Fiji - trip report.

Subject: Fiji - trip report.
From: (Dr Richard Nowotny)
Date: Tue, 06 May 1997 19:10:08 +1000
Wouldn't it rot your socks!!!  (Probably literally if I'd stayed much longer.)  
As readers of this service will probably remember, I had a short,
short-notice trip to Fiji these past few days and sought help and advice
from "birding-aus-ers" re where to go and what to look for around Suva.
Many helpful suggestions all focussed (correctly of course) on the remaining
native forest sites, to which I was looking forward with some enthusiasm.
The best laid plans (and all that).  What my advisers failed to take into
account was cyclone June - a rather pathetic specimen but able to threaten
as well as the big boys, bring plenty of rain and reasonable lashings of
wind - all cloaked in typical cyclonic uncertainty.  Local flooding, closed
local airports and worst of all impassable unsealed roads (such as serve all
the native forest sites - and believe me I tried, although I would prefer
no-one mentions this to Hertz - just kidding, a little) left me struggling
with birding around the south-western Queen's Road from Nadi to Suva (farmed
and cleared almost completely) and the extremely soggy botanical gardens in
Suva.  Pleasant but definitely uninspiring bird-wise and obviously quite
The result?  25 species as follows:

Lesser Frigatebird
Pacific Reef Heron
Gray Duck (Pacific Black Duck)
Fiji Goshawk
Pacific Golden Plover
Wandering Tattler
Great Crested Tern
Black-naped Tern
Rock Dove (I)
Spotted Turtle-Dove (I)
Collared Lory
White-rumped Swiftlet
Sacred Kingfisher
Pacific Swallow
Red-vented Bulbul (I) +++
Vanikoro Flycatcher
White-breasted Woodswallow
Common Myna (I) ++++
Jungle Myna (I) ++++
Orange-breasted Honeyeater
Wattled Honeyeater
Red Avadavat (I)
Red-headed Parrotfinch
(Golden Whistler (H))

Thank you to all who responded and proffered advice.  Suffice it to say that
next time I will be well equipped as a result of your help, and I certainly
have plenty of birds left to see!
Field Guide?  Pratt, Bruner and Berrett's "The Birds of Hawaii and the
Tropical Pacific" is excellent, with full illustrations and Fiji list (by
island) and acts as an enticement to try exploring some of the other
tropical paradises (and their weather!) - any excuse to combine hedonism and
birding (or are they synonymous?).


Richard Nowotny.

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