Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Chesterfield Reef Photos Part 2: Big Gannets and Massive Boobies

It's been difficult to edit down hundreds of photos but here is a selection of the Gannets and Boobies nesting on the little islands of the reef.

Gannets are amazingly effective fishing machines, able to dive from around 100ft above the water, folding their wings back and deploying outer eyelids to protect their sight at they hit the water at 50mph to skewer their prey.

They nest on the sand, with just a little indentation dug out a for their single egg

A very young chick peeks out from under its parent

The chicks become pretty big and ungainly!
There were several variants of Boobies, roosting and nesting in the scrubby little trees behind the beach

We loved the blue-billed ones

Some made nest on the ground, presumably failing to secure a much-valued tree

The chicks were huge and fluffy things and seemed to be left to fend for themselves in the trees whilst parents went fishing
An older chick, its adult feathers coming through nicely, copes with the heat by gaping its beak and panting

They seemed to be bigger than their parents thanks to all that fluffy down
These birds are pretty ungainly on land but wonderful to watch in the air
As we were about to leave the reef, one came for a final visit to Maunie''s bow
More photos to follow.....

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