“M had informed Bond he was sending him to the Seychelles. ‘… Simply go and take a look.’ M glanced out of the window on the driving March sleet. ‘Don’t get sunstroke.’”
Certainly, there may be one distinctly birding connection to this nation: a well-known birder Ian Fleming, the writer of James Bond, visited the Seychelles in 1958 searching for inspiration for his then-latest assortment of tales, For Your Eyes Solely.
Fleming primarily based himself in suite 114 on the Northolme Lodge on Mahe (these days the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa), a secluded hideaway on the northwest coast with picturesque views of Beau Vallon Bay and Silhouette Island. Every villa is hidden within the midst of tropical greenery and displays the Creole structure of the island. Initially constructed earlier than WWI by an eccentric English colonel, the Northolme was one of many first accommodations on the island. There. Now you understand.
But, Fleming shouldn’t be the one movie star related to these honeymoon islands. Amongst others, Amal and George Clooney, Elizabeth and Damian Hurley, Victoria and David Beckham, Kate Middleton and Prince William have been additionally seen within the Seychelles.
Though the Seychelles islands solely quantity to an space of 455 km2 unfold throughout 115 islands within the Western Indian Ocean, they help a various array of flowering vegetation, at the least 100 of that are discovered nowhere else. A Photographic Information to the Wildlife of Seychelles by Chris Mason-Parker information covers each the touristy interior and the rarely-visited outer islands of the Seychelles archipelago, and consists of greater than 320 pictures of over 220 species of wildlife, together with birds, mammals, butterflies and different bugs, reptiles, amphibians, fish, molluscs and crustaceans, with descriptions, details about the place to seek out them, and their conservation standing.
The introduction covers the geography, historical past and local weather of Seychelles, in addition to journey practicalities (language, getting there, visa, lodging, cash, getting round, a advised itinerary, glossary). The information additionally incorporates a choice of 16 of one of the best nature trails on Mahé, Praslin, Silhouette, La Digue, Curieuse, Aride and Cousin Islands, with route maps and particulars of what might be seen. The guide ends with additional studying ideas, record of helpful web sites, and the index of each English and scientific names.
Seychelles’ small landmass mixed with geographic isolation leads to few species. For instance, the principle islands are the world’s solely granitic ocean islands and at 750M years of age are additionally the world’s oldest ocean islands. That antiquity produces a excessive stage of endemism, e.g. 19% of 62 breeding birds are endemic to the islands! However, the isolation makes for these large seabird colonies.
As soon as a pirate hideout, Seychelles’s heat, tropical waters are house to greater than 400 species of reef fish and 300 species of coral, Coco De Mer palms and their coconuts – the biggest nuts on the earth (as much as 44 kg), the biggest inhabitants of Big Tortoises (100,000), greater than 230 endemic plant species, spectacular seabird colonies (greater than 2M terns, noddys, frigatebirds) and 12 endemic hen species: Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles Swiftlet, Seychelles Blue Pigeon, Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Scops Owl, Seychelles White-eye, and many others. Seven endemic hen species are to be discovered on Mahé (the one alternative for Seychelles White-eye and the Seychelles Scops Owl), the opposite 5 on Praslin (important for Seychelles Black Parrot), whereas journeys to La Digue are mandatory for Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher and both Cousin or Aride for Seychelles Magpie Robin, Seychelles Warbler and the Seychelles Fody.
The writer, Chris Mason-Parker, has lived in Seychelles since 2009, the place he’s an energetic member of the conservation group. He’s the writer of Underwater Information to Seychelles (2015), Underwater Eden (2019) and Reef Fishes of Seychelles (2021).
The closest I ever made to Seychelles was checking the discounted air-fare costs two years in the past… Beside birding, I’d wish to dinner on fried breadfruit and coconut curry, and to have a Krest or two (the tonic and ginger beer Fleming drank whereas staying at Northolme) whereas watching moonrise over the swaying palm fronds… Legend has it that anybody who eats breadfruit whereas on the islands will return sometime.
A Photographic Information to the Wildlife of Seychelles is a light-weight, 196 pages of a pocket-sized and easy-to-carry guide appropriate for a common nature lover, but additionally for birders as a second, wider-orientation information, subsequent to the Discipline Information to the Birds of Seychelles.
A Photographic Information to the Wildlife of Seychelles by Chris Mason-Parker
ISBN 10: 1913679284 ISBN 13: 9781913679286
Writer: John Beaufoy Publishing, 2023
Variety of pages: 196