The second Birdweek for 2022 and ten people were along to enjoy the high point of the seabird breeding season on the Island. Many seabirds had their chicks and we enjoyed many excursions on the beaches and the rocky cliffs to observe the parents returning to feed the chicks. A highlight for many was the walk to Malabar Hill to enjoy the Red-tailed tropicbirds gracefully soaring just off the cliffs where they nest. Here we also had a rare encounter of an Australia kestrel “It was a thrill to observe an Australian kestrel amidst the other birds – an unwelcome visitor who was challenged by the other birds. Effortlessly hovering, it dropped like a stone to most likely score a feed of a helpless chick, but a morsel for this hungry kestrel.”

Everyone enjoyed the North Bay day for close encounters with Black and Brown noddies, Sooty terns and waders. Tuesday evening, we had pizzas delivered to Ned’s Beach for dinner, and at sunset watched the muttonbirds returning ….. “milling around out to sea and then gradually coming in one at a time for a start, but then quickly gaining in numbers, clumsily falling on to the grass then quick scurrying into the palm forest to find their burrow.”

Enjoying photographing the Sooty terns

Australian kestrel at Malabar

Red-tailed tropicbird off the Malabar cliffs