One of the main
birdwatching attractions on Praslin is the Black Parrot,
which is most readily found in the Vallee de Mai National Park.
We got brief glimpses of two birds in the visitor centre car park,
but the best view was a few hundred yards down the road, where we
say three birds feeding on the fruits of the Bwa Rouz trees. Hint:
to find Black Parrots, find some trees in fruit! Close up, the Parrot
is clearly brown, not black, but its eyes and beak are very dark,
almost blending in with the dark facial plumage. The Vallee is worth
going around for the incredible vegetation, but the bird life is
sparce. At the Shelter at the top of the paths - a natural picnic
place - the Seychelles Bulbuls are very confiding, coming
readily to food. They also respond well to 'pishing', and are easily
photographed. Seychelles Cave Swiftlets were also seen in
the vicinity of the Vallee.
are not confined to the Vallee, and we saw birds by the coast at
Fond de L'Anse, where we also had sightings of the Seychelles
Blue Pigeon. The Pigeon also appeared regularly at 6 pm at the
Chalets Cote Mer on Baie Ste. Anne, where we were staying - presumably
heading for the same roosting site each evening. As far as other
land birds were concerned, we had our only sighting during the holiday
of the Seychelles Kestrel in the NW of Praslin, near Anse
Kerlan - a brief, distant, but clear view whilst drinking some fantastic
fresh fruit juice (look out for the sign!). We did drive up the
mountain road to 'Zimbabwe' (as it is known locally - 'Grand Fond'
on the map) to try for better Kestrel views, but we were not in
luck. They are reported to be scarcer in recent years on Praslin.
Madagascar Fody, Barred Ground Doves and Indian Mynahs
were everywhere, and Seychelles Sunbirds were also plentiful;
one was nesting in the garden of the Chalets Cote Mer.
in different parts of the Island produced numerous Whimbrels
and Turnstones, and at the Baye Ste. Anne site (see map below),
we recorded 5 Curlew Sandpipers, 10 Sanderlings, 5
Lesser Sand Plovers (clearly smaller than the nearby Turnstones)
and one Grey Plover. Grey Plovers were in ones and twos around
the coast, and we also saw some isolated Greenshanks. Green-backed
Herons were often seen in marshy areas near the coast.
at Anse Bateau on the W coast produced our only views of two Red-footed
Boobies - distant views, but the Gannet-like features were distinctive.
Crested Terns were seen in several places, Baye Ste. Anne
being a good place to look, and Fairy Terns and White-tailed
Tropicbirds were frequently sighted.