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Cousin Island Special Reserve, Seychelles
Perks of the job

There are many reason I love my life on Cousin Island Special Reserve. Cousin has perfect (and empty!) beaches with incredible sunsets. There is also excellent snorkeling just off the shore and the weather is great. Well, except for the current lack of rain – but that’s another matter altogether.

But I think the best thing about life on Cousin is the proximity to wildlife you get from living here. It might be a turtle nest hatching right in front of your house, or having to step over a tortoise that has decided to park himself in front of your porch overnight.

It is incredible seeing the same Seychelles Magpie Robins around your house each day or watching the Seychelles Foddies line up to fight for crumbs when I take a cup of tea and biscuits into my hammock on a Sunday. I also seem to have acquired a posse of Geckoes and Skinks that patrol my house eating any bugs or crumbs.

Today’s highlight of life surrounded by nature was watching a White Tern feed its very young (nine days old) chick. The birds are only about four meters from my veranda area so I am able to keep a close eye on them. It is a joy to watch them.

Unlike many other sea birds, White terns feed their offspring whole small fish rather than the usual swallow-and-regurgitate method favored by larger sea birds, such as the White Tailed Tropic Birds. Other critters on Cousin, such as the skinks love to forage under nests in hopes of a dropped morsel! But they won’t be getting lucky with this parent and chick.

Tom Hiney

Chief Warden, Cousin Island Special Reserve