It is a strangely satisfying thing to pull an invasive plant from the ground, watching as the soil gives way and the roots spring free. So is hacking through the thick stem of a vine with a machete and getting it in one swoop.
I heard the blood-curdling screech before I felt the rapid wing beats above my head. In a heartbeat, webbed feet grazed my head barely missing my face. I quickly ducked and crouched on the path, as instructed, as a very angry bird harangued me for a few seconds. When it quietened, I got up and walked as fast and as far away from it as possible. After I recovered, I looked at what I had disturbed. I had just had an encounter with a protective Brown noddy adult guarding its chick on Cousin Island Special Reserve.
More than 50 years ago, the world's rarest bird was rescued by mangroves. The Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis, Pti Merl Dezil in Creole), a little endemic songbird of Seychelles was very close to extinction in the twentieth century.
The capacity of wetlands to protect us from flooding is often overlooked. Yet they are natural defences against extreme weather and climate-related threats.
The mosquitoes were a little aggressive, the wardens were welcoming and the Seychelles magpie robin extremely smart. The seabirds were loud and the skinks always underfoot. It was tiring, but fun.
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