At The Sooty Shearwater Colony

This will be a series of little videos showing activity at the sooty shearwater colony for the 2020-21 breeding season. The camera can’t transmit pictures or video, so needs to be visited monthly to swap the SD card and batteries; I will therefore load videos to this page in about one-month blocks. Later blocks of videos will be at the top.

From mid-January to the end of February, there is still much activity at the colony. It looks like the second good season in a row. Burrowscoping shows a good number of chicks, in good condition. I’m struck by the frequency of visits by the adult birds to the two burrows in frame. Birds were evident on the surface every night, often a pair at the left-hand burrow. They must be feeding locally at the moment:

Not uncommon to see four birds in shot. I think the little skips in the clips are a camera setting which I will try to change.
If only I were allowed do this to the neighbourhood teenagers
Pair bonding in a summer downpour
The weka visited the burrow four times in the six weeks. The chick must be deep enough to be out of reach. One of the very few weka still on the island.
The burrowscoping is not very invasive and worth doing I think. Interestingly this burrow has scanned empty two times out of three despite obviously being active. It is a deep one.

We start in December-January. Both adults will be visiting the burrow, and at this stage they will be incubating one egg, or perhaps will have an early nestling. We can see some pair bonding, activity at both of the burrows visible in shot, territorial disputes, wing exercising, burrow maintenance, gardening, preening. Some of the clips have picked up the birds’ distinctive calls very well.