Raine Island Trip Report

Subject: Raine Island Trip Report
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 95 17:44:05 EST
For those that are interested detailed below is a day by day account of  
our recent voyage to Raine Island a special thank you is due to all of  
those that made this trip a success by offering help with localities etc  
and indeed a special thank you is in order for the captain and crew of  
the "El-Torito" for being so patient and making our trip so very  
Passengers included: Mike Carter, Rob Farnes, Barbara Harvey, Neil  
Macumber, Pete Milburn, Rory O'Brien, Tony Palliser and Tom Smith. 
Day 1   20-July  
Departed Horne Island at noon passing the tip of Cape York late afternoon.  
Surprisingly bird species were sparse with a few Black-naped Terns and one  
or two Frigate birds being the highlights.  We continued on through the  
night heading south east towards Raine Island a strong head wind (The SE  
Trade winds) made the seas uncomfortable. Even Mike Carter was reported to  
be  seasick. 
Day 2   21-July 
Arrival at the sheltered waters behind Raine Island at 8.00am was welcome  
relief from the night before. With everyone feeling Healthy again and  
enjoying a hearty breakfast in readiness for the excitement ahead. The  
number of birds present was outstanding. Landing permission without a  
permit was is not allowed however to achieve our goals a landing  was not  
required. Only a few minutes passed before the First Red-footed and  
Masked Boobies appeared. Large numbers of Brown Noddy, White-capped Noddy,  
Sooty Tern and Red-tailed Tropicbird?s were present throughout the day.  
Mike pointed out that Pterodroma's if present were most likely to appear  
late in the afternoon. The wait was agony! Then it happened one bird was  
briefly sighted at about 2.00pm circling over the Island soon to be  
joined by another and commence in a series of aerial displays.  You had to  
be there to appreciate the excitement.  I'm sure the captain, who was on  
the veranda thought the boat was sinking! The difficulty was that the  
views were distant.  We decided to head out beyond the reef into deep  
water in the hope of a better view and perhaps some storm petrels.  We  
didn't find any storm petrels and turned back towards Raine Island when  
Pete came to the rescue and picked up a Herald Petrel flying straight  
towards us for an excellent view.  To top that we saw even more birds  
back at the Island with several individuals even close enough for a  
photograph.  In all at least 10 Herald Petrels were counted.     
Day 3   22-July  
An early start heading south west towards the Charles Hardy group of  
Islands for a breakfast stop and then on to Haggerstone. The number of  
birds on these Islands was surprisingly low and in complete contrast to  
that of Raine Is.  We moved on to Forbes Island a most picturesque  
island, excellent post card material.  A late afternoon foray soon  
produced Pale White-eye. Ian Venables information was spot on, the  
White-eye's were indeed common all over the Island.  Other goodies  
included Broad-billed Flycatcher and Rose-crowned Fruit Dove. 
Day 4   23-July 
Time for a spot of snorkelling for some and another foray ashore for  
others. Tom whipped out his tape recorder and pulled in Mangrove Golden  
Whistler on demand. Lunch time had us anchored off Quoin Island. A very  
different small Island full of life. The reef was amazing as were the  
nesting Frigatebirds. One individual flying overhead was noted to have  
white easily extending down to the feet could it have been a Christmas  
Frigatebird?  It was odd to see a number of Nankeen Night Heron and  
Banded Rail on such a small remote Island. White phase Reef Egrets were  
seen to fly in from a coastal direction. Small numbers of Bridled and  
Black-naped Tern were observed just off shore. The rest of the afternoon  
was spent heading for Portland Roads. 
Day 5   24-July 
Our last five star breakfast before going ashore. A scan around the boat  
produced three species of Dolphin (Spotted, Spinner and Indo-Pacific  
Humpback ) behind the prawn trawlers also anchored in the sheltered  
waters of Portland Roads. Time for a wet landing, good-bye's, farewells  
and some mainland birding around Iron Range. 
Species List 
Herald Petrel, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Red-footed Booby, Masked Booby,  
Brown Booby, Great Frigatebird, Lesser Frigatebird, Red-tailed Tropicbird,  
Reef Egret, Nankeen Night Heron, Sooty Tern, Bridled Tern, Common Tern,  
Black-naped Tern, Crested Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, White-capped Noddy,  
Common Noddy, Silver Gull,  Buff-banded Rail, White-breasted Sea Eagle,  
Turnstone, Whimbrel, Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Sacred  
Kingfisher, Welcome Swallow, Barn Swallow?, Pale White-eye, Olive-backed  
Sunbird, Mangrove Golden Whistler, Leaden Flycatcher, Broad-billed  
Flycatcher, Olive-backed Oriole, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike, Dusky  
Honeyeater, White-breasted Wood Swallow. 
Its worthy of note that Roseate Tern, Tahiti Petrel and Storm Petrels were  
absent. Once again thank you to all of those that helped to make this trip  
such a great success.   
Tony Palliser                         Phone    +61 2 9900 1678 
                                      Fax      +61 2 9900 1669 

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