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THE SEYCHELLES, MAURITIUS & RÉUNION

Thursday 28th September - Monday 9th October 2017

Hannu Jännes

Mauritius Kestrel (Hannu Jännes)

Mauritius Kestrel (Hannu Jännes)

The islands of the Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues located in the western Indian Ocean are the true paradise islands of the imagination offering exotic holidays on palm-fringed beaches lapped by turquoise seas. They are also one of the world’s main centres of bird extinctions with at least 30 species of birds, plus a whole range of reptiles, having become extinct since man first visited the islands just 350 years ago. Despite this sad history of extinctions, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues are still home to a large number of endangered birds and now major conservation efforts are in place to try to save them. We saw a total of 80 species of birds during the tour including nearly all of the 36 endemic birds that still survive, plus a good number of other interesting species. The only serious dips were Trindade Petrel and Red-tailed Tropicbird, which were missed because of inclement weather forcing the cancellation of our planned boat trip to Round Island. During our most enjoyable circuit of these friendly, welcoming countries we had many avian highlights which included Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles Scops Owl, Crab-plover, Seychelles Black Parrot, Seychelles Magpie-Robin, Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, Seychelles White-eye and a nice surprise in the form of two different Caspian Plovers in the scenic granitic Seychelles, Rodrigues Warbler and Rodrigues Fody on Rodrigues, Mauritius Kestrel, Echo Parakeet, Pink Pigeon, Mauritius Fody, Mauritius Grey and Mauritius Olive White-eyes and Mauritius Cuckooshrike on Mauritius, and Barau’s Petrel, Mascarene Paradise Flycatcher, a total of five of Reunion Cuckooshrikes and Reunion Stonechat on Réunion. We also visited magnificent seabird colonies brimming with Wedge-tailed and Tropical Shearwaters, Lesser and Brown Noddies, very elegant White Terns, Sooty and Bridled Terns, White-tailed Tropicbirds and numerous Great Frigatebirds. A good selection of reptiles added to the fun, but only a few mammals were seen. All and all this is probably the easiest bird tour I have ever led, with very relaxed daily itineraries, only a couple of longer, but still easy, walks, mostly great weather, good food and infrastructure with excellent accommodations.

Réunion Stonechat (Hannu Jännes)

Réunion Stonechat (Hannu Jännes)