14th – 21st September – Vitu Levu, Fiji   Leave a comment

This post continues my account of my trip to the  South Pacific in September. The final of the three island groups we visited was Fiji, which lies within the tropics at 180 degree longitude, ie the opposite side of the world to the UK.

We visited three islands, the first being the large island of Vitu Levu.  We flew from Vanuatu to the capital Nadi but only stayed briefly before flying on to Suva on the southwest coast.  Our accommodation was beside two lakes surrounded with forest. We soon scored with most of the endemics, seeing twelve of them the first afternoon and five including the stunning Golden Dove the next morning. Suva seafront gave us the chance to add a few waders and seabirds to the trip list and another forested area on the Namosi road produced excellent views of both Fiji Shrikebill and the rare Black-faced Shrikebill and brief views of a Friendly Ground Dove (the latter is named after the Friendly Islands, not its decidedly unfriendly habits).

IMG_3338-Fiji-Parrrotfinch

One of the first endemics we found was this pretty Fiji Parrotfinch just outside the airport at Suva.

IMG_3391-Pacific-Robin

Another lovely endemic, this Pacific Robin was in the forest close to our hotel.

IMG_3407-Fiji-Goshawk

Two endemics for the price of one,. A Fiji Goshawk dismembers a fledgling Wattled Honeyeater. Unfortunately the honeyeater was still alive, so this was quite a gruesome sight.

IMG_3438-Golden-Dove

Fiji is a paradise for pigeon enthusiasts. The delightful Golden Dove.

IMG_3428-Barking-Pigeon

Not as pretty as the Golden Dove but fascinating nonetheless. Sometimes called Peale’s Imperial Pigeon, but I prefer Barking Imperial Pigeon because that is exactly what it does.

IMG_3467-Reef-Egret

Some shots from Suva seafront. A dark morph Pacific Reef Egret.

IMG_3495-Pacific-GP-&-Tattl

Pacific Golden Plovers and a Grey-tailed Tattler have flown all the way from the Siberian arctic to winter on these islands.

IMG_3489-Lesser-Frigatebird

The white spur in the axillaries identifies this frigatebird as a male Lesser.

IMG_3478-Gtr-Crested-Tern

Greater Crested Tern

Posted October 19, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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