News

Birds of a Feather

By SOSF-DRC Staff, 11th November 2017

As busy a month October was for research at the D’Arros Research Centre, it was as active a month for vagrant and annual avian visitors to D’Arros and St Joseph. The first D’Arros record of both a Eurasian Bittern and a Caspian Sand Plover occurred this month. These birds are scarce vagrants to Seychelles and particularly to the Outer Islands. According to Adrian Skerrett of the Seychelles Bird Records Committee, the Caspian Plover has been recorded only 15 times in Seychelles and only once previously in the Outer Islands while the Eurasian Bittern has been recorded only eight times in Seychelles and again only once in the Outer Islands.

A Caspian Sand Plover on D'Arros Island in October. This is the first record of this species on D'Arros, the second record for the Outer Islands and the 16th record for Seychelles. Photo by Clare Keating Daly | © Save Our Seas Foundation

With the aim to get a good photo of the Eurasian Bittern, SOSF-DRC spotted a European Roller on the airstrip, however, the Eurasian Bittern, although present for at least three days, avoided the camera. A European Roller was last seen on D’Arros in late November 2014.

A European Roller D'Arros airstrip. Photo by Clare Keating Daly | © Save Our Seas Foundation

Finally, a dead European Golden Oriole was found outside the DRC. This bird was last recorded in 2009, also a dead individual found near the lab.

A fortunate resting place. This European Golden Oriole was found dead just outside the lab in October. Photo by Clare Keating Daly | © Save Our Seas Foundation