I never met Nigel the gannet but I’ve certainly written a lot about him.
Ultimately, the stories of the lonely bird and his concrete love were actually about people.
From ranger Chris Bell who protects Mana Island to the volunteers who toil to improve it, the real yarn is about the humans that care for the little gem sitting off our coastline.
I feel extremely lucky that, in writing about Nigel, I got to know the people who loved him and the island where he chose to live.
Writing about Nigel’s death was hard and speaking to his human guardians was even harder. Their sadness was palpable but amongst the sorrow there was hope.
As Chris said, should the three remaining gannets choose to stay then in six months there might be another story. A happy one.
I reckon there are a few more gannet yarns on the horizon. Cheers to Nigel. — Virginia Fallon