sunnuntai 23. marraskuuta 2008

Seychellit 4(4), on the beaches of Praslin

Excursion-free days were for the Praslin beaches. It was pleasant to walk along the unmanned shoreline. When you walk alone, you do not to have bother about schedules, you may stop to watch birds as long as you want and when you stay on the beach you can't get lost.
The hotel front was always a place too see something interesting - especially during the low tide.

Seems like a tsunami but the crab doesn't panic.

Crabs are rather shy and they see everything but if you stay put you may soon see the crab carrying sand out of its hole.

Sand is not dumped around the hole but on a pile that is about one meter off the hole.
It was good to know that there was a warden on the hotel beach.

Hotel Plover (Pluvialis apartomentos) used to be on duty on the beach.

Zebra Dove is one the tamest bird in the Seychelles.

BoS suggests that two races of Madagascar Turtle Doves occur in the granitic islands, the endemic rostrata and the nominate picturata.

Race picturata has grey head.

Seychelles Bulbul on a tree branch near the shoreline.

The hotel surroundings was also a good place to see Madagascar Fodies.

Common Tern is common in Finland, but it was not common in the Seychelles. The total was two birds.
The beach stretches for four kilometers northward from the hotel. There is a small inland pond along the beach.

The pond is the home for Moorhen

and for the Green-backed Heron.

Another Heron some 100 meters off the first one.
The long beach was an excellent place to see waders.

Common Sandpiper was as shy as in Finland.

It is an annual migrant throughout Seychelles during the northwest monsoon (Bos).

Bar-tailed Godwit was visible only on one day.

Godwit: Hi Whimbie! How come your bill is so decurved? Is it due to heat expansion?
Whimbrel: No, it is not. I landed on Siberia and a mammoth trod on my bill.
Godwit: Oh, I see. The same thing happened to me in Africa. I lay on my back sunning myself when an elephant trod on my bill.

Crab Plover had time to stay for two days only.

Curlew Sandpiper has a touch of red (still/again) on its belly.

BoS says that Grey Plover breeds in tundra of Russia to Canadian arctic.

It migrates south in August to winter around coasts of Africa, India, South-East Asia, Australia and North and South America, making it one one of the most widespread shorebirds in the world (BoS).
Praslin's airport is in the northern part of the island. A Curlew pastured on the field opposite to the airport. It can be judged from the Curlew that the field was a hot spot.

Curlew, it doesn't make you feel more comfortable but I can assure you that it's not any cooler here behind the camera.

The breeze takes the sting out of the heat.

Perfect light for taking pictures.

A bird is at its most beauty in flight (personal opinion, not any gospel truth)

Blurred Whimbrel creates an instant need for a lens that is sharp in the range from zero to infinite.

Terek Sandpiper was a nice surprise as I didn't see it in Finland this year.
It used to patrol on the beach,

on the grassland,

in the water

and in flight.

BoS says that the first year Turnstones often remain year round.

I may be megalomaniac, but I try to turn this stone anyway.

I did not see the Turnstone in Finland this year either. Here it is, but it would not be a good idea to insist the picture be snapped in Finland in October.

One of the Greenshanks shared the same pond with Moorhens and Green-backed Heron.

The sun is near the zenith.

The birds in the Seychelles appear to be much tamer than in Finland. Why is that? Is it due the heat? Are they only tame while here? Don't they have bad experiences with humans?

Whimbrel let you to 15 meters

until it felt to be at risk.

Greater Sandplover breeds from Turkey and Caspian Sea east to Mongolia, wintering along coasts of eastern half of Africa, Red Sea, Persian Gulf and India to Australia (BoS).

Greater Sandplover is somewhat hard to distinguish from Lesser Sandplover. This is propably Greater Sandplover.

Based on the preceding statement it should not be surprising that the Lesser Sandplover resembles Greater Sandplover. However, Lesser Sandplover has shorter bill, darker legs and more upright posture.

Another Lesser Sandplover

Probably Lesser Sandplover again.
The association of the Seychelles Sanderlings arranged the annual triathlon competition.
The events were:

long jump,

running in the water

and of course flight.
It is an annual habit that the association throws a party after the competition. A lot of guests turn up every year.

The flock contains five different species - although one have to know that there is Turnstone and Greater Sandplover in the right front corner. Terek Sandpiper is in the middle of the picture and Curlew Sandpipers and Sanderlings are scattered all around.

Fruit bats come down from the hills before dark.

Sun goes down for the tenth time. It is a pity as in means that I have to leave tomorrow.
This shot goes to show that the horizon slants toward equator in the southern hemisphere.

Sun has dropped into the Indian Ocean; it is time to go packing.
The number of photographed bird species is about 40. I did not managed to photograph Bridled Tern and Cattle Egret although the former was in Aride and the latter in the Praslin airport. I did not see anything unexpected. The Birds of the Seychelles categorises the birds as breeding, annual migrants, vagrants and uncertain. The vagrants/uncertain group consists of 156 species, but I did not see any of them. Is 40 species in the Seychelles a good result or not? Hard to say, but it is a personal record anyway.
Hannu Rinne

1 kommentti:

HazelK kirjoitti...

Really enjoyed this page- fantastic photos, and funy captions too!