Top 5 Seychelles islands for bird lovers

Well known as a haven for honeymooners, the stunning islands of the Seychelles archipelago are also a magnet for ornithologists the world over.

Constance Lemuria Resort, Seychelles

Constance Lemuria

The 155 granite and coral islands are home to 12 endemic bird species, and the largest sea bird colonies in the world.

For all bird enthusiasts out there, here’s our top 5 run down of must-see Seychelles’ islands.

1. Praslin Island

The rare endemic Seychelles Black Parrot is the national bird. Visitors to the exotic Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island, are likely to see the Black Parrot as well as the Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles Swiflet and Fruit Pigeon.

2. Mahé

Seychelles Kestrel

Seychelles Kestrel

Mahé is the largest of the islands, and there are a number of beautiful walks you can take into the tropical hills to spot the Seychelles Kestrel, Seychelles White-eye and Seychelles Scops-owl.

3. Bird Island

Bird Island is situated some 60 miles north of Mahé.  It’s a tiny flat coralline island where over 400,000 pairs of Sooty Terns breed every year between May – November.

There are viewing platforms where you can enjoy the sight of the terns incubating their eggs and caring for newborn chicks. Other birds found on the island include Curlew Sandpipers, Fairy Terns and Turnstones.

4. Cousin Island

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Seychelles Magpie Robin

Cousin Island, just 2km from Praslin Island, is home to a bird and marine sanctuary that has won several awards for conservation and ecotourism.

The endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin was successfully reintroduced on the island. You’ll also find other endemic birds including the Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Fody and Seychelles Blue Pigeon.

There’s also a massive seabird colony here with 7 different species nesting at different times of year. Expect to see Fairy Terns, Bridled Terns, Lesser Noddies, Audubon’s Shearwater and the Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

5. Aride Island

Close to Cousin Island, Aride is the only place in the archipelago where you’ll find Red-tailed Tropicbirds. The world’s only hilltop colony of Sooty Terns are also found here, living alongside White-tailed Tropicbirds, Roseate Terns, Seychelles Sunbird and the Seychelles Fody.

When to visit

Sooty terns

Sooty terns

The main breeding season for birds in the Seychelles is April, while Sooty Terns nest from May-September.

October is migration time, where numbers peak across the islands. Visitors at this time of year can expect some stunning sights across the sky.

Where to stay

Combine all this with a wonderfully relaxing holiday at one of our luxury 5* resorts in the Seychelles.

And for more wildlife inspiration, don’t miss these articles:

Weekly round up: 31 October-6 November 2011

This weekly feature offers a round-up of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything.

Tom Lehman

Tom Lehman will play at the MCB Championship in December

Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.

Special offers

News and events

Culinary

Inspiration

Spa and sport

 

Recipe: Black lentil soup with smoked pork belly and grilled scallops

Warm yourself up with this delicious lentil soup from the kitchens of the luxury 5* Le Prince Maurice.

Ginger root

Ginger adds extra warmth to the soup

Serves 4
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Soaking time for the lentils: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 250g cleaned scallops (without roes)
  • 15g butter

For the soup:

  • 200g black lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stick
  • 50g boucane (smoked pork belly)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 5cl crème fraîche
  • salt and pepper

1. Soak the black lentils for 2 hours.
2. Peel and chop the onion and garlic separately. Grate the carrot. Finely dice the celery and carrot.
3. Cut the boucane in two pieces. Fry the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger and boucane in hot olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the drained black lentils, thyme, parsley and curry leaves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, and simmer for 1 hour on low heat.
4. Remove the boucane, blend and sieve the soup. Add the crème fraîche and correct seasoning.
5. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Grill them for 2 minutes on each side.
6. Using a hand blender, blend the soup with the butter. Serve hot with the scallops.

Offers: Summer 2012 special – save 25% at Constance Halaveli

Water villa at Halaveli

Water villa at Halaveli

Next summer, why not treat you and your family to a luxury holiday at Constance Halaveli, Maldives, and save a fabulous 25% on your stay.

