Busy rock

The deeper we sailed into the tropics, the fewer birds we saw. A full day outside, only resulted in a few birds, most of them far away. As we approached Ascension Island, the numbers went up again. Our first stop was Boatswain Bird Island, named after Ascension Island’s only endemic bird: the Ascension Frigatebird.

Two Ascension Frigatebirds in flight

Just as many other small islands, introduced predators are also a problem on Ascension. Here both rats and cats have pushed the frigatebird and other seabirds like the White-tailed Tropicbird, off the main island. Their only stronghold now is a small rock in front of the coast: Boatswain Bird Island. Here nearly all of the world population can be found breeding together. For the birdwatchers on our boat, including me, a very spectacular sight.


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