are in large numbers.

The most common seabird seen is the Fairy Turn which is small, pure white bird with a black bill. As well as nesting on the cliffs it is also seen inland where it nests in branches of trees.

Boobies are only seen on the cliffs.

Peaceful Doves are common all over the island.

The small but colourful Java Sparrow is often seen around Jamestown.

Groups of Common Waxbills are seen all over the island.

Red-billed Tropicbirds are seen along the coast. It is easy to recognise with its long white tail.

When we walked to the top of the 400m cliffs at Great Stone Top we saw plenty of them down below us.

The Wirebird is only found on St Helena. It is a small plover-like bird which lives on open land around the island.

We were lucky enough to have a walk out over the Man and Horse area, in the SW of the island, with Eddie Duff, who is the RSPB representive responsible for ringing and keeping track of Wirebirds on the island.

Wirebirds have suffered a decline because of loss of habitat and predation by introduced species - rats, cats and myna birds. The National Trust and RSPB are starting to organsize shrub clearance as well as monitoring the birds. We sponsored a Wirebird for 10.

Eddie took us to see his 'tame' Wirebird nesting near the Weather Station. If you look closely you can see 2 eggs in the 'nest' - just a scrape in the ground.

A few days later we returned to the nest and saw that the eggs had hatched - there were 2 tiny chicks (little balls of fluff!) running around.

A week later we returned and saw both chicks and the parent birds.

Voyages between Cape Town and St Helena
St Helena - exploring the island
St Helena - Jamestown
St Helena - forts and defences
St Helena's Day
St Helena - boat trip
St Helena - Napoleon
St Helena - birds
St Helena - plants
St Helena - Island views - a photo gallery. This link will open in a new window.
St Helena - background information - link to the St Helena tourism website, it will open in a new window.
Diary - Word document.

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