Archive for the ‘Fiji’ Tag

19th – 20th September – Kandavu, Fiji.   1 comment

For my final post about the South Pacific trip we go to the small island of Kandavu which lies just southeast of Nadi.

Due to wonderful ways of the airlines getting there wasn’t straight forwards. We left Taveuni in the late afternoon of the 18th and flew not to Nadi as we had hoped, but to Suva where we changed planes before flying on to the capital. Now remember when we flew from Suva to Taveuni we had to go out of our way and fly via Nadi, now we had to go out of our way again. There was no onwards flight to Kandavu that day so we had to overnight in Nadi and then fly to Kandavu late morning of the 19th.

There are few roads on Kandavu and we were transferred from the airport to the resort on a small boat and had to wade ashore.

IMG_3731-Common-Myna

With little to do at Nadi before we flew to Kandavu I spent time photographing those introduced species that plague the Pacific islands like this Common Myna.

P9190550-Kandavu

The lodge on Kandavu was right beside the sea. Our time there was limited to one afternoon and most of a morning and there were five endemic birds to find ….

IMG_3736-Kadavu-Iguana

… and Kandavu’s endemic Iguana

IMG_3739-Kadavu-Honeyeater

The Kandavu Honeyeater (above) was easy to find, the endemic Shining Parrot was seen in flight but the Kandavu Fantail and White-throated Whistler only gave brief views.

IMG_3779-Velvet-Dove

.. but the last good bird of the trip was this lovely Velvet Dove, the last of quartet of beautiful doves on Fiji.

IMG_3809-Green-flash

The ‘green flash’ that can sometimes be seen as the last rays of the sun shine through the upper layers of the sea.

Well that concludes the South Pacific trip. From Kandavu we flew to Nadi in the late morning of the 20th, my flight to Melbourne was in the late afternoon and I had a long and tiring wait there until 0240 on the 21st. Next stop was Kuala Lumpar and then Dubai. I arrived at Heathrow at 1840 on the 21st and was home by 2300. Adding the eleven hours time difference it was a 47 hour journey from resort to home! I think I experienced worse jet lad after that journey then I ever have done before, in spite of having flown back from the Pacific on several occasions. This was not helped by a nasty chest infection that I picked up on route.

It had been an interesting trip, just 121 species seen (same as a one day winter bird race in Dorset!) but 64 of them were life birds and many of those real stunners. It was a shame I couldn’t get to see the Vanuatu montane endemics but that would require a full on expedition and may have been beyond my physical capabilities or get to the two remaining Fijian endemics, Pink-billed Parrotfinch and Long-legged Warbler but this trip didn’t include them.

Posted October 19, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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16th – 18th September – Taveuni, Fiji   Leave a comment

Posted October 19, 2013 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

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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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