Bird island

Yesterday there was almost no wind (despite the weatherforecast that claimed it would blow 14 knots from the SE) and we used the calm weather to take Pitufa across the small lagoon to the only motu in the west. We had seen from afar that this motu isn’t cultivated (endemic shrubs and trees instead of coconut palm plantations) and there we found the wildlife we had hoped for in this remote place: hundreds of birds were circling over the motu and walking on the beach we saw nesting redfooted boobies in the trees, brown boobies sitting on their nests made of branches on the ground, some white terns, greater crested terns and sooty terns and (much to our suprise) lots of red-tailed tropic birds–a species we didn’t encounter in the Tuamotus.

So many hard-fishing sea birds also attract frigate birds who have specialised in attacking other birds in the air and steal the fish they are trying to take home to their nests.

After our walk we motored over to the NE side of the atoll (just 3 nm) to spend the night in the shelter of the coast–a good decision as it turned squally during the night and now it’s blowing 15 knots from the SE.

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