Offer is valid from 21 June to 31 October 2012. Minimum 7 nights stay. Perfect for the summer holidays.

Find out more about reservations for this offer on our Constance Hotels Experience website.

Choosing wine from the menu

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a total newbie to the world of wine, our Head Sommelier at Constance, Jérome Faure, is here to share his expert knowledge with you.

Jerome Faure
Jerome Faure

This week, Jérome takes a look at the difference between conventional and organic wines.

Conventional versus organic wine

A conventional wine is a wine produced from grapes grown using farming methods which include the use of chemical products.

Organic wine is made from grapes certified by a recognised body such as Ecocert, as organically farmed – AB (Agriculture Biologique) in the French system.

How wine is given organic certification

AB certification requires, above all, respect for a set of guidelines aimed at banning the use of all chemical products, such as pesticides, fungicides and fertilizer. At present there are no guidelines for how the wine itself is treated.

Gaining AB certification involves wine growers subjecting themselves to lengthy administrative procedures, which is why some growers are not interested in obtaining it. But at the same time, these growers may use few or no chemical products in their vineyards. So it’s possible to come across a wine without an AB label that is nonetheless made from organically grown grapes…

Choices, choices… which wine is best?

Red wine in glass
How to choose wine

You’ll find good wines among both conventional and organic types.

To oppose organic to conventional wine is simply to oppose certified to non-certified ones. As we’ve already said, many winegrowers are organic but uncertified, and others, even if not organic are very sparing in their use of chemicals.

Some go even further by working in accordance with biodynamics (the natural rhythms of cosmic forces), whether they’re certified or not.

If you’re dining in a restaurant, the best way to decide is to rely on the selections of a good sommelier.

The Constance Group takes great care in its choice of wines, and at Constance Ephelia in the Seychelles the wine list indicates which wines are certified organic or biodynamic.

Tell us what you think

Do you prefer organic over conventinal wine? Tell us what you think. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or use the comments section below.

Top beauty tips from expert, London Beauty Queen

If you’re looking for beauty tips, the blog from London Beauty Queen is full of great insider advice on everything from holiday sun care to the best make-up on the market right now.

London Beauty Queen

London Beauty Queen

LBQ, as she’s affectionately known, has worked in the beauty industry for the past 7 years, testing thousands of products so she can share her successes and failures with her fans – turning you all, as she says, into beauty queens.

We chatted to her about her work and her must-have beauty list for the Autumn.

How it all began

The success of the LBQ blog has taken its creator by surprise. “It began as a way for me to mix my marketing experience, love of writing and passion for beauty. At uni I did a work placement at an agency, and that really helped me to get a job in the industry after I left.”

Tips on best beauty products

Eyeshadow pots

Tips to help you choose the best make up

The online community following her tips and tricks has steadily grown. “I write about stuff that I like. You’ll find tips on luxury products as well as best-buys like the best lipgloss or mascara for under £5. People love that.”

Followers of LBQ’s blog also get an insight into high profile events such as London Fashion Week. “I can post a photo from backstage to Facebook or my blog about what’s happening right at that very moment.”

Luxe beauty must-have for A/W 2011

As for this Autumn’s luxury must-have beauty products, just launched are these two lovelies from luxury brand Rodial:

  • Glam balm lip – promising to plump your lips, and fill fine lines it includes rose wax, shea butter and vitamin E.
  • Glam balm hand – chock full with fab ingredients to give a youthful touch to your hands: olive leaf extract, vitamins C & E, grapeseed extract and Shea Butter.

Check out LBQ’s blog

Don’t miss some of the latest reviews on the London Beauty Queen blog including:

Are there any beauty tips you want to know?

And if there are any beauty tips you’d love to know about, get in touch. You can contact us via Twitter, post to Facebook or use the comments section below.