Foudie Rouge

One of the most spectacular birds I observed during my recent trip to the Indian ocean island of Réunion was the Red fody (Foudia madagascariensis). Because of the bird’s striking red colouration I mistakenly assumed that it was a member of one of the parrot families, but later I had a chance to observe it more closely and I noticed that it lacked some of the characteristics that many small parrots share. Nevertheless, it was a great sight to witness this unusual species in the wild. They are plentiful in all parts of Réunion (even at altitudes of… Continue reading

Kahili Ginger or Longose Jaune

For any amateur botanist who has travelled around the tropics, it becomes abundantly clear that the vast majority of ornamentals can now be found in virtually any country, territory or island of similar climate. This is, of course, great if their presence is limited to people’s gardens and public parks, but once they spread and become an invasive species, to the detriment of the endemic local flora, that’s a very different story. Here on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion, one of the most widely represented invasive plant is the stunning Kahili ginger (Hedychium gardnerianum). Known locally by… Continue reading