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Posts Tagged ‘birdisland’

Esmeraalllddaaaaaaaa

I love this.

 

not a sequin in sight...

 

A Giant Tortoise called Esmeralda has been living happily on Bird Island for a very long time.Except she is a he and should technically be called Esmeraldo but staying true to history (or more likely it makes a nice story) he’s still confusingly called Esmeralda. I hope he doesn’t have any issues. I mean, he’s apparently been knocking around since June 1771, TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY NINE YEARS OLD. He’d need another lifetime for the therapy alone.

He needn’t be troubled by emasculation by name though, at 1.27 metres in length, 2.54 metres in girth and weighing 363kg  (measured by the Royal Society so it must be true), he’s likely to be the world’s largest tortoise. Esmeralda rocks.

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It’s nature innit?

 

a tropic bird nesting with its newly born ball of fluff...ahhhhh

 

Bird island is about the birds, obviously, so to learn all about them you can go on a nature walk with the resident expert Robbie.

 

taken with a bog standard point and shoot - it was that close!

 

I know nothing about birds, I’m not sure that I do now either despite the wealth of information we were given. I remember names and random facts but match one to the other – not on your nelly – but it didn’t matter so much as Robbie was a lively and enthusiastic guide and if nothing else,  made you appreciate just how wonderful an island this is in terms of conservation and protecting birds. I’m no twitcher but  I have a better appreciation of people who are now – they’re not completely mad just slightly barking.

The birds, having nothing to fear from humans, fly close enough to confuse you into thinking you’re Nelson’s Column but luckily with the gift of life and movement, swift ducking is possible though risks you looking like either a complete baby or prone to uncontrollable spasms. Or if you’re the other one, both. It wasn’t looking good for the Sooty Tern colony at the end of the island.

It was an hour before we reached there, as we meandered to look and learn about giant tortoises and trees and other birds. It was a good time to visit for birds, as apparently they all sod off in October  (migration or something I believe they call it : ). In other words you could count on at least a million sooty terns and a few fregates too. And there they were, circling in the sky, around the trees and squawking merrily as resting on land, they presumably caught up on the latest gossip.

 

Hitchcockian nightmare...

 

As we were some distance away, the other one coped admirably; strange counting your enemies among one million but even stranger that these enemies you fear couldn’t give a c**p about you. They’d much rather go eat worms (and quite right too).

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Animal magic…

 

I just want some time on my own...

 

 

But I wanna be together...

 

 

maybe if I ignore her,she'll go away, look she's trying to be all sweet

 

 

Ok, ok, you do have a point, I'm sorry, yes you're always right

 

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So transparent…

 

I can only conclude my toes are in the sand

 

I know it looks weird but that’s my foot . In the water. How clear is that?

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The beach at Bird Island

Exquisite. Just nature, the whitest of sands, sun bleached driftwood, topaz blue waters and no bugger around at all, except a few birds. 

Peaceful bliss.

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Maybe it’s things beginning with B….Bird Island

Eight long weeks the other one had off and instead of  spending the holiday backpacking as we’d wanted, we’d had to ‘make do’ with a couple of weeks off instead. Given that such an awful sacrifice had to be made, I’d vowed that we’d take the time to explore some more of Seychelles instead.

Part of the plan was to try and visit another island and what we could afford was Bird Island- the most northerly of Seychelles 115 islands. As you would expect from the name, it was full of to the brim with birds. That the other one doesn’t really like birds was a trifling matter. Face your fears man, I said, all will be well, won’t it? WON’T IT?!

It wasn’t.

The plane flight, a little thing with 14 seats, was not that bad.I don’t usually mind flying but it had been some time since I’d been in one so tiny but it was great scenery, flying at 6,000 feet over the bluest waters and landing on a runway which was really a flattened field of grass.I felt like a character in a romance novel. For the briefest of moments then a bird did a fly by past the other one’s head.  I smiled weakly and said ‘to the beach’ and headed for our bungalow – to get changed.

It was spacious, clean and had a darling architectural feature; a gap between the roof and wall, perhaps for air circulation or if you were following the other’s one’s thinking, so that birds could fly in. I tried to comfort him with the entirely reasonable argument that the whole island is a haven for birds, why would they bother with us? Sure, the other one is a little beaky but it’d be a big mistake to think him in any  way a feathered friend.

I shooed him out and we went straight to the beach, we were staying one night and had no time to spare.

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