Birds

22
May
2017

Ecotourism: conservation comes first

 Tourists are picked up from their boats and brought to land on specially made Cousin boats

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity as named by the United Nations, in order to elevate biodiversity-related issues with this year’s theme as ‘biodiversity and sustainable tourism’.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Research, Birds, Tourism

11
May
2017

Stepping back in time for conservation

A report from Nature Seychelles International Volunteer Program

 A white tern chick decorated in sunset colours

As one of eleven people living on Cousin Island Special Reserve, I feel privileged. After an eventful boat ride with a saltwater shower, we arrived on the beautiful long stretch of Cousin’s main beach. Walking up the beach the first thing I see is a vast number of birds flying overhead and dropping down into the forest. I quickly see the island is made up of only beach and forest, and understand why the birds choose to be here.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife

27
September
2016

What a joy to be part of such important conservation work

A report from Nature Seychelles' International Volunteer Program

 Birds everywhere I look

I’ve spent just over a month volunteering with Nature Seychelles on Cousin Island Special Reserve and I think it’s safe to say that it has been one of the best experiences of my life. When I arrived, the first thing that struck me was the noise. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds

14
April
2016

An island bursting with life

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program.

When I arrived on Cousin Island Special Reserve, I had the feeling I had landed on a lost island. The vast beaches of fine white sand, the bright sun, the abundant fauna and flora and just a handful of people living and working on the island.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds

24
February
2016

Tough but gratifying conservation work

A report from Nature Seychelles International Volunteer Program

 Sunsets are spectacular on cousin

It is difficult to highlight one thing that stood out for us from our time on Cousin Island Special Reserve as there were so many aspects to our volunteering experience that made the island special. Yes, it is a Special Reserve but our experience was another kind of special. To be able to work so closely with the turtles and birds was truly an experience of a lifetime.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Turtles, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering

03
December
2015

Birder’s paradise

 Seychelles Warbler and chick by Cas Eikenaar

Birds, that’s what I came to Cousin Island Special Reserve for. As a birder back home in my native England, I was seduced by such exotic beauties as magpie-robins and warblers. Throw in some noddies, the whiter than white fairy terns, plus the chance of such stonkers as crab plovers, well, why wouldn’t I leave my desk behind?

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Seabirds

15
October
2015

Immersed in a wild world

Report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program

 Lesser Noddy and chick

As the bottom of the boat scrapes the sandy beach, you instantly realise you are not alone. In a big city you feel like one out of thousands and here on Cousin Island Special Reserve it is the same. The only difference is that here, you are surrounded by thousands of wild animals which is proof that conservation leadership really works. There are countless birds flying around everywhere, nesting everywhere; you can hear them and smell them.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Wildlife, Marine

14
October
2015

A MAGICAL ENCOUNTER WITH NATURE

  Even the Aldabra tortoises on Cousin know that theirs is a magical existence

As you step off the boat onto Cousin Island, you know you are about to get a taste of paradise as your senses start to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of this protected nature reserve. Numerous birds painted in the skies above, fluttering and singing as if to welcome the many visitors to the island and some perched on trees as if poised for a photoshoot. Lizards scurry into the forest undergrowth or behind fallen leaves, while the resident Giant Aldabra tortoises expectantly wait for a stroke on their uneven but enthralling faces.

Categories: Conservation, Birds, Seabirds, Tourism

27
August
2015

Living and working in paradise

A report from Nature Seychelles international volunteer program

 Baby Giant Tortoise by Matijn Hammers

Cousin is a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The magnificence of this small shred of paradise leaves me breathless. The natural environment here seems almost untouched due to the hard and consistent conservation work by Nature Seychelles. To be part of this conservation project means a lot to me. As a biology student, fieldwork and experience is very important to widen my knowledge. Now after just one week on Cousin Island Special Reserve, I have already experienced some incredible moments.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People

25
June
2015

Sunny days ahead for a rare robin

A report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Programme

 The Seychelles Magpie Robin is an attractive bird with a beautiful song by Martijn Hammers

As a volunteer on Cousin Island Special Reserve, I feel privileged to have interacted with the Seychelles Magpie Robin (Copsychus sechellarum), a remarkable success story for the island and indeed, for Seychelles. Once found in respectable numbers on several islands, by 1970 this curious bird endemic to the Seychelles, was down to only 23 individuals due to predation by cats and rats, as well as reduced feeding habitat.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People

08
June
2015

Triumphs and tragedies in paradise

A Report from Nature Seychelles' International Volunteer Program

  With no predators on Cousin Island, tourists can get very close to birds, a treat for many who visit the island

As a ‘veteran’ volunteer of Cousin Island turtle season, I have been able to witness some of the most incredible wildlife spectacles. For example, watching turtles as they emerge from the water to embark on their journey to lay their eggs, then later observing what seemed to me, millions of hatchlings scattered all over these stunning beaches as they instinctively make their way to the ocean. The knowledge that they too will one day return to the same beach to lay their eggs is mind blowing!

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Volunteering, Nature People, Seabirds, Wildlife

23
April
2015

Monitoring the next generation of Seabirds in Seychelles

 

The white or fairy tern is pure white - by Peter Chadwick

One of the many exciting volunteer tasks on Cousin Island Special Reserve is monitoring the resident breeding seabirds. During the past two months we have been monitoring the elegant white tern (Glygis alba), and the ferocious looking white-tailed tropic bird (Phaethon lepturus).

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Research, Birds, Nature People, Seabirds, Wildlife

31
March
2015

Turtle news is so last month!

As the turtle season draws to a close and the number of Hawksbill turtle sightings diminishes, we’ve had to find other things to get excited about. At the beginning of March we happened to stumble across a Seychelles blue pigeon (Alectroenas pulcherrima) nest, whilst greeting visitors at the beach shelter. A fairly simple nest by most birds standards, but still secure enough to keep the tiny chick safely seated in the branches, patiently waiting to be fed. The Seychelles blue pigeon feeds on a variety of small to medium sized fruits and seeds, including figs and cinnamon, which it swallows whole, regurgitating a milk-like substance to the young chick on returning to the nest.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Nature People, Wildlife

06
March
2015

Perks of the Job

There are many reason I love my life on Cousin Island Special Reserve. Cousin has perfect (and empty!) beaches with incredible sunsets. There is also excellent snorkeling just off the shore and the weather is great. Well, except for the current lack of rain – but that’s another matter altogether. 

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Nature People, Wildlife

17
September
2014

Witnessing bird behavior

Living life on Cousin Island is often equivalent to living in an Attenborough documentary or a living laboratory. Whilst tourists are exposed to an excellent taster during their one and a half hour tour of Cousin Island Special Reserve, its only through living on the Island and total immersion in the wildlife that you get to see some truly interesting behavior.

Categories: Living on a nature reserve, Conservation, Birds, Nature People, Seabirds, Wildlife

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