Sunday, 16 November 2014

Final day in Paradise

Got up 0700 hrs said our goodbyes mostly to the staff last night who have been excellent.
Some had colourfull attires during the creole festival.
Our transport arrived and we were soon at Praslin AIRPORT for our short hop to
Mahe.We stayed at the Kempinski very up market looked the part but not as personal as
our idyllic hotel on Praslin.I did add Yellow Bittern to my list but failed on Seychelles Kestrel
may be next time.
Grey plover watch on Praslin and my favourite terns.

Another day in Paradise

Phil Collins song is poignant as we amble to breakfast around 0800hrs .Carol has fed the stray
dog again I nicknamed Charlie.
Sat under the palms till lunch Squid rings then back to the books I am in to the Hunger Games,booked a days birding and rearranged flights to Mahe.On the 4th I met Gemma at Valle de Mai where Gemma pointed out the local flora and fauna.
The famous endemic Coco der Mer tree and all its attributes  was on show.
and the Giant Bronze Gecko feeding on the male plant,Black parrots were feeding in the canopy.
A Seychelles bulbul finally gave reasonable views near the end of the reserve,the 2 hr walk was
soon over. A fleeting glimpse of sunbird  as my taxi took me back to the hotel.
1600 hrs we said goodbye to the Italian couple from Northern Italy as we had afternoon tea feeding
the doves and pigeons.The regular flock of Sanderlings scurried along the beach in clock work fashion as another day in Paradise fades away.

november in La Digue

on the first the weather had improved ,we spoke to Sandra the Swedish girl and enquired about her diving exploits.Booked a  boat for a trip to La Digue with Kevin Esperance .A single Grey plover was
on the beach today.
Fairly quiet day photographed a green lizard there are quite a few on the islands.
The following morning Sky  news provided the details of Arsenals win over Burnley,a good start to the day we made our way to the beach. We boarded the speed boat with French snorkelers as we
approached La Digue another shower of rain obliged.At the port we got a taxi to the Flycatcher reserve.The cab driver provided Carol with a brolly,the rain soon stopped as we entered the forest.
After a while walking the forest bordering by mangrove we eventually found a single male
Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher near a water feeding station.
Retracing our steps back to the entrance we found a pair making a nest ,poor light but
amazing views.
above male on nest followed by female and the pair together.
Female on nest thoroughly spoiled.
Next up the beach at Grand Anse nestled in the mid day sun.
Here we had a beer and watched local fish being cooked on the BBQ.
Off to the national park we saw the plantation house first as we arrived.
The granite formations which are synonomous of the Seychelle islands here on
La Digue are pleasantly pleasing to the eye are a photographers landscape love.
Behold these monolithic boulders in paradise.
Truly this is paradise
We left La Digue truly smitten a beer and a cheese sandwich before our boat back to

rainy day in paradise

We needed the brolly for breakfast,the rain eased and we made our way to the beach where I tried to
photograph Seychelles sun bird as it was making a nest near the restaurant.
I also had limited success with  Madagascar Fody, Common Mynah and Madagascar dove.
However the Striated heron was very obliging feeding along the shore and sitting in a palm tree.
Other birds of note were 3 Sanderling and a Curlew Sandpiper and a Grey Heron all before lunch.
Decided to have lunch out today at the ART cafĂ©  which is front for the La Duc hotel it was rather
splendid  with wine beer and Prawn Singapore curry,cost us the grand sum of 79 Euros.
after lunch a siesta , be it brief I went to the Creole festival where I joined the tug of war team and had a few beers with the german couple from Stuttgart Akim and Christina.

Got ready for dinner watched the creole band  retired early scratching mozzy bites.


Well after a long summer working at the golf club it was my wifes 60th so after the party we were off
to the Indian ocean. A long flight via Dubai courtesy of Emirates where we rushed to get our flight to
Mahe then by twin Otter to Praslin were we arrived exhausted darling. The following morning Carols official birthday we slept under the palm trees.
 The following morning I had a light breakfast and got a taxi to the Valle de Mai
where I met the local guide Gemma Jessie we were in search of the local specialitie.
The Seychelles black parrot we had close views and it even flew overhead giving
good views,the endemic bulbul also put in an appearance as the temperature rose around 1030 hrs.
Another endemic posed at close quarters this time the Seychelles Blue Pigeon ,next up the
Seychelles Fruit bat looking like a raptor across the blue sky.
Another lifer was Seychelles swiftlet  hawking for insects with Cuissine island in the
distance. I returned to the hotel and we had some rain in the afternoon.
The next morning I was off to Cousin Island for the morning at least on route noted a few terns and a
Whimbrel it was about 30 minutes by boat .
Still a bit showery  I clocked a cracking lifer a Fairy tern very close in what looked like Tamarisks.
We were then split in to two partys one English and one French we began walking through the
guano caked forest getting bitten by sand flies etc did not deter our day . White tailed Tropic birds still had young as did Lesser Noddys.
Curious Seychelles Magpie Robins came close ,but the Seychelles Fody proved elusive only
giving poor views but a least I saw it.
Climbing to the summit of the island  we came across a Wedge tailed shearwater outside its burrow.
From the top of the island we retraced our steps back down along the beach trail noting a large
Aldabra tortoise.
The lesser Noddys were fairly gregarious as they nested amongst the trees.
Nearer the tide line we was advised of Hawksbill turtles excavating nests we watched and
photographed from a distance so we did not disturb their route to nest etc.
Finally before leaving we managed to photograph the endemic Seychelles warbler, reluctantly our time on Cousin had come to an end.
What a great day to  see this island in all its glory.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Maple Lodge and Woodoaks farm

Last week visited the lodge with a friend of note a jay was on the feeder at the rotunda but still
overgrown no chance of any migrants ie waders would be visible here.
Moving on to the Teal and Long Hedge hide it was nice to see Great crested grebes with a juvenile.
although a photographer was telling us to be quiet as he was trying to photograph kingfishers he then
proceeded to talk of maple lodge. I have forgotten more than he knew.
Today a phone call from Paul Lewis sent me trotting to Woodoaks where a nice male Redstart performed admirably along with Whitethroat and Red Kites.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Wettest Winter on Record

On the Usk Fly fishing with Chris and Jim Devoy

Jim arrived at the Gliffaes as did Chris first up Chris had some casting lessons on the lawn ,before we
set off for the Llandetty beat.
Jim and I then Chris followed us along the lanes where we got our waders on  and
walked across the field to the River Usk.
We struggled again ,Chris fished till lunch time  I perservered in the afternoon and
managed a small brownie but at least I didn't blank.

An evening meal at the Gliffaes with the new outlaws was a lovely end to the day.

The following day  I walked down to the river where I saw Kingfisher,Dipper and Merganser
a nice end to a lovely weekend.